Dispelling the Myths of Raw Feeding

For the last 100 hundred years commercial pet food has steadily taken over natural raw feeding of our pets, in particular dogs and cats. The question remains in my mind: WHY? Well, for many reasons and not the least being convenience. We are basically trading our pets longevity and health for convenience. I can hear the naysayers now so I am going to help dispel some of the myths being propagated about raw feeding and why this is the best way to feed your dogs and cats.

Myth #1: The bacteria in the meat can make my dog or cat really sick.

Yes, it could if your dog or cat is already sick and has a suppressed immune system as a result. However, our dogs and cats are bacteria machines. Their bodies are designed to deal with bacteria. Since they have a short digestive tract (unlike ours which is long since we’re omnivores) they can push the food through their digestive tracts quickly which doesn’t give bacteria time to colonize in the intestines. Their guts are also very acidic which keeps the bacteria from colonizing.

Myth #2: A meat diet isn’t balanced

An all-meat diet isn’t balanced. Your also needs bone in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio in fact and organ meat. To feed raw, you want to model a “whole prey” type of feeding in order for your pets to have all the proper nutrients for their bodies. A dog doesn’t need vegetables which they can’t even really assimilate (digest and utilize) within their bodies. Dogs and cats get all their nutrients from the “whole prey” they eat -meat, bone, organs. You can feed the raw veggies to rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, etc.

When you raw feed your dog and cat, all the EXACT proportions of the vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, enzymes and probiotics are supplied for them within the “whole prey” model of raw feeding.

The reason your commercial packaged pet foods need to ADD nutrients -which are sprayed on synthetic nutrients by the way – is because all the processing to make kibble effectively eliminates ANY nutritional value. This “balanced diet” phrase is nothing more than a selling ploy by the pet food industry so you’ll buy their “junk food” for your pets.

Myth #3: They’ll get parasites from raw food

Yes, they could, especially if you’re feeding poor quality meat. If you feed human grade meat there is still the chance of parasites however there are very effective and easy ways to overcome this little challenge.

If you freeze the meat BEFORE you feed it to your pets, that can kill most if not all of the parasites. You especially want to freeze salmon, which has a parasite that can kill dogs. If you freeze salmon for at least 24 hours prior to thawing out and feeding to your dog, you’ll kill the parasite in salmon.

Parasites can really be eliminated or dealt with relatively easy if you know what to do AND if your dog or cat is healthy. Until your dog or cat is healthy if they are not, a cooked diet (DO NOT feed cooked bones!) is still infinitely better than a kibble, commercial pet food diet.

Also the “parasite” issue is another scare tactic used by those opposed to keep you from venturing into raw feeding. The incidence of parasite problems are very low in raw-fed animals and higher in kibble-fed dogs and cats. Commercial diets actually really affect your pet’s immune system and parasites, pest, bacteria, etc., love a compromised immune system but avoid a healthy immune system.

You can routinely keep your dogs and cats parasite-free by using a little FOOD-grade diatomaceous earth in their food. It’s natural, safe, and parasites flee or die!

Myth #4: My veterinarian recommends feeding X brand of kibble

We need veterinarians for all the many services they perform. In fact, I just finished co-authoring a book on natural dog health with a wonderful holistic veterinarian (holistic vets are trained in traditional medicine first, then continue their education into holistic care so they are even better trained than traditional vets). However, she deferred to me in the nutritional and feeding part of the book and is referring clients to me for nutritonal counseling. Why would she do that? Because veterinarians get very little nutritional training. They are taught disease management and care. Another interesting thing is that the training they do receive is often taught to them by the PET FOOD industry! That form of incorrect training has also led them to believe the myth (see myth #5) that dogs and cats are omnivores.

Veterinarians are therefore very linked to the pet food industry since they receive kickbacks and revenue from marketing these commercial foods for the pet food manufacturers. Even more sinister is the fact that these pet food companies promote their products to upcoming veterinarian graduates at the universities and GIVE them free pet food to sell! Here’s an example: Colgate-Palmolive, the company that manufactures Hill’s Science Diet, spends “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%” (1)

Myth #5: Dogs and cat have evolved into omnivores

You know that buzzer sound: -aaaaahhhnnnt, NOT! All we have to do is look at the teeth of our dogs and cats to know they are not nor have they evolved to be omnivores. Their teeth: “…are designed for grabbing, ripping, tearing, shredding, and shearing mea

Feeding kibble is causing so many diseases and problems in our pets, increasing our veterinarian bills, helping fund the pharmaceutical industry, that it’s no wonder we’ve all been misled to feed this junk food to our pets -lots of folks are making lots of money.

