Feeding Raw Diets

From the great Animal Wellness Magazine’s Ask the Vet , here is a question I recently answered.

 

Q. I would like to know more from a professional point of view regarding feeding a raw diet to our beloved pets. I am sort of pro to it, but really would like to know what the expert has to say. A. I graduated from veterinary school in 1980, believing that commercial diets were the best because that was what my one class in veterinary school taught me. Two years later I began to learn about homeopathy, and over the next several years I began thinking about all the factors that help animals stay (or become) healthy. When I began asking people – “What is the best for people to eat – fresh or processed?” – almost all thought fresh, from local sources, was really the best. Most immediately have an “a-ha” moment when they realize that fresh food with lots of variety would be best for their dogs and cats as well. Then I looked at the anatomy and physiology of dogs, cats and people, and realized how different they were. Dogs and cats have mouths designed for ripping and tearing meat apart and crunching bones, not for lots of chewing to get digestive enzymes started. Their stomachs hold the chunks of meat and pureed vegetables in an acid bath for many hours, then their very short intestines finish with some absorption. By 1990 I was strongly suggesting feeding a raw meat (large chunks – with or without bones) and pureed vegetable diet. There was at least slight health improvements in 80% of the animals once they adjusted to the diet. Yes, my professional opinion is that while some animals need variations of the raw meat diet – that is the place to begin.

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