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Author Topic: The Truth About Raw Foods For Our Dogs and Cats  (Read 12881 times)
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« on: April 05, 2007, 06:33:13 AM »

http://web.archive.org/web/20030502044857/http://members.shaw.ca/petlife/rawpaper.htm

The Truth About Raw Foods For Our Dogs and Cats
John Peloza, Pet Life Inc.

This paper was inspired by the vast amount of misinformation that is given to professionals responsible for animal care, by professionals in the pet food industry, friends and family, and the guy down at the off leash park.  It was also inspired by a deep love of animals.

The information in this paper provides what detractors of a raw diet have been demanding proof.  In this article you will find independent studies, and studies done by pet food manufacturers themselves, demonstrating that diets including raw ingredients are superior.  You will also find direct quotes from the veterinary bodies in both Canada and the U.S., and the organizations that are tasking with policing the pet food industry.  The body of proof in this article demonstrates two things.  First, it shows that the food many people take for granted as complete and balanced is, in fact, potentially dangerous to your pets health.  Second, it shows conclusively that a raw diet is a healthy option for your dog or cat.

Be Careful Who You Ask For Nutritional Advice

The sales and marketing efforts of various pet food companies are sophisticated.  So sophisticated, in fact, that they have manipulated our most trusted partners in pet care our veterinarians.

When looking for answers regarding pets health, most people turn to their veterinarian for advice.  While vets are a critical partner in the overall well-being of our pets, they are just that  a partner.  Why does this matter?  Many vets make recommendations on nutritional matters for our pets with little grounding or education in the subject.  And what education does exist is biased as it is largely funded and conducted by pet food manufacturers.

Hill's, for example, funds professorships and scholarships at each of the 27 veterinary schools in the U.S.  It writes textbooks and provides them free to students, and helps fund students� educations by providing what is essentially free pet food while they are in school.  Hill's sends practicing vets on seminars on wringing more profit from clinics and offer its own nutrition certification program.[1]

But what's worse is that much of the teaching itself is done by representatives of manufacturers.  Dr. Corinne Chapman, a graduate of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon explains. My clearest recollection of Small Animal Nutrition was evening seminars put on by Iams, Hills & Science Diet, Medi-Cal, Waltham, and Purina.  They fed us pop and pizza, then bored us to death with chemical analysis� Sadly, a lack of knowledge concerning nutrition has become the basis for recommending processed pet food. I have yet to go to a veterinary seminar on nutrition that wasn't hosted by a multimillion dollar pet food company.�  Dr. Ian Buffett, another veterinarian, spoke about the problem on the November 7, 2001 episode of Marketplace on CBC:  "The clinical nutrition that we got was provided by actually a representative of one of the pet food companies, so there certainly was a bias there, and I don't remember any mention of homemade diets."  According to the host of that same CBC show, the veterinary colleges they contacted said that there's often no one qualified on staff, so they ask nutritionists from the pet food companies to teach. Since the companies aren't interested in raw diets, the students don't learn about them.

Decisions we make on behalf of our pets should be made carefully, by weighing facts from a variety of sources.  One of those sources should definitely be your veterinarian.  There is a lot of misinformation about feeding raw foods to our pets, both promoting and attacking the practice.  As guardians to our pets, it's up to us to make informed decisions and to make those decisions for ourselves.
An Inherent Conflict Of Interest

If you go to a doctor for yourself, and he tells you that you should be eating only one type of food, and that you can pick up a bag in the waiting room, how would you feel?  The majority of vets have their clients best interests at heart.  But they are put in a dangerous situation (by the sales and marketing pitches from pet food companies) by receiving money for medical advice, and receiving money from the sales of recommended/prescribed products.

The power and influence of our veterinarians has been exploited by pet food manufacturers.  John Steel, retired VP of Global Marketing and Sales explains:  It's just like taking drugs: You go to the doctor and he prescribes something for you and you don't much question what the doctor says. It's the same with animals."[2]

It's this conflict of interest that can lead to disaster.  The Wall Street Journal reported that the marketing and sales activities of Hill's Pet Foods include a bounty on the pets in a given veterinary clinic.  For each pet that was put on a special diet, the clinic received a kickback.  The clinic would have a quota of pets to get on the diet each day, and then use that money for it's own purpose (a party, etc.).[3]  The recommendation of the food may or may not have been the best thing for the pet.  This shocking report even featured direct quotes from sales reps and vets who obviously saw no problem with this practice.  If this were ever to come to light in the human health industry, the company and doctor would both be disgraced and the doctor would surely lose his license and be banished from the community.  So why are our pets deserving of any less?

The above is not to suggest that every vet has a quota based on a bounty he/she will receive from a pet food company.  But obviously some do.  It's a situation that is unregulated, and consumers should not be subjected to a system that is subject to such alarming abuse.

It doesn't make it any easier on vets when they have pet food manufacturers coaching them on how to sell their product.  Medi-Cal, for example, tells vets to focus on veterinary-exclusive products because they encourage people to visit the clinic more often resulting in increased revenue and compliance.  They also coach vets to limit customer choice, and to lower the markup of puppy/kitten food so customers will be more likely to start their pets on the Medi-Cal brand.[4]

Pet Foods Are Manufactured Using Guesswork

The people responsible for producing food for your pet, and even worse, the people responsible for policing the manufacturers, really have no idea what the optimal diet is for your dog or cat.  In the U.S., where the majority of the manufacturing for North America is done, the FDA governs the industry.  It operates through a group known as AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).  This group sets the standards for ingredients and nutritional guidelines for pet food.

The need to question the standards becomes apparent when you listen to the industry regulators:

   *
      Dr. David Dzanis, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine: The formulation method does not account for palatability or availability of nutrients. Yet a feeding trial can miss some chronic deficiencies or toxicities.
    *

      Animalhealthcare.ca (the official site of the veterinary profession in Canada): Despite advances in nutrition research, little remains known about what exactly constitutes an optimal diet for the cat. While guidelines do exist regarding the minimum and maximum requirements for a feline diet, much still needs to be done to determine the effects of various excesses and deficiencies on feline nutrition.[5]
    *

      Dr. Quinton Rogers, DVM, PhD, one of the AAFCO panel experts: Although the AAFCO profiles are better than nothing, they provide false securities. I don't know of any studies showing their adequacies and inadequacies. Rogers also states that some of the foods which pass AAFCO feeding trials are actually inadequate for long term nutrition, but there is no way of knowing which foods these are under present regulations.[6]

 AAFCO regulations, in the words of AAFCO themselves, are not based entirely in knowledge:
    *
      The absence of (nutrient level) maximums should not be interpreted to mean that those nutrients are safe at any level.  Rather, it reflects the lack of information on nutrient toxicity in dogs and cats.[7]
    *
     Although a true requirement of crude fat per se has not been established��[8]
    *
      Sodium minimum level was more a matter of convention than as was supported by data.[9]
    *
      Levels of copper, iron, and zinc for dogs are set based on tolerance in swine.[10]

Even the science that AAFCO does have isn't used to create useable guidelines for pet food manufacturers.  The recommended calcium/phosphorus ratio is between 1.2:1 and 1.4:1.  Yet the maximum limit is set at 2:1.[11]  Why such a wide range?  The ranges for specific vitamins are even wider.  The maximum allowable levels for vitamins A, D and E respectively are 50, 10 and 20 times the minimum amounts.  In cats, the ranges are the same except for vitamin A which is 150 times the minimum allowable limit.[12]

The "studies" carried out by pet food manufacturers are little more than exercises in marketing and public relations.  Take a recent result quoted by Hill's about their Science Diet product.  "The double-masked, randomized, two-year study of 38 dogs concluded that dogs fed Prescription Diet k/d live twice as long as dogs fed a composite grocery dog food brand. At the study's conclusion, four times as many dogs fed Prescription Dietk/d� were still living."[13]

The study above proves nothing.  First, what exactly is a "composite grocery store food brand"?  And why on earth would Hill's choose to test against it? Second, when it says their dogs live twice as long, how long is that exactly?  Third, what kind of an endorsement is "... four times as many dogs were still living"?  All this study shows is that their product kills fewer dogs than the composite grocery store brand.

