The Raw Deal on Raw Diets: A veterinarian’s perspective

raw-diet

I knew that a discussion regarding raw diets was sometimes a contentious issue, but I never knew how controversial it was until I started blogging. Whenever a popular veterinary website or blog site posts something about raw diets the comment sections goes crazy. People on both sides of the issue sling mud as political candidates vying for office. So why did I blog about this topic? Well I felt it was important to share my perspective despite the controversy. I will admit that I am a  little nervous publishing this but whatever the response so be it. As a blogger I realize my goal is just share my perspective not to get everybody to agree with me. This is not meant to be a persuasive essay.

So what is behind the hype of a Raw Diet?

People who feed their dog a raw diet list a host of benefits they see in their pets after starting it. I will say I don’t debate these benefits since they are based on the composition of the diets.

  • Improved coat quality: This diet has a higher fat content then traditional which may contribute to the coat quality.
  • Highly digestible. This diet is generally lower in fiber making them more digestible leading to reduced fecal volume. Also something that is more digestible will yield more nutrition per volume.
  • Improved allergy symptoms – Of course raw diets are grain free, therefore eliminating exposure to food allergies that may be caused by grain. Pets can have allergies to meat proteins as well. But it is believed that a pet may be more allergic to a cooked vs a raw meat from the same source because how the protein changes during the cooking process. More studies need to be done to confirm this.
  • Longer lifespan- This is difficult to confirm scientifically due to a lack of long term studies comparing dogs on a raw diet vs another diet. If there is a longer life span the attitude of owner may play a role as well. I discuss this in further detail.
  • Improved dental disease –if a raw diet includes the bones then it is likely to decrease the amount of dental tartar on the teeth as they cause a brushing effect when the pet is chewing on it. Those on raw diets are also less likely to get treats that often contribute to dental disease in dogs.
  • Attitude of owner – This is actually an indirect benefit. At the risk of overgeneralizing, owners that are invested in the nutrition of their pets, whether it is a raw, grain free, or home-made diet etc. tend to exhibit certain behaviors that benefit the health of their pet. These are the people who walk or run with their dog providing regular exercise. They are more likely to brush their dog’s teeth. Their pets are often well trained, and less likely to show aggressive tendency because of it. Any health problems are detected quickly and addressed by a veterinarian if necessary. Vaccines are updated in a consistent manner and flea and heartworm prevention is consistent. They are less likely to overfeed their pets. They are less likely to have dogs tied to tree outside being exposed to the elements. All these behaviors as a whole improve the general health of these pets.


 

So with all those great benefits why do veterinarian overall dismiss these diets?

Well let’s look at some of the myths perpetuated in the blogosphere first then look at some facts.

Veterinarians don’t know nothing about nutrition.

That is a common cliché I have seen on the blogosphere. In my opinion that is code for “I don’t agree with your view on nutrition”. I know when I was in veterinary school, I wish I didn’t have to know anything about nutrition. Even though it is important, it is not the most exciting subject. Learning about amino acids, crude analysis, formulas involving energy requirements, and protein metabolism in one word is “boring.” I pretty much figured it was just one of those subjects that was included in the veterinary curriculum as a filler. Something I probably did not need to worry about once I got out into the “real” world. Boy I was wrong. I learned that during my first year of working experience as a veterinary intern at a Veterinary Teaching hospital. Many of my patients had feeding tubes for various medical conditions. Based on these medical conditions, I had to come up with the appropriate nutrient profile to assure proper feeding for the fastest recovery. Even now I deal with many medical conditions where nutrition is a major component in the treatment protocol. Some of these included diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver shunts, gastroenteritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Veterinarians push kibble to increase their profits.

I don’t make much money pushing kibble on owner even if it is for a medical reason. To explore this issue we have to follow the money. There are 3 main ways how veterinarians are paid: salary, a base salary plus production or commission, or production only. Veterinarians who are paid salary get paid the same regardless of how much food is being sold. How about the veterinarians who are paid production? Most veterinarians who are paid production either receive little or no commission on pet food. The reason for this is to keep food prices comparable to costs in the pet store, commission is often sacrificed. This is a case whether the food is a prescription diet or not.

