Recently, the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) has come out and stated its position against feeding your pets a raw food diet. They aren’t really telling owners what they can and cannot feed their pets but they are making their opinions known in this document. Currently I am not feeding raw, but the thought did cross my mind at a point when my dog wouldn’t eat anything.
We tried probably close to 12 dry foods, 3 different home cooked meals, and countless wet foods from the pet store. We even tried baking pre-made meat and veggie doggy muffins. The same thing would happen, he’d eat them for a few days then starve himself for 5+ days until I just gave in and tried something else. Something had to be done though, his spine was showing and he was the skinniest little Dachshund in the neighborhood! We finally landed on Royal Canin’s Dachshund formula and although he doesn’t do back flips for it, he eats it. Probably if we go through another starvation phase I will switch to raw as I believe (for the most part) that the pros of feeding raw outweigh the cons.
- Closest to natural diet of undomesticated dogs
- Easier digestion without all the fillers and complex molecules
- Healthier skin and coat
- Increased energy
- Fresh breath (Doxie moms will agree with this one!)
- Cleaner teeth (Again Doxie moms will appreciate this)
- Low in fats and carbohydrates
- No chemicals, by-products, fillers and additives
- Known to prevent cancer, diabetes, and allergies
- More variety (imagine eating spaghetti for every meal every day for 14 years…yuck)
- Takes up a lot of freezer space
- More prep time involved
- Vitamins and minerals need to be added to ensure adequate nutrition
- Some dogs are not able to digest pathogens like Salmonella
- Possible choking hazard (raw bones)
- Diarrhea (this can be expected from any diet change though)
- Must watch dog while they are consuming
- More costly
- Some dogs cannot digest as much protein as others and therefore raw may not be for them
- You vet may not agree with diet
- Dog will get used to eating your kind of food and possibly beg more
- Traveling with a raw diet may be difficult as things need to be kept refridgerated
At what point are you willing to ignore the cons and advice from professionals like AVMA and your vet when deciding what to feed your dog? Some people are concerned that the only reason AVMA and some vets are against raw food is because they receive kick backs from selling or promoting certain brands of food? I think what it comes down to is you know your pet best, and they will tell you what they like and don’t like. Dr. Peter Dobias (DVM) has posted his opinion on his website regarding feeding raw food.
For those not willing to make their own raw dog food at home, there are a lot of great companies doing it for you! Here is a list of just a few:
So until the day Spot goes on a hunger strike we’re happy with our kibble, but the option isn’t a write-off for us!