Companies like Hill's are quick to denounce raw diets (although many high quality kibble manufacturers do in fact recommend that their food be supplemented with raw products).  But ask yourself why, with all the resources at their disposal to conduct ridiculous studies against grocery store composite brands, they never test their products against raw diets.

The standards that govern the pet food industry are always evolving, and manufacturers constantly learn more about what is essential.  In the 60�s, we saw sick Alpo Dogs; dogs that were fed an all-meat diet promoted by pet food companies as being complete and balanced.  In the 60s and 70s we saw sick cats until manufacturers realized that taurine was an essential amino acid.  In the pet food regulations in 1978, the vitamin A minimum level for cats was 10,000 IU/kg.  In 1985 it was 3,333 IU/kg.  Now it�s 5,000 IU/kg.[14]  Science is a continuum.  Are we so arrogant to assume that we have now learned everything there is to learn, that we can learn nothing new?

Nutritionists recommend switching among two or three different pet food products every few months. The FDA Centre for Veterinary Medicine, in their newsletter to consumers, says nutritional advice for people to eat a wide variety of foods also applies to pets. Doing so helps ensure that a deficiency doesn't develop for some as yet unknown nutrient required for good health. [15]  But then later in the exact same article, the following appears:  The nutritional adequacy statement assures consumers that a product meets all of a pet's nutritional needs.  What is missing is the statement as far as we know, which may be very little.

What is credible science today was laughable yesterday.  For 100 years doctors scoffed at the idea that ulcers could be caused by bacteria, and cured by simple antibiotics.  Meanwhile, millions of people suffered.  Of course we now know that the majority of ulcers are caused by bacteria, and can easily be cured in the course of 10-14 days.  This learning shows us the importance of ensuring that we continually learn with an open mind.  We don't know everything, and we likely never will.

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 06:34:33 AM »

The Standards Governing The Pet Food Business Are Abysmal

Even within the framework of guessing at what is the optimal diet for a dog or a cat, the standards that govern production and ingredients are questionable at best.  The majority of the pet food that is manufactured in North America follows the protocols of AAFCO.  These standards, when met, allow the manufacturer to claim that his product is complete and balanced and it is supposed to be the criteria that the consumer uses to make informed choices.

Unfortunately the standards fall short of providing even the slightest reassurance to anyone who questions them.  The first point to consider is that if one wishes to receive a copy of the AAFCO handbook, which contains the feeding protocols, allowable ingredients, etc., one must pay $65 U.S. for it.  Shouldn't such information, vital to our decisions for our pets, be in the public domain and available free of charge?

According to the 2003 AAFCO Handbook, there are four ways to meet the AAFCO protocols:

1.       Feeding trials

2.       Chemical analysis

3.       Products that are in the same family as approved foods

4.       Products that pass growth or gestation protocols do not need to pass maintenance (adult) protocols.

The feeding trial is obviously the most strenuous of all the methods, but the feeding trials provide little confidence for consumers interested in their pets� health.  In the feeding trials 8 dogs (or cats) over the age of 1 and of optimal body weight and in good health� are fed only the food being tested for a period of 26 weeks.[16]  Only water is added.  A passing grade is given based on the following conditions:

1.   No obvious nutritional deficiencies.  But with a test of only 26 weeks many deficiencies may not be apparent at the end of the test, and many may not yet be �obvious.�

2.   6 out of the 8 animals that entered the test must remain at the end of the test.  Animals may be removed for poor food intake. The protocols do not provide a definition of poor food intake but I've never heard of a dog suffering from anything like this.

3.   No dog shall lose more than 15% of his body weight, and the average body weight loss of the dogs that finish the trial must not be more than 10%.  How can a food that causes double-digit weight loss in only 26 weeks in an animal that is of optimal body weightr when they enter the test be considered healthy?

4.   Hemoglobin, PCV, albumin, serum alkaline phosphatase (and in the case of cats, taurine), must also not drop by extreme proportions (similar to the body weight levels above).

In the case of puppies and kittens the quality of the test is even worse.  Puppies must be at least 75% of the average weight for their breed, and kittens must be at least 80% of their average.[17]  How can a diet be considered quality if it results in body weights as low as of the average?  What's worse, there is no upper limit on how far above the average pets in the test are allowed to weigh.

The second way that a food can pass is to avoid the feeding trial altogether and show on paper that the food has the same end nutrients to match foods that would pass the trials.  But this process assumes that the end nutrient composition of feed is all that matters, not the source of the nutrients.  And even pet food manufacturers, such as Medi-Cal, acknowledge this fact: The Guaranteed Analysis is an analysis performed in a laboratory. It tells us nothing about ingredient quality. Shoe leather, hair, feathers, beaks and chicken feet would be high in crude protein, but provide poor nutrient value for your pet.[18]  Worse yet, AAFCO themselves acknowledge that foods can pass feeding trials yet fail the chemical analysis.[19]

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association goes so far as to say:  "Whether the reference is to the NRC (National Research Council) or to AAFCO, it must be borne in mind that neither one of these organizations tests pet foods, and statements that the product meets NRC or AAFCO standards do not imply endorsement by either group or that the product in fact meets the nutrition standards set by them."[20]

It also surprises many people to learn of the kind of products that receive the complete and balanced seal of approval.  Many people recoil at the idea of feeding their dog or cat the no name stuff from the grocery store.  But the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, under their certification program, says that No Name Special Dinner is all you need to feed your dog.  It is designed to be complete and balanced and meet all the nutritional needs of your dog/cat.  By the rules defined by the CVMA themselves, using the name No Name Special Dinner requires the manufacturer to use no minimum percentage of meat in the formula.  (If the name were to be Special Dinner With Beef than they would be required to have a whopping 3% of the product be actual beef.)[21]

But the CVMA wants you to know that No-Name Special Dinner, while less expensive meets optimum standards of nutrition and consistently prove their quality in independent feeding trials.[22]  The CVMA also wants you to know that there are no government regulations for assuring food quality and consistency of pet foods in the Canadian marketplace.  Commercial pet foods on the market are generally good; however, there can be extreme variations in their nutritional quality.[23]  Extreme indeed.

Think the label tells you what you need to know?  Think again.  In a New York Times article dated December 16, 1990 Dr Bruce Little, executive vice president of the American Veterinary Medical Association said about pet food, " 'Natural' is a figment of the advertising industry's imagination." In the same article Richard Sellers, chairman of AAFCO�s pet food committee said, "Labeling is a marketing tool. You can list everything that's in a can of food and that still won't tell the consumer anything about what the animal will actually ingest." He gave as an example rawhide, an indigestible byproduct of leather, which is frequently found in inexpensive pet food and listed as protein.

