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Why Are Vets Against Raw Diets? | 4 Key Reasons

It’s not uncommon to find that vets actually oppose a raw dog food diet, for various reasons. So, why are vets against raw diets? Thankfully, not all of them are, but we explain a few common reasons for vets’ aversion to raw feeding in this article.

Author: ProDog Raw

Why Are Vets Against Raw Diets? | 4 Key Reasons

Why are vets against raw diets? 4 key reasons

1) Lack of nutritional training

Many vets aren’t extensively trained on the topic of nutrition in vet school [1].

This lack of knowledge regarding healthy feeding practices means many vets tend to err on the side of caution when clients seek advice on feeding their pets a raw diet.

Thankfully, some vets go out of their way to receive additional education on nutrition from other, specialised institutions, which is why we’re now seeing an increasing number of raw feeding vets in the UK.

2) Health concerns

Veterinarians are scientists. For this reason, they have a wealth of knowledge about bacterial risks.

One common myth about raw feeding that is often cited by vets that are against raw diets, is that it’s unsafe due to bacterial concerns.

However, much of the prevalence of bacteria in raw meat stems from lack of testing for these organisms.

Reputable raw feeding companies follow stringent safety protocols.

These include proper freezing practices and safety testing, both measures have virtually eliminated the risk of harmful bacteria in raw dog food [2], especially when dog owners adhere to standard storage/handling guidelines.

Is raw safe?

Learn more about the safety standards ProDog adhere to and why our raw food is as safe as any other dog food.
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3) Nutritional imbalances

There are also worries among the veterinary community regarding the potential for nutritional imbalances with raw feeding, which is a valid point.

However, this is predominantly in regard to homemade raw food diets created by inexperienced raw feeders.

Problems only really occur if a dog is fed a single protein routinely for an extended period without the other vital balancing components. Find out about the importance of variety in more detail here.

When purchasing raw dog food from a reputable supplier who works in collaboration with vets and canine nutritionists to ensure balanced nutrition in their products and provided a variety is fed, nutritional imbalance is a concern that is not necessary.

Provided a variety of well formulated food is fed dogs will thrive.

Everything your dog needs

Our complete formula raw dog food meets FEDIAF nutritional guidelines using all-natural ingredients.
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4) Lack of evidence to support benefits

Vets have been taught that the commercial food diet, with its added vitamins and minerals, is what’s best for your dog.

They’re not at fault for this; their education has simply led them to doubt the efficacy of raw feeding due to a perceived lack of evidence to support the benefits of raw dog food.

There is, however, much more evidence becoming available to support the health benefits of raw feeding which more and more vets are gradually becoming aware of.

Thankfully many more vets are now becoming advocates for raw feeding thanks to organisations such as RFVS (Raw Feeding Veterinary Society), who work to raise awareness about the immense benefits of a natural species-appropriate diet raw.

Issues that vets wrongly attribute to a raw diet

Some of you will be familiar with the diagnosis that you receive from your vet. It could be that you have a very healthy dog that suddenly develops a case of diarrhoea.

Often, if you take the dog to the vet and a raw diet is mentioned, they suggest salmonella tests and suggest it is the raw diet that is to blame.

Of course, this is not the response of every vet but it is not an uncommon one.

Never mind that dogs can pick up all sorts of bacterial infections or parasites on their daily walks or even from eating something out of the garden.

Trusting our vet’s experience and judgement, we then panic and change the dog back to something that is worse for their health? Like kibble.

Comparing diets

In our article covering raw vs kibble we look at why a raw dog food diet is a healthier choice for your best friend.
picture of a dog ditching the dry food, 2 bowls in front one with raw one with kibble, dog is eating the raw, one of the biggest raw dog food myths is that it's not as safe as kibble and is often recalled. This is false, raw is as safe as any other food and dogs prefer it.
Learn more

Do vets recommend a raw diet?

Thankfully, the tide appears to be turning on this topic, slowly but surely. There are now thousands of vets that do support raw feeding all around the world and those numbers are increasing daily.

Our consultant vet, Dr. Nick Thompson (The Holistic Vet) is an example of this exciting change. He advocates raw feeding for dogs and has been practising as a raw feeding vet for over two decades, with thousands of happy dogs (and owners) to show for it.

Learn all about why Dr. Thompson recommends raw feeding in the video below.

YouTube video

Not all vets are against raw diets, and those that are may simply not be fully informed.