Veterinarians are paid by pet food companies

While many pet food companies attempt to court us by providing dinner presentations promoting their products, their main goal is for us to choose their brand over rivals. The three main companies we deal with are Royal Canin, Hill’s, and Purina Veterinary diets. Their presentations are often focused on newer products for various health issues, and why their company is the better product when compared one another. So while we may get a free dinner once in a while these presentations rarely focus on maintenance foods vs prescription diets.

The one major reason veterinarians are not in favor of raw diets is due to the bacteria Salmonella

Most healthy pets are resistant to the effects of Salmonella even if exposed to it. There are not too many dogs or cats that will experience symptoms. The primary concern that many veterinarians have is the shedding of salmonella in the feces. There is also an increased risk of salmonella in the handling and preparation of the food since it is most likely handled every day. Most of the concerns is with the very young, very old, or immunocompromised individuals being exposed to this.  Some farm animals such as horses can be sensitive to this bacteria as well.

So why the battle between raw diet vs  kibble diet?

 

Food contamination

This is a major issue. I personally dealt with the aflatoxin contamination in a popular pet food while I was in veterinary school.  Since then there have been several instances of toxin contaminations in other popular dog food brands. Mycotoxins and aflatoxins have had the major roles in these outbreaks which has caused major illness and even death in pets involved. Obviously this has caused major distrust among pet owners toward the pet food companies. Sometimes these concerns are further highlighted by those who are raw or natural diet proponents. Even with the best quality control, sometimes contamination still can’t be avoided. This is often a challenge with anything that is mass produced. Typically, the lower the quality of the food the lower the quality control and the greater the risk for contamination. So cheaper is definitely not better. Raw diets are not immune from risk of contamination. But these tend to be more controlled by owner behavior. If contamination occurs, it is typically due to poor storage of food, and poor sanitation of food bowls or eating areas.

Misinformation being spread via the internet

The internet is well known for spreading misinformation on many topics and pet nutrition is not immune from this. The problem is that many people are claiming to be experts on pet nutrition. They claim that are experts because they have done extensive research. The problem is the extensive research has been mostly bad information from the internet. Many times they have no other formal training or education in the field to justify their proclaimed expertise. If I could have skipped school and become a veterinarian with just extensive research on the internet, I would have saved a lot of money. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. In order for someone to have a true authority on pet nutrition they would need to have knowledge on not only pet nutrition, but a good understanding of animal physiology as well. There are very few people who would qualify for this yet you still see many blogs making bold claims about pet nutrition. Animal physiology is necessary to understand how a dog’s or cat’s body works. Nutrition in pets does not always work the same way it does in humans so it be wrong to assume so.

So who should you turn to if I have questions regarding raw diet?

Well you can still reach out to those who have fed their pets the diet but remember just because it works well for one pet does it mean it will do the same for your pets. There are many factors to consider. Traditional veterinarians are not likely to recommend the diet and are more likely to discourage it. So if you are seeking a knowledgeable person, you may seek out the advice of a holistic veterinarian. At least they may have knowledge of both nutrition, and animal physiology.

Does a raw diet guarantee good health?

No diet can guarantee good health for your pet. Just like no diet can guarantee ultimate doom for your pets. I often have clients who are surprised when their pets have an illness even though they are feeding a high quality diet. Not to downplay the importance of a diet in a pets health. However, these pet owners are unaware of other factors that can contribute to a pet’s health. You have genetic conditions, exposure to carcinogens, breed dispositions that contribute to health as well. I have seen on blogs where pet owners are so confident of their pet’s health that they don’t feel the need to take their pets to the veterinarian anymore. They just do blood work and when the results come back normal they know they are healthy. I can tell you of many cases of where I discovered cancer in  pets  and if I only did blood work alone, I would never know. Also there is no diet that can effectively prevent heart disease which often detected on physical exam. When it comes to allergies, though raw diets can reduce the incidence of food allergies, environmental allergies can still be a factor.