The minimums that are set are enough to only prevent the appearance of obvious deficiency symptoms.  What's more, there is no law governing that nutrient levels be kept below safe maximums.  For example, since palatability would suffer, no maximum level of sodium is given.[24]

Flavours are often added to get animals to eat what would otherwise be passed over.  If a label says chicken flavour then there only has to be enough flavour so that pets can pick out that it tastes like chicken. [25]  Upon questioning, the authors of the report, The Pet Food Institute, could not explain exactly how they get dogs to pick out chicken versus other flavours.

Of course there are good kibble products out there, products that have consistency and high quality proteins and other ingredients, and that are preserved naturally.  But unfortunately the labels and the industry standards don't tell you which ones they are.

Survive Or Thrive?

Our pets, dogs in particular, can be described in a few choice words:  scavenger, hunter, opportunist.  In other words, dogs have the ability to survive on some very minimal requirements.  Your dog can probably live for a year or more simply on what he finds in your weekly garbage.  But this brings up an important distinction between survive and thrive.  As pet guardians, it's our responsibility to provide our pets a diet that will allow them to thrive, not merely survive.  The entire regulatory industry, as we have seen from the AAFCO handbook, is built around the MINIMUM amount of nutrition required to keep a dog alive.  If your pet seems fine, consider the long term.  Consider the increases in obesity we have seen over the years, to the point that it has been estimated that 44% of the North American dog population is obese.[26]  Consider the fact that 86% of pets over the age of one have periodontal disease.[27]  Consider the fact that 20% of all dogs over the age of one have some form of osteoarthritis.[28]  Consider the rise of chronic illnesses, cancer, and diabetes in our pets.

Grain makes up a considerable portion of both commercial and many homemade diets. It has been stated that, "dogs do not have a dietary requirement for carbohydrate" and "grains are used only because they are a less expensive source of energy than fat or protein."[29]  These foods will keep your pet alive, but they will never allow him to thrive.

Complete And Balanced Is A Myth

There is no single food that is complete and balanced.  If there were we would all be eating it right now.  Our dogs and cats, like us, were designed to eat a variety of healthy foods over time.  A wild dog would eat a diet largely comprised of meat but also of internal organs, fruits and vegetables, pre-digested grains perhaps, bugs, grass, dirt, and even feces.  They would never ever eat a meal that was all at once all of the above items.  A wolf doesn't finish eating a rabbit and say hmmm, I think I'm a little short on zinc today, I'd better go find some.

The corresponding myth to complete and balanced is that a pet guardian couldn't possibly know how to feed a dog or cat, as they lack the specialized skill and training required to make those decisions.  The first problem with this is as we have seen, the pet food industry and even veterinarians shouldn't be our sole source of information.  But what about the millions of mothers out there, both human and animal, that have raised their babies, puppies and kittens into strong, healthy beings?  How many of them had degrees in nutritional science?

The wild ancestors of our dogs and cats have survived for millions of years without our help.  They have something valuable in their natural diet that has allowed them to thrive for so long at the top of the food chain.

Your Dog Is A Wolf.  Your Cat is Wild

Research tells us that our pets are really just wild animals in disguise.  Their disguises have come as a result of selective breeding, much of it for aesthetics.  But what hasn't changed is their biology.  Not for any breed, from Chihuahua to Great Dane.[30]  Researchers now know that the DNA of canis lupus familiaris (domesticated dog) and canis lupus (wolf) differ by less than 1%.  Note that they are both considered the same species, with the dog being a subspecies of the other.  The dog and wolf are even more closely related to each other than the wolf is to the coyote.[31]

A look at their respective digestive systems shows that our dogs and cats today are designed to consume the same diets as their wild cousins.  They both have short intestinal tracts (about 1/3 the length of humans) and acidic stomachs (pH is approximately 5 times our human stomachs).  This is how they are able to handle the nasty bacteria they pick up from each others� anuses, filthy carcuses in the park, and yes, things like salmonella in raw meat.  In fact, about 1/3 of all dogs naturally have salmonella in their digestive tract.[32]  Despite carrying this bacteria in their intestines, they show no signs of disease.[33]  Our healthy dogs contain normal flora in their intestinal tracts, no doubt the result of millions of years of scavenging and opportunistic feeding patterns.

According to Dr. Stephanie Wong, spokesperson for the Center for Disease Control, salmonella is not a problem for dogs and cats: If dogs and cats do suffer any effects from salmonella, the illness will most often be a mild gastrointestinal disorder."  Further, she states that it is not a risk to humans:  "Potentially dogs and cats can transmit salmonellosis to humans, but it is extremely unlikely."[34]  In the September/October 2000 issue of Consumer Magazine, the FDA agrees that healthy pets rarely become ill from the bacteria.

The wild cousins of our domesticated dogs and cats, contrary to some reports, do live long, healthy lives.  One of the world's foremost wolf researchers, L.D. Mech states "in the wild, wolves can live to be about 16 years of age."[35]  Certainly the animals must have some degree of health as they have been able to sustain themselves at the top of the food chain for millions of years.  Wolves in captivity are fed raw diets and regularly live as long as 20 years.

Even Waltham (a subsidiary of the Mars Corporation, makers of Pedigree Pet Food, Uncle Ben�s Rice, etc.) agrees: Throughout the ages of domestication dogs have had to survive on a mixed diet of hunting, scavenging and handouts from man. Those which were able to pick out the best things to eat have survived, whereas those which could not will have failed to breed, particularly since pregnancy and lactation are the most nutritionally demanding times in the animal's life. The process of learning which foods to eat requires considerable skill to ensure that only those food items which are nutritionally beneficial and non-toxic are incorporated into the diet.[36]  In other words, every day Nature shows us the optimal diet for our dogs and cats.

Finally, from the May/June 1999 issue of the FDA Veterinary Newsletter: Just by comparing the dentition of dogs and cats with that of humans and herbivores (plant-eaters, such as cattle and horses), it is readily apparent that their teeth are designed by nature for eating a diet largely comprised of animal tissue. Their short intestinal tracts compared to humans and especially to animals like sheep or horses also indicate that they are not designed to accommodate diets containing large amounts of plant materials. Their nutritional requirements, such as the need for relatively high amounts of protein and calcium, reflect these dietary limitations.�  From the same newsletter: To be honest, all commercial pet foods are to varying degrees "unnatural" (no company sells raw, whole rodents or small birds as "cat food").�  Well, actually, there are lots of companies that do just that.

People who claim that Fido or Fluffy are different from their wild ancestors are confusing emotion with fact.  Most importantly, they have yet to provide any evidence to suggest that our pets differ from their wild cousins when it comes to nutrition.

Just like a tree is genetically adapted to absorb certain nutrients, so are our pets.  The majority of foods fed to pets today (kibble) have only been in existence for about 150 years.  The natural genetically-adapted food for pets (or any living creature) must pre-date their existence.  In other words, how could animals exist before the food they needed to survive existed?  The simplicity of this logic is its beauty.

