Veterinary advice for a raw pet food diet is generally supported by the science. Science that seems to be pushed by the large pet food manufacturers. While the apparent evidence is hard to ignore, this form of diet has only grown in popularity despite the dire warnings. Raw food diet testimonials, forums and Blogs abound on the Internet espousing the benefits of a raw food diet; pet owners are seeing a tangible (and positive) difference in their furry friends. It seems to come down to science versus pet owners and this is where the confusion lays. Who do you believe? You must consider that there are both advantages and disadvantages and you will just have to make up your own mind.
Raw Food Diet Dangers: Here are the claims: There is little scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of these diets. Scientific evidence of potential animal and public health risks in feeding raw meats outweighs any perceived benefits.
*Risks from bacterial pathogens (ie Salmonella, E.Coli) present in raw meats for both pets fed these diets, and for pet owners. *Pets fed raw meats can shed potential bacterial pathogens in their stool thereby acting as a source of potentially significant zoonotic infections. *Pets fed Raw are at risk of intestinal obstruction if the diet includes bones.
And here is the warning to Veterinarians: If veterinarians do recommend raw meat diets for pets under their care they should be aware of potential liability concerns should a pet or pet owner become ill due to feeding raw.
Raw Pet Food Advice It is important to note that while the available science is against it, many people still choose to feed their pets a raw food diet; it is a current hot trend. Some feel that the manufacturers themselves bias the “science” as they stand to lose considerable money from sales. This may be true, but then again it may not; at the very least there must be some truth present. Just because someone uses the science to market his or her own products, does not mean that the science is necessarily wrong or flawed. Because of this it is imperative that pet owners educate themselves and make their own informed decision on what is right for them and their pets.
Here is what a Canadian Veterinarian from BC has to say on the subject of raw pet food. In my unscientific observation of pets being fed Raw food, they are healthier than most of the pets on the commercial dry kibble.
*Cleaner teeth. *Shinier coats. *More energy. *Less frequent trips to the Veterinarian.
It is important that you decide for yourself if the 'risks' outweigh the benefits of a raw dog food diet.
I am firmly of the belief that our pets BENEFIT from being fed a variety of foods, including some Raw. I feed Raw once or twice a week to my dog. -Dr. Andrew Jones DVM, Nelson Animal Hospital
There are risks to feeding raw, but an educated pet owner can minimize them.
*First to yourself: wash everything very well and use some common sense. If you are cutting up raw meat, wash your hands before putting them in your mouth. *Wash your counters and utensils. *Grind up bones IF you are to feed them. This will provide the Calcium benefit, without risking obstruction. *Freeze the meat first, and have it defrost overnight in your fridge. Another option, which even I use, is pre-packaged frozen raw.
Veterinary advice from Dr. Andrew Jones can be obtained through a huge 477-page fully illustrated digital manual that helps pet owners diagnose and solve most common cat or dog problems at home with natural remedies. http://www.squidoo.com/veterinary-advice-online