We always want to do what is best for our pets. This topic is littered with controversy online and various people with limited to no nutritional and/or veterinary expertise are slandering the commercial food market and promoting the benefits of raw feeding.
The idea that our pets should be eating raw originates from the fact its the oldest form of dog food, it’s what the wild dogs and wolves would eat. The problem with this is your cute, fluffy fur-baby has been far removed from this form of existence and due to designer breeding and genealogy is now not so closely related to their ancient ancestors.
So, why as your dogs advocate don’t we recommend raw feeding?
- Nutritional imbalance. It’s incredibly difficult to formulate a complete and balanced meal plan using this method of feeding. Commercial pet food brands that are recommended by veterinarians are only done so after stringent research & scientific testing to ensure the safety and nutritional benefits. The pre-made raw food bought from your supermarket or what you prepare at home can have variable absorption rates and lack nutrients for all your dog’s specific needs. As a result, we are seeing more diseases that we haven’t seen for decades such as rickets. One recent case was a litter of kitten who presented at Supervets with numerous fractured bones from lack of calcium due to being on an all raw diet.
- It exposing your pet to an increased bacterial load. Just as much as you wouldn’t munch into a raw chicken breast fillet due to the potential risk of being very well acquainted with your lavatory. Can tolerate slightly higher bacterial load than humans their gastrointestinal tract gut flora can certainly still get upset by the amount of bacteria that can be in raw meat.
- Transmission of food-borne illnesses. We are also seeing a spike in the dogs admitted to our hospitals with gastrointestinal symptoms be it diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal upset. This has been from salmonella, e-coli and even parasitic agents. This pathogen can be harmful to your dog but also to you and your family. Owners who feed their pet a raw diet may have a higher risk of getting infected with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
- To supplement your pet’s diet and to increase calcium you may think to add in some bones. This may combat some of the deficiencies however comes with its own safety warning. Bones can cause perforation and / or obstruction within your dog’s digestive tract which can only be rectified by surgical intervention. There is not a week that goes by at Supervets that we don’t see a complication with feeding bones, these include fractured teeth, pancreatitis, constipation, obstruction.
The bottom line is, all raw diets are not worth putting your pet’s health at risk for.
To discuss your pet’s diet with one of our veterinarians you can book a consultation where evidence-based nutritional information will be provided on keeping your dog healthy!