Some people claim that raw food and cooked food are nutritionally identical.  This is not true.  Cooking alters and binds nutrients, making them either less digestible or useless to our pets.[37]  Even the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association admits liver is most nutritious when fed raw (especially to sick, anemic or weak pets)�[38] and that cooking may also deplete certain nutrients and result in a deficient diet.[39]  Through the process of rendering, raw animal by-products are chemically transformed.  Even watch what happens to animal fat when it is fried in a hamburger or bacon?  Higher temperatures with low moisture content can damage the protein quality.  The availability of essential amino acids (i.e. those required from food to sustain life) has been found to decline as the processing temperature increases.[40] Cats eating heat-processed foods have been shown to have lower plasma taurine concentrations.[41],[42]   AAFCO, the organization that sets the guiding principles for pet foods, is forced to make allowances for nutritional degradation due to processing.[43] AAFCO also provides specific examples of nutrients that are lost due to processing: Processing may destroy up to 90% of the thiamine in a diet for dogs and cats,[44] with canned food resulting in even greater deficiencies than kibble, requiring even more additive nutrients.[45]

Variety May Be The Most Important Factor

We have already heard from the FDA about the need to keep variety in your pets diet.  You ensure that a wide range of nutrients is available to your pet by feeding a variety of proteins and other ingredients through a wide variety of foods.  A truly natural diet would consist of at least a few different sources of protein.  One day might be a rabbit, the next couple days might be a calf, etc.  The important thing is that our animals naturally eat a variety of foods over time, and grains do not comprise the majority of their diet.  Cooked grains are never part of their diet.

Many pet food companies (and even vets) will recommend that a pets food not be changed, or that if a change is made that it be made slowly.  The reason behind this recommendation is the potential for upset to the digestive system of the dog.  But when you consider the origins of the dog, and the words we use to describe the dog hunter, opportunist, scavenger their natural diets are varied.  Any healthy dog would have no problem immediately adapting to new foods. That's what they are designed to do.

A varied diet will help avoid allergies in your pet.  Lamb and rice foods were originally introduced as foods for pets that had developed allergies from eating solely chicken or beef for such a long time.  At the time, lamb was a novel protein.  Ensuring your pet is regularly exposed to a wide variety of proteins can help protect him.

You help avoid food addictions by keeping a varied diet.  The Whole Cat Journal, in its October 2001 issue, cites the case of a cat that was addicted to a particular flavor of a particular brand of cat food, right down to a specific factory and lot number! This kind of addiction can be difficult to deal with when that last can is gone, but can be easily avoided by feeding a variety of foods from the start.  If fed only one type of food or flavour, imprinting can be severe enough to result in some cats choosing to starve rather than switch diets.  Nutritional deficiencies (and excesses) are also less likely to manifest themselves later on in life if a variety of diets are fed.[46]

Finally, let's consider our pets' mental health and enjoyment.  Why wouldn't our pets enjoy a variety of tastes and experiences in their food as much as we enjoy variety in ours?  But manufacturers, all looking to gain a lifelong customer, discourage the process.  Medi-Cal goes so far as to irresponsibly claim dogs really do not mind having the same meal time and time again.�[47]  Apart from being unhealthy and unnatural, it's boring.  We know dogs and cats feel and express emotion, why would anyone doubt their ability to enjoy food?

Anyone that has seen a dog or cat eat raw food can empathize with their joy simply by looking at their body language, their wagging tails, and the way they devour the food.  A raw diet ensures that the pet guardian maintains control over the pets diet, and ensures variety.

What About Bones?

The old myth about never feeding bones to your pet has been distorted.  While it's true that cooked bones present a great danger to your pet, raw bones are nutritious and in fact essential to keeping your pets teeth clean.  For millions of years, wolves managed to keep their teeth for tearing into prey without the benefit of a dental cleaning under anesthetic every 6 months, or a guardian to gently brush their teeth and gums.

There can be no dispute that our dogs and cats are designed to eat and digest bones. Wild or feral cats and dogs will consume a variety of foods, and even when consuming a prey, they will consume the digestive tract, hide and bones in addition to the meat.[48]

Research has consistently proven the value of bones:  In the study "Control of Dental Calculus in Experimental Beagles," by Brown and Park in 1968 it was shown that manual removal of calculus was not required when dogs were fed one-half or one whole oxtail per week.[49]

Even some of the people you would expect to tell you bones are bad have come on board.  PC Higgins, Veterinary Advisor to Uncle Ben's of Australia (makers of Pedigree and Walthams) said in 1987:  Uncooked bones had the most marked effect followed by rawhide chews and super hard baked biscuits.  It is imperative that in addition to this basic commercial diet bones, preferably, or rawhide chews or super hard baked biscuits be added to it so that periodontal disease can be prevented.

But what about the myth that hard kibble keeps our dogs and cats teeth clean?  It's not true according to the official site of the veterinary profession in Canada, animalhealthcare.ca: Numerous studies have demonstrated that feeding a regular dry diet alone, when compared to a canned diet, will reduce the rate of plaque and subsequent calculus formation. However, what is not thoroughly understood is whether this effect is due to the mild abrasive action of the diet, or the greater likelihood of canned food to become entrapped in the gum tissue, leading to greater accumulation of plaque.  Because dental calculus is so hard due to its mineral content, it usually is not removed when a pet eats hard kibble. [50]

The dramatic difference in food form represented by commercial dog and cat foods as compared to the natural prey of wild canids and felids (dogs and cats) is often implicated as a significant cause of the degree of periodontal disease diagnosed in domestic dogs and cats.  Colyer examined 1,157 wild canid skulls and reported that suggestive evidence of periodontal disease was present in only 2% of specimens.[51] Compare that to modern estimates that 86% of adult dogs suffer from periodontal disease.

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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 06:35:19 AM »

The Science Behind The Hype

The Pottenger Cat study, done over a 10 year period in the 30's and 40's, is the best example of a study showing the benefits of raw meat to cats.  In his study Dr. Francis Pottenger (at the time President of the L.A. County Medical Board) showed that cats who were fed a raw diet thrived while cats fed a cooked diet suffered from chronic illnesses, many of the same illnesses that plague our pets today.[52]

In discussions with one veterinarian about the results of this research, his response was taurine was not known to be an essential nutrient for cats at that time.  But he missed the whole point of the research.  There is no need to build a diet that replicates the optimal diet, we already have the optimal diet!  Instead of acknowledging the superior diet, the industry has spent the last 60 years since the Pottenger research trying to recreate it.  Based on research presented in this paper, they have not yet succeeded.

But let's turn our perspective on the practice of feeding our pets cooked food, and interrogate the science behind that practice.  The cooked food industry for our pets began in 1860 in England by James Spratt, an electrician from Ohio.  He was in London trying to sell lightning rods when he saw dogs being given left-over ship's biscuits.  This electrician thought he could do better with a preparation of wheat, vegetables, beetroot and meat. Formulation was based more on guesswork than science. But his company thrived and an entire industry was born, with no one ever looking back or questioning why the practice began in the first place.  Many people are shocked to learn that the practice they depend on for their pets health is less than 150 years old, and didn't originate in lab, a university, or even a veterinary clinic.  It began with an electrician entrepreneur from Ohio who was trying to make a living in London, England.  And it began as a business opportunity with nothing to do with science, or even the benefit of pets.[53]

Unfortunately some of the science that is used to attack the practice of feeding a raw diet is suspect and does nothing to move the debate forward.  Some readers may have been referred to the study "Evaluation of Raw Food Diets For Dogs" (page 705, March 1, 2001 JAVMA) by Freeman and Michel.  This study supposedly showed that raw diets were nutritionally inadequate (although I refer back to the AAFCO standards of what is nutritionally adequate and question that assumption overall).  But what most people don't know about that study is that authors/veterinarians Freeman and Michel admit their analysis was not based on exact recipes from the diets and only a portion of the week or month of individual meals constituting the complete diets. Rather the assays were based on one meal of each diet fed to five different dogs. No assay of bio- availability was done on the raw samples and none are available for comparison from commercial kibble manufacturers.  A raw diet features variety, and any one component of the diet at any one time may be in fact deficient.  But over days and weeks, much like the diets of our pets� wild cousins, the balance is gained.

