The safety of raw food diets seems to be coming up a lot lately! We have complied a list of outside resources plus some FAQ that discuss safety of feeding a raw food diet.
1. Dr Marty Goldstein, DVM
(Podcast) Dr Marty Goldsetin, DVM has many high profile customers, such as Oprah Winfrey. He discusses the safety of raw diets (and the benefits) used in his practice. A MUST see! They even mention Sudbury in this podcast!
View the podcast at: www.dogsnaturallymagazine/drmarty
2. Dr Karen Becker, DVM Dr Karen Becker, DVM takes a natural approach to feeding pets and has many articles and videos on the subject. Here are two specific links to articles about safety and myths:
3. Compiled Raw Food Myths Including Safety Questions
This page covers ALL the controversial points with researched answers. Visit: www.rawfed.com/myths
Feeding Raw Resources
1. Carnivora – www.carnivora.ca Extensive resource on feeding, safety and FAQ
2. Give Your Dog A Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst, DVM (Book)
Written by one of the pioneers of commercial raw food diets for pets.
3. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Pitcairn and Pitcairn
A full resource for a healthy pet, the natural way. Why Many Vets Still Recommend Prescription Foods & Avoid Raw Diets
4. Dr Dobias, DVM Canadian holistic vet Dr Dobias discusses why some vets are afraid of raw and why they continue to recommend prescription vet foods.
Raw Food Questions and Answers
Q: Will I get sick from feeding my pet raw food?
A: We recommend washing hands, bowls and utensils after feeding ANY food, dry or raw. Treat raw food as you would any raw meat in your kitchen. There have been no known instances of people getting sick from raw pet food. There have been MANY cases of people getting sick from feeding DRY pet food and treats.
Q: Don’t all meats contain bacteria?
A: No, not all meats contain bacteria, but some do. Numerous raw pet food manufacturers have procedures in place to safely kill all bacteria . Ask us about which ones and the types of procedures they have in place if you have concerns.
Q: My vet is placing pressure on me to stop feeding raw. What can I do?
A: Your vet is entitled to their own opinion, however we suggest finding a “neutral” or raw friendly vet to work with. There are many out there!
Q: Will my pet get sick from eating raw food due to bacteria
A: Dogs and cats naturally have salmonella present in their digestive tract. Pets with normal immune systems have no issue with bacteria that MAY be found in some foods or in the environment.
Q: I have been told that dry food is “scientifically” formulated for my pet’s health. So why is raw healthier?
A: Most dry food is very processed and has added vitamins and minerals. Processing involves heating, which kills nutrients and enzymes needed for optimal health. To compare, it would be like humans eating dry breakfast cereal all the time. You would survive on it, but you would not thrive! In addition, raw food contains moisture, which is essential for health. Since the introduction of scientifically formulated pet food (kibble), the incidence of chronic illness in pets has drastically risen. Whole, real, minimally processed food is the healthiest!
Q: Are raw foods “incomplete” foods?
A: The terms complete and balanced are not regulated terms. Some sources use the term “incomplete” in reference to nutrients they feel are not present in the food. Some raw foods we consider to be “complete”, meaning nothing needs to be added to them. Other raw food companies make foods that require certain “add-ins” such as essential fatty acids or organ. Tail Blazers ALWAYS recommends that you use add-ins when required. Please ask us if your food requires add-ins. We also recommend rotating through the various protein sources, to get a varied mix of nutrients.
Note: Buying raw meat from the grocery store and feeding it “as is” to your pet is NOT pet food!
For a more complete discussion on this topic go to: www.rawfed.com/myths/balance.html
Q: Are raw bones dangerous?
A: No! Raw bones are EXCELLENT for cleaning teeth. They supply extra minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, they provide a great jaw workout and they help to release feel-good endorphins.
Q: Aren’t dry foods safer for me and my pet?
A: If you look up the list of pet food recalled due to bacteria as well as illness in humans from pet food…you will only find references to dry food. And the list is not short! So despite the fear-mongering from some veterinarians, dry food is not safer. We recommend to wash hands, surfaces, containers and utensils for all foods, dry or raw.
Q: What about scientific research on raw food?
A: Read here for an in depth discussion!
Q: Will my pet get parasites from raw meat?
A: It’s true there can be parasites in raw meat. Meat from the human food chain (all the foods Tail Blazers carries!) is less of an issue, but in the event there are parasites, many are killed by freezing. And in addition, pets can pick up parasites from many sources and a healthy pet will often get rid of the parasites before they get established. In addition, there are numerous safe and effective ways of getting rid of them if they did become established.
Read here for more information.