 

There are a couple of things you should consider before changing your pet to any extreme diet

Any diet change should occur gradually, typically over a 3-5 days period unless directed otherwise by a veterinarian. Changing a diet too quickly can cause major gastrointestinal upset leading to diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. I have seen some websites describe this as normal part of the “detoxification” process. It is never normal for any pet to suffer with diarrhea or vomiting.

Have a veterinary check up prior to a diet change, especially if your pet has been on the same diet for a few years. There are some medical conditions where certain diets may be contraindicated.

 

 

My final perspective

Though a raw diet is not my first choice for pets, I am always encouraged by owners who are invested interest in what their pets eat. I believe that a well balanced diet is most important. Most of the diet problems I see in my career is not typically related to someone just feeding a particular diet. It is when they decide to feed outside of the diet. The most common digestive medical condition I see in dogs is pancreatitis. This is often due to people feeding their dogs fast food, junk food, or other high fatty foods because they believe they are feeding their dog a treat. My concluding thoughts are that I am less impressed by what food a pet owner feeds their pets vs how one treats their pets. Not everyone can feed their pets the best food, but everybody can give their pet their best. This best looks different from owner to owner based on their socioeconomic status. But providing the best to your pets will be the most important factor in enriching their lives.

10 thoughts on “The Raw Deal on Raw Diets: A veterinarian’s perspective

  1. I’ve never sat and read an entire blog before this one. I’ve got 2 weenie dogs that share my entire heart equily. They are my children after my children grew up that have filled my life with love, laughter, joy, and contentment. I’ve always tried to keep them on a medium priced food that is still name brand. I try and keep them on a consistent diet of the same dog food. I’m always making sure they have special treats as rewards for being good boy’s. The treats are in bags and boxes from the store made for your dog, but about (once, maybe twice) a month I will get them soup or neck bones from the meat department at the store. Is that treat bad because it’s always raw with a nice bone for chewing on all day. They love their treats and know the reason they get them. I give them treats everyday because they earn them, but am I doing them harm by giving them the treats? I also have trained them not to beg at anyone eating but always give them the leftovers left on the plate. They will eat anything on the plates, (potatoes, veggies, breads, fruits) anything. So is this habit a bad one also? I love my dogs very much and would never want to hurt them so any advise on anything I could change for the better would only benefit my Pete & Peanut.
    By the way, I do not give them any bones (chicken, turkey, fish) that I know could splinter and hurt them. I’m sorry if this has taken to much of your time, it’s just that the more I read your blog, the more I liked and believed in you. Thank You so much for your time, and any advise you can give me is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use. Again, thank you.
    Kathy

    • Thank you Kathleen, I am glad you enjoy the blog. As far as treats for you dogs I would avoid feeding them off the plate because it still may encourage begging in certain circumstances. Also there are certain foods that could cause digestive problems if they come off the plate. So I would stick to treats that are made for dogs.

  2. Interesting.

    “Veterinarians don’t know nothing about nutrition.”
    Yes, vets do take a class in nutrition, but from what I have seen of the courses, it is a general nutrition class and not one specifically about the nutrients needed by cats and dogs. Vets have stated that a lot of the focus is on large animals. I actually don’t really expect my vet to be a specialist in nutrition, just as I don’t expect my own doctor to be one. When you have questions about your diet that are deeper than the USDA guidelines, they refer you to a nutritionist. It is a shame more vets do not take this approach.