Another, even less meaningful study, showed that dog feces and raw meat contain salmonella.[54]  In a 2002 study the authors showed that raw chicken contains salmonella, and that dog feces contains salmonella, and somehow try to use this as a rationale against a raw diet!  Anyone will tell you that salmonella is often present in raw chicken, whether it is for our dogs or for us.  But as you have learned, these bacteria are not a problem for healthy dogs.  In fact, this 2002 study inadvertently proved that salmonella is not harmful to dogs.  None of the 10 test dogs suffered any ill effects despite salmonella being present in 80% of the raw food.  And the fact that salmonella is found in dog feces should not come as a surprise.  Again, about 1/3 of dogs normally carry the bacteria in their system.  And besides, who is eating dog feces?

A raw diet has been proven to be beneficial to our dogs and cats.  The exaggerated claims of the dangers of feeding raw diets have been promoted by those with self-interests in selling their own brand of food.  Objective science demonstrates that not only is raw food not dangerous, it has numerous health benefits for your pet.

One Last Ting To Consider

The information in this document comes from Pet Life Inc. who is in the business of selling pet food.  For dogs and cats we sell raw food AND kibble/canned diets.  This is important for you to remember because we encourage everyone with pets to understand and question the source of the information they are using to make decisions.  The facts in this document, however, are not ours.  They are public facts that we have merely gathered and presented.

A raw diet isn't right for every pet.  Our objective with this information is to clear the misperceptions and misinformation that are sometimes quoted when discussing what has become an emotional subject.  And it should be emotional. It�s your pet we�re talking about.  But don�t let emotion guide your decisions.  Your pet is depending on you to make the right choices.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2007, 06:36:08 AM »

Endnotes:

[1] Wall Street Journal, Monday November 3, 1997, Why Vets Recommend Designer Chow.

[2] Wall Street Journal, Monday November 3, 1997, Why Vets Recommend Designer Chow.

[3] Wall Street Journal, Monday November 3, 1997, Why Vets Recommend Designer Chow.

[4] Canadian Practice Management Insights, Veterinary Medical Diets (VMD), July/December 2002.

[5] Feeding The Young Cat, animalhealthcare.ca, 2003.

[6] Changes and Challenges in Feline Nutrition, Smith C.A. JAVMA, 1993; 203:1395-1400.

[7] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 126.

[8] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 127 and pg 132.

[9] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 128.

[10] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 129.

[11] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 128.

[12] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 129 and 132.

[13] Clinical Study Results, Prescription Diet k/d, hillspet.com, 2002.

[14] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 134.

[15] FDA Consumer Newsletter, May/June 2001.

[16] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 142.

[17] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 145.

[18] Pet Nutrition, medi-cal.ca, 2003.

[19] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 125.

[20] Common Sense Guide To Feeding Your Dog Or Cat, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.

[21] Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Certification Program, 1999, and AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 170.

[22] Dishing Out The Facts, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association publication, May 2001.

[23] Common Sense Guide To Feeding Your Dog Or Cat, CVMA.

[24] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 128.

[25] A Consumer�s Guide To Pet Foods, Pet Food Institute, 2003.

[26] Obesity in Dogs, The Waltham Corporation, 2001.

[27] The Impact of Diet on Oral Health, animalhealthcare.ca, 2003.

[28] Glucosamine, Medi-cal.ca, John Hilton, Veterinary Medical Diets, 2003.

[29] Merck Veterinary Manual, 7th edition as defined by AAFCO.

[30] Can You ID Your Dog With DNA?, Ray Coppinger, 1991.

[31] From Wolf To Woof, National Geographic, January, 2002.

[32] Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets, Donald R. Strombeck D.V.M., 1999.

[33] Human Health Concerns Associated With Hatching Poultry, Teresa Morishita, Ohio State University, Veterinary Preventative Medicine, 2001.

[34] Reptiles, Small Children Shouldn�t Cohabitate, Center For Disease Control, 2002.

[35] The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals, 1999, Gray Wolf, pages 141-143, D.E. Wilson and S. Ruff (eds).

[36] Experience and Learning, The Waltham Corporation, 2001.

[37] The Role of Diet In The Health of Feline Intestinal Tract, Glasgow et al, Winn Foundation, 2002.

[38] Supplementing Your Pets Diet Is Not Necessarily Beneficial, animalhealthcare.ca.

[39] Common Sense Guide To Feeding Your Dog Or Cat, CVMA.

[40] Pet Food Ingredients and Ingredient Processing Affect Dietary Protein Quality, Patil et al, University of Illinois, 1998 (presented at the Purina Nutrition Forum no less!).

[41] Effect of Processing On The Fate Of Dietary Taurine in Cats, J Nutrition, Vol. 120, No. 9, 1990, pp. 995 � 1000.

[42] Dietary Antibiotics Decrease Taurine Loss In Cats Fed A Canned Heat-Processed Diet, J Nutrition, Vol. 126,  No. 2, (1996) pp. 509-515

[43] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 125.

[44] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 127 and pg 132.

[45] AAFCO Official Publication, 2003, pg 134.

[46] Feeding The Young Cat, animalhealthcare.ca, 2003.

[47] Nutrition and Development in Large Breed Puppies, medi-cal.ca, 2002.

[48] The Problems Associated With Raw Meat Consumption In Cats And Dogs, John Hilton, Veterinary Medical Diets (Medi-Cal), 2002.

[49] Lab Animal Care, Volume 18, No. 5, 1968.

[50] The Impact of Diet on Oral Health, animalhealthcare.ca.

[51] Dietary Influences on Periodontal Health, Logan et al, 1997 (from the Mark Morris Institute, a.k.a. Hill�s Pet Food).

[52] Pottenger�s Cats, Francis Pottenger M.D., 1995.

[53] The History of Pet Food, The Pet Food Institute, 2001.

[54] Preliminary Assessment Of The Risk of Salmonella Infection In Dogs Fed Raw Chicken Diets, Joffe, Daniel and Schleslinger, Daniel, Can Vet Journal, Vol. 43, June 2002, pp. 441 � 442.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2007, 06:48:38 AM »

epic copy and paste skills captain crayola  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2007, 06:50:27 AM »

when i had my dog, we used to make him food.  we would feed him chicken and rice, carrots, he ate well.  Hell he ate healthier than i did.  We took him to the vet for his shots and the vet asked us what we fed him since he was in great health and good coat, etc.  He was surprised.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2007, 07:07:40 AM »

epic copy and paste skills captain crayola  Roll Eyes

  Sorry, I don't have time to write and get articles published.  So here are my original not c/p thoughts:

 Dogs and Cats are carnivores.  Crap-in-a-bag sucks, feed a species appropriate diet. 

