Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

My Boston vet's office posted this article today on Facebook and I thought I'd share it with everyone here. Understand that I don't feed my two dogs a raw diet any longer, but my decision had nothing to do with the supposed dangers of uncooked meat. I'll be curious to read your reactions.

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Well, there are a lot of different issues here. There's the issue of these kinds of studies being funded by pet food manufacturers, as well as the issue of vets being compensated by the big pet food companies for recommending their products. Obviously, these companies do not want you feeding your dog a homemade diet of any kind, nor do they want you feeding the kinds of products they don't sell, lol.

Then we have the nutritional issues mentioned in the article, including whether or not grains are beneficial in a dog's diet. Some of the information presented in the article about the nutritional benefits of grains is very misleading. But that really has nothing to do with whether or not raw diets are harmful, because you can feed dry, wet or cooked food that is grain free; a "grain free diet" is NOT synonymous with a raw diet. So that just muddies the waters, to me.

I personally do not think that food being raw makes it any healthier than food that is cooked. In fact, (and nutritional science bears this out), cooking food makes certain nutrients more available to the body. There is absolutely nothing in raw food that is not in cooked food. True, there is a small loss of some nutrients, but that's obviously not a problem, or all of us would have nutritional deficiencies, lol. 

To me, the issue is more about fresh food versus processed food, and wet food versus dry food. Ideally, our dogs would be eating fresh, cooked diets. But obviously, that's not feasible for the vast majority of dog owners, for several reasons. One, cost. Two, time/labor. Three, nutritional adequacy. You can get recipes for homemade cooked diets that have been approved as nutritionally complete and adequate by veterinary nutritionists. But then you have to pay for the ingredients, cook them, and store them. An 80 lb healthy adult dog needs approximately 8 cups of that type of diet per day, and 40-50% of the ingredients need to consist of animal proteins, i.e. poultry, meat, or fish. That's a lot of cooking and a lot of money. 

(There are also a few companies that sell this type of diet, but then you are talking about even higher costs that are beyond the reach of 98% of dog owners, unless you have a Chihuahua, lol.)

So some people who do not want to feed dry processed food exclusively have turned to raw diets, because they are not time/labor intensive. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to hand your dog a frozen hunk of meat & bone. 

I think the freeze-dried or frozen commercial raw products like Honest Kitchen or Stella & Chewy's are a better, safer option. They are nutritionally complete and have less chance of being contaminated with bacteria, parasites, etc. But feeding these exclusively to all but the smallest dogs is still very, very expensive. 

I think that for the majority of us, the best option would be to feed a variety of foods, some home-cooked food, or commercial raw foods like Stella & Chewy's, along with a high quality kibble. That's a good way to avoid feeding an exclusively dry, processed diet while also keeping the cost manageable. 

This is a really nice podcast with a vet explaining why she switched to raw. She also does a good job of explaining why she doesn't always recommend raw to everyone. (Her dogs back story is explained in earlier episodes if you want to listen!).

I just wish it wasn't an hour long, lol. I would go out of my mind staring at my computer screen for an hour just listening to something.

You need a smart phone already.  Or a tablet or something portable.  The whole point of podcasts is so that you can listen WHILE doing other things ;-)  They are my go-to's for when I'm driving, washing dishes, cooking, etc.  

Ah, I see! Well, that makes sense. I DO have an iPad, though. I never use it. 

On your iPad you would use the Podcasts app :)

Just look for Cog-Dog Radio for Sarah Stremmings podcasts. 

I smell the influence of the multi-billion dollar pet food industry.



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