When you first decide to put your dog on a raw feeding diet, you may notice that your veterinarian is reluctant to support this decision. This is not unusual; since raw feeding is a relatively new concept within canine nutrition, many veterinarians are only just now getting on board. In fact, many (if not most) people who switch their dogs to a raw meat diet find that they also have to switch vets in order to find someone who is supportive. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of finding a veterinarian who is supportive of your decision to transition your dog to a raw diet, and who is informed on what this kind of diet entails.
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Benefits, Bugs, Balance, and Bones: The Four Major Criticisms
When you first tell your vet that you are switching your dog to a raw diet, they are likely to give you a criticism involving benefits, bugs, balances, and/or bones. Below, we go into detail about these four major arguments that you are likely to hear from your vet, and why they are refuted by the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS) — a coalition of raw-friendly vets and vets nurses on a mission to educate the world about raw feeding.
- Benefits: Many vets will say that there is a lack of documentary evidence of the health benefits of raw diets. In a recent post, we discussed why this is not true. As raw feeding vets, the members of the RFVS have a huge amount of anecdotal evidence supporting the fact that raw diets can drastically improve dogs’ energy, coats, digestion, and more. Multiple peer-reviewed studies and clinical trials, which we discuss in our prior post, support this contention.
- Bugs (Contamination): The anti-raw lobby likes to point out raw meats are laden with bacteria that could pose a risk for both pets and their owners. First of all, it is important to note that this lobby is largely supported by the mainstream commercial pet food industry, who will do practically anything in order to not lose profits to smaller, more holistic dog food companies, such as Raw K9. Secondly, the truth is that pets are a potential source of zoonotic infection, no matter what they are fed; however, epidemiological studies suggest that the occurrence of this is low, members of the RFVS can attest to the fact that diseases resulting from raw diets are very rare — roughly the equivalent (or lower than) the rate of zoonotic diseases in kibble-fed dogs. To learn more about why the Bugs argument is simply not true, check out our recent post, 10 Raw Feeding Myths Debunked.
Balance: Many vets will also claim that raw diets can cause nutritional deficiencies and excesses. In fact, raw dog foods rarely require the synthetic supplementation that can often be found in kibble in order to support a well-rounded diet. As long as your dog is fed bones and organs in addition to muscle meat, they will obtain all of the nutrients that they need to thrive. At Raw K9, t Raw K9, all of our complete beef meals and other raw mixes contain organs, bones, or an all-natural bone replacement blend to ensure a complete, optimally balanced meal.
- Bones: The last major criticism that many mainstream vets have of raw diets is that raw meaty bones can be dangerous to ingest for dogs and cats. This is true if the bones are inappropriately chosen. According to the RFVS, the benefits of feeding appropriately-sized raw meaty bones outweigh the risks. In fact, dogs have evolved to not only chew and ingest bones, but also to find great psychological contentment in doing so, not to mention receive a high intake of essential nutrients that they would otherwise not have access to.
How to Determine if a Vet is Raw-Friendly
The first thing you will want to ask yourself in order to determine whether or not your vet may be receptive to the idea of a raw diet is how open-minded their attitude is in general. Do they support holistic health care and homeopathic supplements, like milk thistle or CBD? Even if you’re unsure if you support these things, the fact that they are open to even discussing them suggests that they’re willing to respect methods of alternative care.
Secondly, you will want to ask where or not your vet seems married to a particular pet food brand, such as Science Diet. As a dog owner, your vet should empower you to do research and find the food brand that works for your family, rather than be pushed into making a particular choice.
The third, and most important thing, you can do is to ask them outright! If their response is immediately negative, then you will want to look elsewhere for your dog’s care. If they’re open to the idea or, ideally, supportive, then it’s possible that you may not have to switch veterinarians at all.
Where to Find Raw-Friendly Vets
Fortunately, there are several resources on the Internet that can help make the process of finding a raw-friendly vet easier. Here are just a few:
- AHVMA (American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association) VetFinder - holistic veterinarians listings
- Shirley’s Wellness Cafe - holistic veterinarians listings (available for local and phone consultations)
- VetLocator - alternative and holistic search
- VBMA (Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association) Members List - complementary and alternative vets
- Holistic Directory - holistic veterinary clinics
- Pets 4 Life Veterinarian Directory - list of raw-friendly vets in Canada
- College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) Practitioners - holistic vets in Canada
Browse Our Pawsome Raw Dog Food at Raw K9
Whether you’re new to raw feeding or a connoisseur, you’re sure to find something that your dog will love among the flavorful fare offered here at Raw K9. Browse our delicious and nutritious meals, treats, bundles, and more today!