     Smiley

    how silly of me to think that maybe people would like to read studies and articles for themselves and to think for themselves.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2007, 07:10:31 AM »

The Pottenger Study referenced:

http://www.price-pottenger.org/Articles/PottsCats.html


Pottenger's Cats - A Study in Nutrition

by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD

Between the years of 1932 and 1942, Dr. Francis Marion Pottenger, Jr. conducted a feeding experiment to determine the effects of heat-processed food on cats. His ten-year cat study was prompted by the high rate of mortality he was experiencing among his laboratory cats undergoing adrenalectomies for use in standardizing the hormone content of the adrenal extract he was making. Because there were no existent chemical procedures for standardizing biological extracts, manufacturers of such extracts necessarily had to use animals to determine their potency. As cats die without their adrenal glands, the dose of extract required to support their lives calibrated the level of the extract's potency.

In his effort to maximize the preoperative health of his laboratory animals, Francis fed them a diet of market grade raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat scraps from the sanitarium. These scraps included the liver, tripe, sweetbreads, brains, heart and muscle. This diet was considered to be rich in all the important nutritive substances by the experts of the day, and the surgical technique used for the adrenalectomies was the most exacting known. Therefore, Francis was perplexed as to why his cats were poor operative risks. In seeking an explanation, he began noticing that the cats showed signs of deficiency. All showed a decrease in their reproductive capacity and many of the kittens born in the laboratory had skeletal deformities and organ malfunctions.

As his neighbors in Monrovia kept donating an increasing number of cats to his laboratory, the demand for cooked meat scraps exceeded supply and he placed an order at the local meat packing plant for raw meat scraps, again including the viscera, muscle and bone. These raw meat scraps were fed to a segregated group of cats each day and within a few months this group appeared in better health than the animals being fed cooked meat scraps. Their kittens appeared more vigorous, and most interestingly, their operative mortality decreased markedly.

The contrast in the apparent health of the cats fed raw meat and those fed cooked meat was so startling, it prompted Francis to undertake a controlled experiment. What he had observed by chance, he wanted to repeat by design. He wanted to find answers to such questions as: Why did the cats eating raw meat survive their operations more readily than those eating cooked meat? Why did the kittens of the raw meat fed cats appear more vigorous? Why did a diet based on cooked meat scraps apparently fail to provide the necessary nutritional elements for good health? He felt the findings of a controlled feeding experiment might illumine new facts about optimal human nutrition.

The Cat Study of Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD is unique. There is no similar experiment in the medical literature. The pathological and chemical findings were supervised by Francis in consultation with Alvin G. Foord, M.D., professor of pathology at the University of Southern California and pathologist at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena. Accordingly, the studies met the most rigorous scientific standards of the day and their protocol was observed consistently.

Since The Cat Study is unique, its findings are frequently quoted and misquoted in order to justify the ideas of others. For example, one author of a popular selling book states that 200 cats died of arthritis; this indeed did not happen. Another author states that the cats were fed sprouts and survived in full health for four continuous generations. Again, no such experiment took place, and yet this misinformation has been traced over a dozen or more different articles and books.

A frequent criticism of The Pottenger Cat Study is that it was not properly controlled. Here it is necessary to ask, "By what standards?" Every one of the studies followed strictly defined protocol. All variables in the stock of the animals were reported and explained. Because some of the test procedures may seem crude forty years later, this in no way invalidates the facts that the procedures were meticulously controlled and that the results of the experiments were reported as observed.

Another criticism is that the cats were kept in an artificial environment unrelated to real living conditions. Such a criticism overlooks the experimental necessity of maintaining a controlled environment to provide valid findings. It also overlooks the evidence that given specific living conditions, specific changes repeatedly occurred in the health of the cats under observation.

Another frequent criticism is that the experimental work done on cat nutrition has no appropriate application to human nutrition. Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD never stated that a one-to-one comparison could be made between his findings in cat nutrition and his findings in human nutrition. He did say: "While no attempt will be made to correlate the changes in the animals studied with malformations found in humans, the similarity is so obvious that parallel pictures will suggest themselves."

All too often, self-appointed authorities will state categorically that they do not believe other's observations and so seek to close the door on any further inquiry into these observations. They declare, "Because I do not believe the facts as presented, they are not so." Far better for science if responsible individuals maintain an attitude of open inquiry and test the observations of others before forming rigid opinions. In the case of The Cat Study, human welfare might well be served if concerned researchers made every effort to discover if valid correlation's can be made between cat nutrition and human nutrition. It must be remembered that cats and humans both are mammalian biological systems.

It would be of great value to the field of nutrition to repeat The Cat Study within the parameters of present day technology and with the use of present day antibiotics. Most of the cats on deficient diets died from infections of the kidneys, lungs and bones. If these infections were eliminated as a cause of death by antibiotics, it would allow the cats to reveal their ultimate degenerative fates. As an extension to this experiment, it would be of interest to study the effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation in the diet of cooked food fed animals.

It is our effort in this monograph to present the observations made by Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., MD on the effects of deficient and optimum nutrition in cats and human beings as recorded in his articles and clinical records written between the years of 1932 and 1956. Nothing has been added or subtracted from his findings, and for the most part, the words describing his work are his own. Though some of the scientific interpretations have not withstood the test of time, the observations are valid. A careful and selective interpretation by an inquiring mind will readily differentiate the two.
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2007, 07:39:02 AM »

B.A.R.F. is teh awesume... Wink
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2007, 08:46:25 AM »

I have no problem with the raw food diet for dogs...it just wasn't agreeing with him at the time.  At this point though, he's been so good...I would hate to try & introduce anyhing else.

On a side note....he thought tripe was teh shit
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2007, 11:54:36 AM »



    how silly of me to think that maybe people would like to read studies and articles for themselves and to think for themselves.   Roll Eyes


... and to search for themselves if they was really fvcked about it?

we all know your only making all these 'googled' threads to boost numbers  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2007, 11:55:40 AM »

boost what numbers?
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2007, 11:57:44 AM »

boost what numbers?

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2007, 12:03:16 PM »

... and to search for themselves if they was really fvcked about it?

we all know your only making all these 'googled' threads to boost numbers  Roll Eyes

 So, a post saying:

  "Raw food Rocks"   would of sufficed?     Roll Eyes


   And there is 2 "googled" threads.  This one and the vaccine one.  Both having articles and studies because I think they are important topics and should have good information in them for people to read if they chose to. 

   It's called "getting information out there".   

  But I suppose "Vaccines Suck" would work too. 
     

   You just really want to be a part of this board doncha?    And don't be surprised when I split this convo off so it doesn't ruin my "informative" thread.


           Grin
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2007, 02:56:23 PM »

http://www.wheaten-health-initiative.co.uk/risk.html


 RISK, RAW FEEDING AND PATHOGENS: A REVIEW       By Stacy Pober     


Assessing the potential risk involved in feeding dogs raw meat is complicated.  Some of the issues I’d like to discuss are assessing the potential risk of to the dogs, assessing the risk to humans who are around raw-fed dogs, and the general issue of how to evaluate risks. 