This is why raw feeding has so many myths surrounding it and so much controversy. Do your own research and I’m sure you’ll find out the truth because the truth always has a way of coming out!

Note: Before switching your pet to a raw meat and bone diet, especially if your pet is not in good health or is a senior animal, please seek the advice of a veterinary naturopath, holistic veterinarian or a qualified natural pet health care consultant.

 

References:

1. Parker-Pope, T. 1997. For You, My Pet. The Wall Street Journal. 3 November 1997. In Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. p266

2. Feldhamer, G.A. 1999. Mammology: Adaptation, Diversity, and Ecology. McGraw-Hill. p258

Share/Save/BookmarkPrinter-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

About the author

author-picture

Dr. Kim Bloomer is a veterinary naturopath, and the creator and host of Animal Talk Naturally radio show. She hosts the show weekly with her like-minded colleague, Dr. Jeannie Thomason.

Dr. Kim is the co-author of the book Whole Health for Happy Dogs and author of the book Animals Taught Me That. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications including Animal Wellness Magazine, Natural Horse Magazine, and Dogs Naturally Magazine. She is an adjunct professor with Kingdom College of Natural Health.

Dr. Kim is trained and knowledgeable in the preventive, holistic health care of dogs and cats through proper species appropriate nutrition and other natural modalities. She is available for consultations on natural nutrition and holistic health care for dogs & cats via phone or email.

Dr. Kim and her husband are owned by a rescued Neapolitan Mastiff named Shadrach.

Visit her website at: Aspenbloom Pet Care

Visit Shadrach’s blog at: A Dogs View


Comments

Anonymous's picture
1

vikingstork

The warning "DO NOT feed cooked bones!" is cute, but doesn't explain
WHY NOT

Anonymous's picture
2

Meescha

I have 2 Maltese & a Pekingese, My dogs are fed mainly cooked meat, i.e. chicken, lamb, beef, occassionally tripe or lambs fry which they love,sometimes my left over veges mixed in.
Very seldom given dry food.
vikingstork..........cooked bones are very brittle & and can cause serious damage to internal organs, have heard of several dogs dying a very painful death.

Anonymous's picture
3

Jean

Thank you so much for this article! So many people do not understand the prey model raw diet and have a lot of misconceptions. Your article has done a wonderful job of dispelling those myths. I switched my 6 year old golden over to raw this past April and couldn't be happier.

If you love your pet, I hope you consider this food model. In the long run, it is cheaper, easier and the best choice of feeding.

Anonymous's picture
4

Lila

Feeding cooked bones is dangerous. Raw bones will break in to cube like pieces when crushed with teeth and can be chewed and swallowed safely. Cooked bones will splinter into sharp pieces which can pierce the throat or stomach. The only way cooked bones can be given to animals is if they are REALLY cooked, down to a point of being soft. But then that defeats the purpose, since the nutritional value is now destroyed.

Great article and very important. I just wish I could get my kitties to eat raw. They barely like the high quality canned food I give them. At least there are no grains in it.

Anonymous's picture
5

vikingstork

Strange, that contradicts my 50+years cooking experience (and my wife's 40+years). Cooked bones, especially boiled or brazed, soften up, and can be actually bent, and i could eat rib bones if i liked them. They turn semi-soft and chewy. And i am not even a dog - even tho my wife thinks i am....kinda.
Maybe high temperature cooking makes them brittle, but that makes the whole claim into a sweeping generalization, based on specific ways of cooking, and certain types of bones only.
I posted this because i thought there would be some nutritional reason for it. Thanks anyway

Anonymous's picture
6

Lee C

Right on about a natural raw whole prey diet for dogs.

I might add that there is substantial natural sciences evidence to back up this assertion. If you doubt such, see the book "Ol' Shep's Well-being: A Natural Perspective" on achinook.com (a strictly noncommercial site).

The author Euan Fingal has offered up a free (no strings attached) ebook (pdf) to try to help us understand how we might improve our well-being and that of our domestic animals in general, but especially that of our canine companions. The book brings together ample unbiased natural sciences evidence, and the experiences of many naturally oriented caregivers, to clear an illuminating swath through the propaganda surrounding well-being, and the misguided understandings it fosters.

My best to you and yours,
Lee C

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <p> <strong> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2> <h3> <u> <em>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.