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Natural Canine Health Symposium


What Pet Food Manufacturers Think Of Raw Feeders

The recent AVMA decision to form a official policy against raw feeding generated a lot of buzz in the raw feeding community and we were very vocal in our thoughts. We signed petitions, we wrote to the AVMA and we solicited our vets with information. In the end, the vast majority of vets are still against raw feeding. Why are vets so closed minded to raw feeding?

Perhaps one of the reasons for their reluctance to accept raw feeding is that they are largely influenced by the pet food industry. Yesterday, we came across an interesting post on the Petfood Industry website and the author’s opinion of raw feeders wasn’t exactly respectful. It seems that pet food advocates are not only against raw feeding, but they believe us to be completely incapable of grasping the basic concepts of nutrition that vets magically possess after a couple of courses in nutrition (which are ironically taught by the pet food manufacturers).

The author, Jessica Taylor, urges pet food manufacturers to ‘educate’ us raw feeders by stating, “Isn’t it our responsibility to make sure the people buying and feeding our products to their animals are informed by more than just Retweeted gossip and a few, social media-savvy bloggers?”

Dr. Asley Hughes of Friendship Hospital for Animals adds, “The Internet tells [pet owners] raw food is the best thing to feed, and if they love their dog, this is what they should be feeding them, and so I hope people research it more and, you know, make an informed decision if that’s what they want to feed. I think it’s about discussing your feeding choices with your veterinarian and working out a system and a way of feeding that works for you and your pet.”

Jessica Taylor concludes, “This seems like a missed oppurtunity for our industry to stop the spread of misinformation and to educate pet parents on ingredients, safe food-handling and the health of not only their pets, but themselves.”

This is certainly an interesting claim when the only pet food on record to have caused disease in humans is kibble. Susan Thixton explains, “the recent Diamond Pet Food manufacturing facility – a cooked/kibble pet food facility – experienced a significant pet food recall involving numerous brands of kibble dog and cat foods. This recall resulted in 49 confirmed human cases of Salmonella Infantis linked to kibble pet food manufactured at Diamond’s Gaston, South Carolina plant. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have no confirmed cases of human illness linked to raw pet foods.”

In a nutshell, there is a trickle down effect and the pet food manufacturers pass their disdain for raw feeding on to the vets. They urge pet owners to discuss nutrition with their vet – and why wouldn’t they? Although they claim we raw feeders are victims of internet propaganda, vets are also victim to the pet food industry’s relentless onslaught of propaganda. The pet food industry has taken over veterinary education and they compete for veterinary dollars with free product and incentives. Pet food manufacturers and vets both profit from their nutritional advice. Raw feeders who openly share their knowledge (and the many vets who advocate raw feeding), have nothing to gain financially. Who should you trust?

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12 Responses to What Pet Food Manufacturers Think Of Raw Feeders

  1. As I read this article I was struck by the parallel with an industry I once worked in, securities and insurance. To maintain our licenses, we as brokers, financial consultants, and insurance agents were required by law and regulation to “take classes” on a regular basis. Did an economist come in and provide these classes? Your joking, right! Did an accountant come in? NO! Did an attorney specializing in estate planning and trusts come to provide us with guidance? Hell NO! Nope, an representative from one of the insurance companies whose products our firm wanted us to push would email us menus for one of the local catered takeout places a day or two before the “class” to get our lunch orders. We would then gather in the conference room where the boxed lunches with each of our names on them would be waiting to be distributed. We would each be handed our box and either take them back to our offices, to the break room, or sit in the conference room to eat. To “satisfy” the “educational component” the rep would put a page or two about their newest product on top of the boxed lunch as they were handed out. Some times we also got T-shirts, stress balls, pens or some other “promotional” item. I’d say the junk pet food manufacturers are doing the same to vets and therefore their clients and the insurance reps did and continue to do for your insurance agent who does it TO you.

  2. With raw food it’s a given that you wash your hands, because we’re taught from childhood to wash our hands after handling meat. Despite all the recalls, pet owners apparently don’t have the ‘common sense’ to wash their hands after handling kibble.

    The dog food industry and oversight seems to be as corrupt as the pharmaceutical industry and oversight is. Why blindly trust the opinions of people who clearly have a vested interest in the outcome?

    The good news is, obviously the education provided by those ‘tweeters’ and ‘savvy bloggers’ is having a major effect, or the dog food industry wouldn’t feel so threatened! So keep up the good work!