RISK TO DOGS

First, the issue of risk in feeding a raw diet is not simple.  ALL foods have some degree of risk, so the question isn’t whether risk exists. The question is whether the risk is unacceptable.  You may think you want zero risk - but that’s not a choice you get in life, because all foods carry some type of risk.  Raw meat can indeed be contaminated with e.coli 0157, camphylobacter, or other pathogens.

However, kibble can also contain diseases-causing mold and other pathogens.  Studies by Bueno (2001), Gunsen (2002), and Maia (2002) found aflatoxin, a toxic mould, in pet food samples.  Aflatoxin contamination of dog kibble resulted in approximately 25 dog deaths in 1998 (Texas) and vomitoxin was found in batches of Nature’s Recipe kibble in 1995 (FDA Enforcement Report).  At least seven dogs have died from unknown contamination of Petcurean pet food, recalled by the manufacturer in October 2003 (Syufy, 2003).

Bacteria and mould are not the only risks involved in choosing a food for your pet.  For example, there is some research that says that small particle size of food is a risk factor in bloat, so with regard to bloat, feeding large meaty bones would be less risky than feeding any kibble (Theyse, 1998).  Even the packaging of commercial food can carry some risk, as one study of canned pet foods showed that Bisphenol A, an industrial chemical and suspected endocrine disruptor leached from the cans into the food (Kang, 2002).

Dogs are more resistant to most of the common raw meat pathogens than are humans.  (Consider the fact that many dogs use the kitty litter box as a snack tray without ill effects.  Does anyone really want to argue that cat feces are free of pathogens?  Dogs are resistant - NOT immune - from the disease potential of these pathogens, and healthy dogs can harbour them without symptoms.  Beutin (1993) found verotoxin producing e. coli in 4.6% of apparently health dogs and Dahlinger (1997) cultured various types of bacteria, including some forms of e. coli and salmonella from the lymph nodes of 52% of apparently healthy dogs brought in for elective spays.  Most dogs can eat clean raw meat without a problem, even if the same raw meat would make humans very sick.

Still, a dog with a compromised immune system or digestive system is going to be more at risk for illness from any infectious agent than a dog who is healthy.  So I would be reluctant to feed raw meat to an ill dog, a very young puppy, or a very elderly dog who has not previously been fed a raw diet. 

I recently posted an article to the VETMED list about KSU’s studies on Alabama Rot (a/k/a hemolytic uremic syndrome) in Greyhounds fed raw meat.  (Greyhounds, 1995) some people immediately posted “atta girl” posts to me privately.  While I have no doubts about the accuracy of the KSU research, I think most of the readers of VETMED are unaware of exactly what kind of raw meat is fed to racing greyhounds.

Racing greyhounds are routinely fed raw “4-D meat” as part of their diet.  4-D meat is unfit for human consumption because the source of it is animals that died of natural causes (not via normal slaughter procedures) and includes animals which were diseased, or dying when they went into the slaughterhouse.  This is meat which has either not been inspected by the USDA or it failed the inspection.  This is not the quality of meat most pet owners buy if they are feeding their pets raw meat.  4-D meat is very foul stuff, and has the potential to contain much more in the way of pathogens than the meat that you buy in the supermarket.  I would never feed a dog raw 4-D meat.

I don’t know of any published veterinary reports of Alabama Rot in pet dogs fed raw diets from USDA-inspected meat.  It is, unfortunately, mainly a problem caused specifically by the feeding of unwholesome raw 4-D meat - not raw meat generally.

But raw meat is not alone in having bacterial contamination problems.  There are case reports of pathogens found in commercially produced dog food and in dog treats such as rawhide, pig ears, jerky, and chew hooves.  (Human, 2000, as well as Clark et al, 2001; White et al. 2003; Bren 2000; HHS News, 2000, Canadian Food Inspection Agency 1999 and 2000).  According to the FDA, “all pet chew products of this type may pose a risk” (HHS News, 1999).

So, my personal opinion is that with regard to the dog’s health, feeding USDA graded raw meat to dogs is a reasonable choice for some owners to make as long as precautions are taken to avoid excess risk (for example, don’t let the meat sit around at room temperature before giving it to the dog.)

RISK TO HUMANS

Studies of pet dogs have shown e. coli 0157 and salmonella in the faeces of pet dogs - but most of these studies were not limited to dogs fed raw diets.  So, kibble fed dogs and dogs fed rawhides, pig ears, and chew hooves also carry this risk.

However, before getting too fixated on dogs as a source of pathogens for humans, consider that the most notorious cases of food poisoning have been caused by poor hygiene from human sources - such as cooks and farmers.

While undercooked and raw meat is sometimes implicated in food poisoning cases, there have been an enormous number of cases of salmonella and e. coli from fruits and vegetables.  The seemingly innocuous bean sprout has been linked to many outbreaks of food poisoning, as have melons, salads, and apple cider (Health Canada, 2002, and USDA 1995).  In other words, while raw meat is a risk, so is almost ANY uncooked food that you eat.  There has been one salmonella outbreak linked to almonds.  (Chan et al. 2002).

So, are people at additional risk of getting pathogens from coming in contact with a dog fed raw meat?  There isn’t a lot of research that is directly on topic for this.  There are studies of raw-fed dogs (Joffe and Schlesinger, 2002) but these do not carefully compare the raw fed dogs to a similar population fed commercial dog food.  (See the commentary on Joffe’s study by New n.d.).

I have seen studies of pet dogs that show that food-borne pathogens were present in a surprisingly large proportion of the dogs tested.  Hackett and Lappin (2003) found infectious agents in the faeces of 26% of healthy Colorado dogs.  As far as I can tell, this study was NOT limited to dogs eating raw diets.  Fukata et al (2002) found salmonella antibodies in 15% of apparently healthy dogs.

 I think that you can reduce any potential risk of food poisoning related to dogs by simply having good hygiene - scrupulously washing your hands after cleaning up after your dog and washing up thoroughly before eating.  Keeping the dog itself clean probably doesn’t hurt, either.  And it would make sense to avoid letting your dog lick you right after eating a chicken neck.  For these reasons, I think that someone with pets and toddlers might want to avoid raw diets because small children will not follow the above rules.  Kids often will let the dog lick their face any old time, and they may even try to taste the dog’s meals.  (Sato et al. 2000). 

RISK ASSESSMENT

Aside from the concept of ‘relative risk’ there is the question of risk versus benefit.  If people were completely happy with the health of dogs from kibble feeding, the entire “raw foods” movement would have never taken root.  There’s nothing more convenient than pouring kibble into a dish.  So some people must be seeing a benefit from feeding raw.

I think that most veterinarians’ assessment of risk from raw diets is skewed by the fact that normal, healthy dogs are not generally seen by vets, and that most nutrition research is done using commercial diets.  If there is a large population of totally healthy dogs eating raw diets, they may never be noticed by a veterinarian.  On the other hand, vets will usually see the dogs who got the 3-day old chicken bones from the garbage can, or the one whose owner misguidedly thought it was a good idea to give their dog the skin and bones from their holiday turkey.

Raw diets do carry risk.  These can be reduced by feeding the freshest cleanest meat the owner can buy and following all the rules about temperature, storage and hygiene (FSIS, 1999).