    “Veterinarians push kibble to increase their profits.”
    vets who work for the clinic they are working in and don’t own it don’t increase their own profits by selling product that the clinic sells, but it does increase the profit of the clinic and keeps it in business and possible raises because the owner is seeing the bottom line. Owners of vet clinics see the profit. I have seen the argument that there isn’t much profit in food, but the vet clinic I worked at marked the food up by 100% , meaning if they bought a bag for $20, they sold it for $40. However I don’t believe anyone prescribed the foods simply to make money. They did it because they were promised that these foods solved a problem. Have a cat with urinary crystals? Feed it this food. Dog with a digestive issue, give it this food. Kidney issues, this food will help with that.. They rely on the pet food makers to tell them what foods they make can help with what conditions and they prescribe accordingly. but what if I told you that these foods were incredibly unhealthy. Would you still rely on them? Have you ever talked to someone who was not a sales rep about these foods and what they actually do to the body?.. although I’m falling back into that first paragraph of vets really don’t know anything about nutrition, or they wouldn’t prescribe a food chocked full of plants that are alkalizing to a cat with urinary crystals who need acidic urine… well not to mention the simple fact that cats are obligate carnivores. Any vet who suggests feeding a cat a food high in plant based ingredients obviously isn’t paying attention to that obligate part of carnivore. And I didn’t even mention the Y/D food for thyroid.. which has no animal protein in it at all.

    “Veterinarians are paid by pet food companies”
    you are right on this one.. but don’t forget all of the CE classes put on by big pet food.. and the trips and the dinners.. etc. A lot of things that were illegal for drug makers to do for doctors, is common place among the vets.

    “The primary concern that many veterinarians have is the shedding of salmonella in the feces. There is also an increased risk of salmonella in the handling and preparation of the food since it is most likely handled every day” So apparently people aren’t to be trusted around feces? What do you think they do, handle it with their bare hands then lick them? I am also pretty sure that the human race has been handling raw meat since the dawn of time. Yes, salmonella and ecoli are dangerous to the young, the old and the immune compromised, but you know what, that does not explain why there is such a huge back lash against raw. Simple basic sanitation common sense takes care of all of the issues. There are people who are actually afraid to feed their pets raw anything, and I think that has more to do with the fear culture than any fact or piece of science… to me this ranks right up there with don’t microwave your food because you kill all the nutrients in it.

    While I do appreciate that this article is one of the more ‘balanced’ articles I’ve read in a while, it still misses the mark and plays into that fear culture. And you are right that feeding an ideal diet to the animal’s needs doesn’t mean they won’t ever get sick – especially if they or their parents ate less than ideal, but it does go a long long way to preventing nutritional based problems, be it a cat or a dog or a cow.

    • Hello Connie
      Though I appreciate your in depth comments regarding this article I wanted to address a few points where you may have missed the mark. As far as the courses that you have seen in veterinary school, what schools have you seen only teach general nutrition? I know the veterinary school I went to definitely did not teach just about “general nutrition” In fact we were given a nearly 1000 page textbook that was called Small Animal nutrition and it went into great detail about nutrients needed by cats and dogs. In fact I don’t even remember learning much about Large animal nutrition. Though you may not expect your veterinarian to be a specialist in nutrition, if your pet were to require nutrition specialist, you should not rely on somebody who has no veterinary experience or no understanding of animal physiology to determine what a pet needs. There are actually board certified veterinary nutritionists that handle any complicated nutrition cases for pets. No pet would need a nutritionist to determine what maintenance diet is needed to feed a pet. Most general veterinarians can easily determine that.
      As far as food increasing the profit margin of the clinic, of course it does, what business do you know are not interested in making profits? The point I was trying to make is that compared to other services that a clinic may offer, food usually provides the smallest profit margin. In most cases food only may contribute to no more than %10 of the profits. Where other veterinary services may contribute anywhere form %70-%90 of the profits. So if a clinic is not doing that great on food sales it does not hurt their bottom line as much. They can just focus on improving veterinary services.