  3. Lindsey Tootle

    Raw feeding does equal “inconvenience”. You can buy it in a commercial frozen prepared bag (Nature’s Variety, Stella and Chewey’s, Primal etc) and there are companies like “Hare Today Gone Tomorrow” and “My Pet Carnivore” that deliver in their tri-state area and ship out as well. Don’t forget whole prey (which is the species appropriate diet) which can also be purchased through the companies I mentioned. Then, like myself, I purchase meat from the grocery store and simply chop it up and feed (for my ferrets). The most crucial aspect of feeding any raw diet to any animal is that it is a complete and balanced meat every time you feed.

  4. Pennie Snow

    what should I feed my dogs and my cat?? Confused have tried to give them the best but now wondering???

  5. Jennifer Fisk

    My veterinarian is an excellent diagnostician but he apparently knows little about nutrition since he still feeds his dog Science Diet. He always remarks about how lovely my GSDs look with shiny coats and sparkling eyes. When the tech asked once for their records what they ate and I listed Steve’s Real, Barking At The Moon, Green Tripe, Sardines, Spirulina, MSM and Sea Meal she didn’t know what to say or what I was talking about.

  6. Len C.

    QUOTE: Jessica Taylor concludes, “This seems like a missed oppurtunity for our industry”

    This person obviously doesn’t give a damn about the pets, she’s just some shill for a pet food company. So tell us Jessica, are you more concerned about your job or the health of our pets?

  7. Lisa

    Isn’t kibble the throw away part of already low-grade, processed & packaged human food? Saying that kibble is better for your dog than a raw fresh turkey leg s like saying that a box of Nilla Wafers is better for you than a bunch of beets. I cannot believe they think we will believe them.

    • Lindsey Tootle

      The meat used for pet kibble comes from the “4 D’s” of animals from farms…”dead, diseased, dying, disabled farm animals”. A good website…The Dogfood Project”.

  8. If I stand back from all the clever marketing and years of acceptance that pet “food” is good for our companion carnivores I have to ask myself why on earth processed biscuits would ever be a choice over raw fresh food. It’s plainly ridiculous. I am convinced though that raw feeding is growing and as it continues to we are going to see more and more of this from the pet food manufacturers, they cannot afford the lid to be blown off their profit making machine!

  9. Andrea Demmons

    I attended a webinar with Dr. Dodds (Internationally known and respected veterinarian who specializes in Thyroid and Immune function). During the webinar she mentioned the vote, and that “they” were flabergasted that this passed. Evidentally the vote was 52% for……. I was actually surprised the vote was this close, so we Raw folks at least have a 48% backing. It has been an uphill battle since the beginning, and I am happy we have some enlightened Vets.

  10. While I do not feed my dogs a raw food diet (until finding your site I can’t say I had ever even thought about it) I was at least educated years ago by a pet food rep about the importance of reading a label and making good choices on pet foods. The food was Proplan, When it first came on the market it was (in my opinion) a food company with a conscious,..that is, before selling out to Purina. Since then I have done my best to educate people to making choices towards a better quality of pet food, rather than running out and buying the most brightly colored and over advertised grocery store bag of food that costs less than a trip to McDonald’s.
    However over the last couple of years I have branched out to include herbal supplements and treatments not only for my horses, but for my dogs and cats as well and add healthy “leftovers” to my pets diets to supplement their kibble. I keep shots to only the bare requirements and use only natural dewormers and as much natural flea prevention as possible.
    Im not sure I’ll ever fully become a “raw diet” feeder (mostly due to inconvenience) but I would for sure consider it beneficial and will think differently the next time I clean a whole chicken for making chicken soup! (I do always share the cooked goodies when stripping the meat off the bone) And as a horse owner, I have gotten away from bags of “complete” feed and even though I still have to use individual bagged products, I have based my business on getting away from these same kinds of companies that try to tell us how to feed our horses the same as you have done with your dogs. I now feed each of my horses individually tailored diets and educate my clients on doing the same.
    Thank you very much for your site, your insite, and your information on keep our dogs “natural”. I will definitely be recommending your site to others!

    • Bonnie Yagiela

      Hi! You mentioned convenience. I used to mix my dog’s meals from the meat sent to me from Hare Today and would take the time to mix in the veggies and fruits recommended, but decided to purchase his meals from Darwin’s. They make their meals according to the recommendations of Steve Brown, the author of two books I’ve read about raw diets for dogs and cats. It’s very convenient now because I don’t have to mix anything. They send it in 8 oz portions. He gets half in the morning, the other half for dinner. I thaw out his food a couple of days ahead of time so it’s ready to go in the morning. As soon as the little container, which holds two servings, is empty, I refill it. No more work! Just peel the wrapper off! He loves his food! Super convenient!

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