Through years of vet school their primary education is on the topics of pharmacology, injuries, and illnesses; with additional, separate education being required for those that have an interest in nutrition.

However, it is more than possible to find vets that recommend raw feeding, and their population is steadily growing. Our raw food for dogs is approved by both vets and nutritionists, who work tirelessly to ensure the health and wellbeing of dogs.

Raw Feeding Veterinary Society – RFVS

Many studies have been investigated by the RFVS in relation to the benefits of a species appropriate diet and they strongly advocate this method of feeding. Not least of all because dogs are carnivores and a raw diet is what they would eat in the wild.

Wild dogs don’t succumb to cancers and other such diseases like diabetes anywhere near as much as their domesticated relatives.

It is a strong belief amongst these professionals that the intensively processed, low quality man-made food many dog consume that is responsible for much of this.

In their mission statement on the website, the RFVS quote this:

“Benefit, bugs, balance and bones: these are the four major criticisms of feeding a raw meaty bones diet (RMBD) to cats and dogs as stated by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association in 2011, claiming harm to pets and pet owners.”

They then go on to state:

“We, the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS), strongly contest these criticisms, namely that there is a lack of evidence for the proposed benefit of raw food, that there is a threat of food-borne infection, that it does not offer dogs and cats a complete and balanced diet and that there is a risk associated with feeding raw, bony material to pets.

We shall fully counter each of these four criticisms with current and referenced argument. Lastly, we will define a ‘gold standard’ for the whole pet food industry.”

In addition to their very detailed mission statement, there is a wealth of evidence and many articles based on extensive research that dispel the myths and offer solid, scientific arguments for why raw feeding is the best option for your dog.

Ready to switch to raw?

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References:

1. Alvarez, A, DVM, DVABP., Schultz, K, MS, DVM., Floerchinger, A, DVM, MBA., Hull, J, MS, DVM. Mar 2023. Formal instruction and continuing education engagement as factors improving small animal general practitioners discussing nutrition with clients. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association,; 261. Doi: 10.2460/javma.22.12.0577

2. Medic, H., Kusec, I., Pleadin, J., Kozacinski, L., Njari, B., Hengl, B., Kusec, G. Jun 2018. The impact of frozen storage duration on physical, chemical, and microbiological properties of pork. Journal of Meat Science,; 140:119-127. Doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2018.03.006

5 comments

Mary Draper

Just had our almost 2 year female boxer spayed yesterday and the vet has said that we need to make a drastic change as she is very fatty inside and needs to go on a super diet from Royal Cain or Hills on prescription maybe. We have been feeding her raw from when we got (her mother was raw fed as well) and so she has never had any other food. We are shocked by this and before we decide we wanted some advice. Is there a specific raw food that would be best for her to get rid of internal fat? She does seem to have a skin allergy as well and her ears get quiet itchy. We are wondering if we are feeding her too much or if the its the treats (usually bits of sausage) on her walks should be cut down (has 2 500kg) tubs most days and the sausage cut out? She weighs 26 kg. We want to do the right thing for her and hope there is a way to keep her on the raw as she looks so healthy and a lovely coat. We also feel that the vet is anti raw and so we are trying to get as much info before she goes back next week for her check up. The bottom line is that which ever way we choose we want it to be the best for Maya. Would really appreciate any advice.

ProDog

Hi there

For her weight she should be eating 500g per day, not two lots of 500g. So cut down to one tub per day and cut out the sausages too. Also, use our lower fat proteins – rabbit for example. Weigh in a couple of weeks to check that her weight is going down. Any problems, please do get back in touch as we are here to help. It’s best to keep her on raw as this is the best thing for her. If you swap to rabbit for the next few weeks, you should notice the itching subsiding – then you can start to introduce other proteins. Make sure any treats you feed are also rabbit such as our rabbit ears.

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards
Team ProDog

Giordana Di Lillo

Does anyone know of pro raw feeding vets in london?

ProDog

Hi there – this is the website you need to find raw feeding vets in your area – https://rfvs.info

Kind Regards
Team ProDog

Vets sells Dry food and make a good profit, obviously they will recomend it. Dry dogfood helps to pay the Vet’s bills. Our dogs only see the vet for injections. Raw food is natural to a K9.
Their digestive system is engeneered for Rawfood. No itchings skins, digestive problems. If you feed correct amount you dog will not be obesive. AMEN!

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