      You said: “They did it because they were promised that these foods solved a problem. Have a cat with urinary crystals? Feed it this food. Dog with a digestive issue, give it this food. Kidney issues, this food will help with that.. They rely on the pet food makers to tell them what foods they make can help with what conditions and they prescribe accordingly. but what if I told you that these foods were incredibly unhealthy. Would you still rely on them? Have you ever talked to someone who was not a sales rep about these foods and what they actually do to the body?.. although I’m falling back into that first paragraph of vets really don’t know anything about nutrition, or they wouldn’t prescribe a food chocked full of plants that are alkalizing to a cat with urinary crystals who need acidic urine… well not to mention the simple fact that cats are obligate carnivores”

      The many errors in this statement proves that there is a need to have an understanding of animal physiology and as well as nutrition when dealing with cats and dogs. First of all we don’t rely on pet food makers to decide what food to prescribe a pet. We rely on the pet’s response to the diet and medical science. For example, if I put a cat on a special diet that has crystals first I check with a urinalysis and see if their urine is alkaline or acidic and what type of crystals that they have. If a pet has a crystals in alkaline urine and decide to put them on diet to dissolve the crystals. How do I confirm that the diet is working? I sure enough don’t ask the pet food rep. I recheck the urine after the pet is on the food for some time and if the once alkaline urine becomes more acidic and the crystals are gone that’s is how I get confirmation that the diet is doing what it is promised. It has nothing to do with a sales rep. Same goes for dogs with digestive issues. If a dog has a digestive problem and I start it on a special diet and that problem improves there is my confirmation. It is the same thing with the kidney diets. With improvement with clinical signs there would be no need to talk to anybody claiming that there were unhealthy. I assume that person would not know what they are talking about especially if they have no veterinary or animal physiology experience. As far as what we pay attention to when prescribing these foods are what is best for the pet’s health. Obviously a cat with crystals is not good for its health.
      As far as you mentioning CE classes put on by big pet food, I have already addressed that in the article. The big three I mentioned are often competing to get our attention so we can choose their prescription diet over their rivals. It is hardly a push for us to offer their maintenance diets.
      As far as these two questions that you asked: “So apparently people aren’t to be trusted around feces? What do you think they do, handle it with their bare hands then lick them?” that is not the point at all. But if a veterinarian has a choice of choosing a food that has a higher risk for salmonella even if it is only a smaller risk, we will likely choose the food that has the lower risk. Reason being we are liable for our patients. For me the risks outweigh the benefits especially if there are other options. I think many people have this unrealistic mindset that every pet owner thinks the same and is able to do the same for the pets. No matter how practical or how much common sense something seems to you does not guarantee it will mean the same for somebody else. In my many years of veterinary medicine I have seen it all from people being surprised if they have two pets of the opposite sex that one of them can get pregnant. People giving their pets dangerous human foods. People giving their pets dangerous human medications. And the list can go on an on, all these things some people would think any body with “common sense” should know. Unfortunately the world does not work that way especially when it comes to pet ownership. People have different levels of knowledge and experience that shape their decision regarding their pets and they don’t always involve “common sense” So believe me it has nothing to do with “fear” culture. It has to do with “reality” culture

  3. Dr Alleyne,

    I am enjoying this blog quite a bit. What do you think of the issue of grain in cat food? It is my understanding that cats are obligate carnivores and cannot digest it. I have noticed that even the veterinary diets sold in vet clinics contain a great deal of corn. I have 2 FELV cats and their diet is a source of great concern for me. I do try to research but only articles written by veterinarians, many of which disagree. Currently I am feeding my cats Dr Lisa Piersens’ diet http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood Dr Piersen is extremely interested in feline nutrition.
    You are obviously correct that any research I do is going to be on the Internet as I am not a veterinarian.

    • Thank you for enjoying the blog. I think a lot of people get confused with the term obligate carnivores when it comes to cats. It does not mean that cats can’t have any grain, it just means that they require animal protein in their diet at all times. Cats can break down grain and use some nutrients from it though their main source of nutition should be animal protein. Most veterinary diets are formulated to ensure that cats get the right percentage of animal protein.

  4. Doc do you really think feeding obligate carnivores dry kibble is optimal for their health? Nutrition is key to health for all living beings so when any veterinarian pushes or gives me a speech on an inappropriate (dry food) diet for cats they lose all credibility with me, in fact I check out and never return to him/her again.

