Thursday, August 14, 2014
Inadequate Arguments Against Raw Feeding
I have heard all sorts of reasons why I should not feed my dogs a raw diet. Some are ridiculous, some border on paranoia, and some are truly valid concerns. Following are some common arguments people come up with against raw feeding, and my thoughts and responses to them.
What about Salmonella?
Salmonella is not necessarily present in raw meat, just as it is not necessarily present in kibble. However, I hear of far more kibble recalls for salmonella than I do for raw meat.
Healthy dogs have short, fast, acidic digestive tracts, designed to move food through quickly, reducing the risk of bacteria illness.
I do not fear contracting salmonella (or any other food-borne illness) from handling my dogs' raw meat. I practice good hygiene, washing all surfaces that come in contact with raw dog food or raw people food, the same as people should do when preparing their own food.
It's a Fad.
For some reason, many people think that giving a dog fresh (raw, cooked, homemade food, etc.) is a relatively new thing, a popular fad if you will.
What many people do not realize is that kibble has only been around for about 60 years. Canned dog food is only a little older than that. What did people feed their dogs prior to the invention of kibble? They fed them table scraps, raw meat, and other fresh foodstuffs.
I love this video of Jack Lalanne describing what he feeds his dog. It's a raw diet.
You Don't Have a Degree in Canine Nutrition.
This one kind of makes me giggle. You wouldn't eat nothing but donuts everyday, would you? Give your dog variety. Different proteins, different cuts. See HERE for more information on balancing a PMR diet. Give the dog some bone, some meat, some organs (and some fruits, veggies, grains if that is how you do it.) It is really not difficult. Besides, it's unlikely your parents had a degree in human nutrition, and you turned out alright.
It Will Make Dogs "Bloodthirsty."
Plenty of dogs have a high prey drive, including mine. Feeding raw hasn't made it worse. Plenty of livestock guardian dogs are fed a raw diet of sorts, and still able to guard the animals that they have been entrusted to do so.
It will not make your dogs "turn on you." I regularly offer my dogs my hands to lick if they are nearby when I am prepping or portioning out their raw food. They gently lick my fingers, and know that my fingers are not food.
Wolves Only Live to be 6 or 7 Years Old
Sadly, this is true. However, it is not the diet of wild wolves that causes them to have a shortened lifespan. Wild wolves die of starvation, attack by other wolves, injuries and disease (source.)
Captive wolves regularly live to 12-14 years old or older. Wolf Park in Battleground, Indiana, is a captive wolf educational facility. They have several wolves who have lived to be 14+ years old, including Kiri, who was 19 years old (!) when they made the decision for him.
Many other arguments against raw feeding exist, and I have heard some of them. Fortunately, I have yet to have a vet question it. Instead, it is always other dog owners. Many dog owners, while not raw feeders themselves, are supportive of those who do feed raw.
I do not attempt to pressure or push people to feed raw or fresh foods. I just make information available. If one researches what is best for their animals, and are doing what they feel is best, than I support them. However, I will encourage including some fresh (raw or real cooked foods) in any dog's diet.
5 Raw Feeding Myths by Kimberly at Keep the Tail Wagging
Raw Feeding Resources
How I Feed Raw