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Does Your Vet Push Raw Food Or Prescription Dog Diets

vet kibble

The Problem With Kibble

Most dry and canned foods are denatured by cooking and processing (and sometimes chemicals). This makes them virtually devoid of raw enzymes, probiotics and natural vitamins and minerals. Processed foods contain carcinogens and often times carbolic acid (which is toxic), coal tar, charcoal, citronella oil and carcinogenic food coloring.

Since dry and canned foods are cooked and processed into indistinguishable, mashed pieces it’s easy for unethical pet food companies to purchase rotten, unusable scraps and leftovers from the human food industry, including meat goo and produce that was rejected by grocery stores and other manufacturing facilities.

By comparison, most raw and dehydrated formulas maintain their natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, proteins and probiotics. You can see, smell, and your pet can taste the individual raw ingredients in dehydrated and raw foods, unlike kibble and canned foods.

Vets Against Raw Dog Food

Unfortunately, veterinarians often only recommend kibble or canned and are becoming more and more “anti raw” since the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) officially released a statement opposing raw diets, claiming that there are “potential risks of pathogen transmission to humans.” (Note that they don’t mention potential pathogen risk to pets) This has become their stance even though they openly admit that, “no confirmed cases of human salmonellosis have been associated with these raw diets.” (There have been several cases of humans contracting salmonella from raw meat purchased at the grocery store that was fed to pets.)

Think of it this way: If your child’s Pediatrician told you to feed your child nothing but Fruit Loops because they’re “complete and balanced” and “scientifically formulated” and said, “never give your child raw fruits and vegetables because spinach and peanuts have had recalls before” you’d find a new pediatrician. Why should we believe that cereal made from refuse from the human food industry is nutritious for our pets? Upton Sinclair once said, “It is very difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on not understanding it.”

Bias And Sponsorship

In addition, the Mark Morris Institute offers the only curriculum provided for the one and only nutrition class required for Veterinarian students at any Veterinary College. Mark Morris is the founder of Hills Science Diet. Veterinarians also receive ongoing “Veterinary Research” and “Support” from Hills Science Diet and Royal Canin. Virtually all nutritional information supplied to Veterinarians is provided exclusively by two of the largest pet food manufacturers in the entire world (neither of which manufacture or sell raw or dehydrated food diets).

Obviously this makes it difficult for veterinarians to get accurate, unbiased information about nutrition and the health benefits of anything not manufactured and advertised by Hills Science Diet or Royal Canin/Waltham. Science Diet spends millions of dollars every year keeping veterinarians “educated,” offering awards to and through the AVMA, giving vets free food, etc. Until veterinarians are able to get information from unbiased sources they will continue to be misinformed regarding nutrition.

Prescription foods sold in veterinarian offices do not meet high standards for quality ingredients, quality control, business ethics or eco-consciousness. They are also not DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) regulated, meaning none of them contain pharmaceuticals, as the name implies, that may assist in healing your pet. Prescription foods address single problems using ingredients such as sawdust (powdered cellulose) to dry up diarrhea, peanut shells (hulls), soybean shells (mill run – GMO), corn gluten (GMO – used to artificially raise protein levels when meat protein is insufficient) or table salt to increase water consumption for urinary tract issues but none are a healthy solution for overall long term health.

Food Safety

There have been 270 pet food recalls in the last year. Pet product recalls have been nearly exclusive to dry kibble, canned pet foods and Chinese made pet treats.

Here is a short list of dry, canned dog and cat foods recalled due to salmonella or aflatoxin:

4Health, Advanced Animal Nutrition, Apex, Arrow Brand, Biljac, Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Eukanuba, Iams, Kirkland, Kroger, Natural Balance, Nature’s Variety, Pedigree, Petrus, Premium Edge, Professional, Purina, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Two Dog, Wellness

Additionally, Blue Buffalo, Purina and Royal Canin have had recalls for Vitamin D toxicity. Royal Canin has had 26 recalls in four years on its prescription foods for vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity often causes irreparable kidney and heart damage and death.

Raw pet food recalls:

Primal – Chicken only (once in 2011), Nature’s Variety – Chicken only (once in 2010), Feline Pride – Chicken only (once in 2010)

The FDA lists recalls on all pet and human products. Dry kibble pet foods are among the most likely things to be found on a recall list. Raw pet food recalls are few and far between and as long as you wash your hands after you feed it (and who wouldn’t?) then you, your pet, and your pocketbook are going to spend less time at the vets and be much healthier and happier.

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7 Responses to Does Your Vet Push Raw Food Or Prescription Dog Diets

  1. LG

    When did Nature’s Variety had these recalls? I’ve use it for a few years. I thought they were good :-(

  2. Kim

    MY ferrets are all fed natural raw meaty bones and whole prey! My vet is PRO raw and natural foods! However I had to suffer with 4 other vets who were anti raw before I located this vet. Not surprisingly, since I have located this vet and have been feeding what ferrets were designed to eat, I don’t often have to visit the vet! My eldest ferret is 9 years old and has been eating a natural diet for 6 years! Several others are between 6 and 8 years and going strong! Feed your pets what they were designed to eat and you get to enjoy the best of your pet for the longest time!

  3. Thanks for your article. I wish more people had access to information like this and realize that even the most well intended vets are wrong, wrong, wrong about highly processed kibble based diets and your explanation is exactly why they are. Yes I wish they would take the blinders off but ultimately it is up to each of us to do what’s best for our dogs.

    After all, we are what we eat and our dogs are no different. It reminds me of a problem I faced with my son 22 years ago. As a toddler he was diagnosed with severe asthma and I had to give him steroid treatments daily. I felt horrible and didn’t know what else to do. By changing his diet, alone he has been asthma free for 22 years. (and he had few highly processed foods) One can only imagine the health impact feeding our dogs raw meat would have if everyone would do it!

  4. “If your child’s Pediatrician told you to feed your child nothing but Fruit Loops”

    You forgot to add that the pediatrician was taught about nutrition by Kellogg and sells it in his lobby and has a financial incentive for you to purchase it..

    Pet food companies think of themselves as akin to makers of baby formula.. they also only recognize things they can quantify: dried chicken meal = fresh chicken – water. Why would anyone want to pay to ship water?? I’ve got all kinds of water here at the plant..

    or omegas in plants are equal to omegas in animal based sources.. forgetting that cats lack the digestive enzymes to unlock the nutrients in plant matter because they are obligate carnivores..

  5. Laura Ned


    Thank you for the article! I tried to click the link on Royal Canin’s recalls, but it does not work. The information on the http://www.chicagovma.org site does not seem available any longer. Where could I find it, please?

    Thank you,


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