Kibble diets and dog treats also carry risk - and these can be reduced by buying fresh and high-quality food, rather than the cheapest stuff available, and by following proper storage and hygiene rules.  But it’s worth noting that some of the priciest brands of kibble were recalled because of toxic contamination, so a high price does not ensure safety.

I don’t think there is one right way to feed dogs.  I think that careful attention to nutrition and hygiene reduce the risk associated with whatever feeding regimen you choose.  It’s interesting to note that feeding raw meat is intensely controversial, while feeding pig ears and jerky - which carry similar if not higher risks for contamination - is widely accepted as reasonably safe.

Incidentally, in case anyone is wondering, the main diet for my dogs is free-fed kibble.  I free feed because it helps prevent gluttony, and I have never had a case of bloat in Greyhounds, which are a somewhat bloat-prone breed.  I also routinely feed my dogs raw chicken parts.  I feed bony chicken parts because I have found this to be the most effective way of keeping my dogs’ teeth clean.  I haven’t noticed any other big change in their health, but they love the chicken parts and their teeth are clean and their breath sweet as a result.  Greyhounds are notorious for foul teeth as they age, but even my oldest dog has remarkably clean teeth. 

With regard to the risk, I can only share my experience, in that I’ve not seen any illnesses in the dogs I can attribute to the raw meat nor to the kibble.  I made my choice because I know of more pet greyhounds that have died from the anaesthesia involved in teeth cleaning and other elective surgeries than have died from eating a raw diet.

I wrote this article to seriously examine the question a VETMED subscriber asked about the potential for risk when using raw-fed dogs as therapy dogs.  As long as the dogs aren’t fed raw meat during therapy sessions, I don’t see a problem.  While these dogs may carry pathogens, so may dogs fed kibble or pig ears, or rawhide.  One survey found salmonella contamination of 41% of the dog treats examined.  (White et al, 2003).  Accordingly, it would not be logical or fair to bar raw fed dogs from a therapy dog program, unless you are also barring all dogs who are fed pig ears, rawhides, and other similar treats.
                             


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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2007, 06:52:42 AM »

... and to search for themselves if they was really fvcked about it?

we all know your only making all these 'googled' threads to boost numbers  Roll Eyes

Your a total dork- ahhhhh I boosted my numbers Roll Eyes
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2007, 06:28:02 AM »

Wysong Archetype, a raw feeding alternative for those who would rather feed a freeze dried raw product rather than "butcher shop" raw.   The Archetype is grain free, they do offer Archetype Buffet and other products that have grains in them, I obviously, would go no grain.  This could be an expensive way to feed unless you have one dog, on page 8 there is a feeding guide chart, so you could estimate how much you would be using.   And if you decide to try, check locally for it, some small petstores may carry it, or health food stores, or search the internet for the best pricing.

I have given the ferrets the ferret version with no grains and Tino LOVED it. Simon thought it was okay.  I will probably put Tino back on it now that Simon is gone. 


http://www.wysong.net/PDFs/archetype.pdf


http://www.wysong.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=WOTTPWS&Product_Code=WDAR7-5&Category_Code=CD&Product_Count=2


INGREDIENTS:
Beef and Chicken; Beef and Chicken Liver; Ground Bone, Milk Calcium, Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Coral Calcium, Organic Mung Bean Sprouts, Organic Quinoa Sprouts, Organic Millet Sprouts, Organic Blueberries, Organic Apples, Plums, Chlorella, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Dried Whey, Kelp, Dried Seaweed, Artichoke, Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus lactis Fermentation Product, Dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus guy Fermentation Product), Natural Extractives of Rosemary, Natural Extractives of Sage, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

ANALYSIS:
Protein 50%, Fat 28%, Fiber 2.8%, Moisture 3.0%

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Princess L
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2007, 07:42:34 PM »

Wysong Archetype, a raw feeding alternative for those who would rather feed a freeze dried raw product

I've seen this at my health food store. 

According to the website, Scout would get 1 1/2 cups/day.  A 7.5 OUNCE bag is $14 bucks.  I know the dehydration would make it really light weight.  I wonder how much 1.5 cups weighs   Undecided
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2007, 06:19:48 AM »


I've seen this at my health food store. 

According to the website, Scout would get 1 1/2 cups/day.  A 7.5 OUNCE bag is $14 bucks.  I know the dehydration would make it really light weight.  I wonder how much 1.5 cups weighs   Undecided


It is really light.  I never fed it with water, I just gave him some pieces in the bowl and he ate it.  Unlike a dog, a ferret doesn't always scarf his food down so I didn't want to wet it and plus if he liked it dry then all the better!

  You could always pick up a bag and check it out.  Steve's Real Food is sometimes carried by local places too.   

   http://www.stevesrealfood.com/


  If trying Wysong, make sure to get the grain free one, the Archetype, you can get grains in regular kibble.   Tongue


  You could probably feed a mixture of the 2, the Chicken Soup and the Wysong. I would give the kibble at night, and the Wysong in the morning.  They have different digestion times and kibble because of the grains takes longer.  The body does a lot of it's digesting at night, so I would feed kibble then if going that route.
   
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2007, 06:34:35 AM »

What's Really in Petfood:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHadGUXCf7I


 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkyBv2wA8tU
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Tapper
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« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2007, 07:34:43 AM »

when i had my dog, we used to make him food.  we would feed him chicken and rice, carrots, he ate well.  Hell he ate healthier than i did.  We took him to the vet for his shots and the vet asked us what we fed him since he was in great health and good coat, etc.  He was surprised.

I did the same thing for my older Dobe. It aided his digestion and he lived a long life because of the healty eating.
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« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2007, 05:01:31 PM »

Interesting paper by a Harvard Grad:



 Deconstructing the Regulatory Façade:

Why Confused Consumers Feed their Pets

Ring Dings and Krispy Kremes



http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html
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« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2007, 12:02:18 AM »

I wish I had a dollar for every "whole food" diet induced case of severe gastroenteritis (ie hershy squirts diarrhea and vomiting) I've diagnosed.  If I did, I could retire.    Tongue
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« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2007, 03:37:43 AM »

And I wish that I had a dollar for every dog that has had allergies or IBD and made great IMPROVEMENTS by getting grains out of it's diet. 

  Exactly how much on nutrition/feeding were you taught in school, and who helped fund it? Hills?  What do you push in your office?  Science Death? What is your "incentive"? 

Hear about the acetaminophen found in Science Death recently?  What about all those recent deaths and health affects from all the tainted pet food?  Kibble has killed or injured many times over any harm done by raw feeding.  Now if someone thinks raw feeding is just throwing some hamburger down, then yes, there will be problems. It is not hard, but it does take a bit of basic knowledge.

  A carnivore is a carnivore, and just because man decided to make an "easier" way to feed does not change that fact.

  At least if you are going to push a kibble, do it with a better quality one. One that at least 3, if not 4, of the first 4 ingredients is meat.  It's a shame that even that no brainer is too hard to comprehend for most vets.  Of course then you couldn't treat for the skin problems, allergies, IBD, and other problems as a result of that poor diet. 


 
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Princess L
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« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2007, 12:01:23 PM »


On a side note....he thought tripe was teh shit

The butcher at the grocery store is ordering in some tripe for me.  It comes in 1# frozen packs.  I think he said it's white.  I seem to recall you guys saying it was green.  Am I getting the wrong stuff?  What should I do with it and how much at a time?
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