    I have been to the vet school in Gainesville, FL and saw how Hills is heavily advocated and it made me both sad & angry and when I questioned both students & doctors about who teaches nutrition and found out that Hills teaches nutrition there this was a red flag, how can a veterinarian learn all aspects of nutrition when it’s taught/pushed by a company with BILLIONS of dollars to gain by pushing their horrific, many recalled products?
    My last question; how many reports have you found online or in print are there of Salmonella due to raw diets compared to commercial canned or dry? It’s something that Hills and the others who have billions of dollars to lose have tried pushing in hopes people will stay uninformed, thank goodness people are waking up to this and choosing to feed our carnivores a species appropriate diet. We are also seeking veterinarians who approach helping our fur children from a holistic eastern side of medicine along with the western side, we are tired of watching veterinarians declaw cats for profit in the guise it’s “saving them from going to the pound” which btw is total BS as I network for cats almost daily and I see so many dumped due to behavior, tired of watching our animals sick or die due to being over vaccinated and lead to feed inappropriate diets, your profession has lost their way, it’s so sad.

    • Hello, since you took the time to comment on this article I thought I would take the time to address the questions that you have. Though based on your tone of your comments, I am pretty sure no matter what answers I give we will still disagree on this subject. Also your comments make me question if you even read through the whole article.
      As far as your question regarding whether feeding obligate carnivores dry kibble is optimal for their health: A couple points that need to be made here. One is that in the article I made it clear that I don’t see much of a difference in the health of animals who are fed well balanced whether it is raw, grain-free, or high quality. Obviously someone who feeds their cat a cheap poor quality dry kibble is not helping the health of their pets. There is often confusion or misinterpretation of what the term obligate carnivore actually means especially from people who have no clinical experience. Those who are obligate carnivores does not mean that they can’t have any grain at all, it just means that they require a meat protein as a major component in their diet. This has been made evident by people who feel the need to feed their cats a vegetarian diet (yes they are out there) and their pets suffer healthwise because of it. Another point is my clinical experience is what gives me the evidence regarding what provides optimal health for pets. I have seen hundreds of cats during my career and with hundreds of physical exams, a lab work on these cats, I haven’t seen any evidence of the contrary. So I am not relying on propaganda as you call it from Hill’s. I am using real tangible evidence from my clinical experience that is all.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I am surprised that you would totally discredit a veterinarian because of a disagreement on maintenance diet. Why not agree to disagree and move on. Most of the patients I see are not coming to see me to sell them a diet, they come to me to diagnose and treat a medical issue . How well I treat and diagnose is what I am judged on which is fair enough. Otherwise they really don’t care how a feel about a maintenance diet that they are not going to buy from me anyway.
      Just to note going to one veterinary school out of 28 schools nationwide is not going to give you enough information to determine how nutrition is taught to veterinary students. Again as I stated in the article and previous comments, maintenance diets are only a small aspect of veterinary nutrition. That is something most people without clinical experience don’t understand.
      In regards to your last question. Yes there are articles that talk about the difference between the shedding of Salmonella with a raw diet vs dry kibble. But anyone with a microbiology background would not even need those papers to determine if that is correct. Logically it makes sense that anything raw is more likely to contain the bacteria compared to something that is processed and cooked. Anytime there is an issue with Salmonella or any other bacteria or fungus with dry kibble, it is mostly likely due to a contamination from a raw ingredient.
      Again I won’t judge you personally for electing to feed your pets a raw diet. You are obviously doing what you feel best for your pets and should be applauded for it. But I feel at the same time you should return the platitude and not judge a whole veterinary career based on a disagreement on what is the best maintenance diet.

  5. You correctly identified aflatoxin and mycotoxins as the contaminants responsible for most recalls of pet food. These are never found in raw meat, because they occur in grains. They are also not destroyed by the high-heat processing that kibble – all kibble- receives. So they remain in the food and cause serious mischief. Dogs and cats have sickened and died from these toxins. The danger to dogs and cats from bacterial contamination is greater in grocery store meats fed raw than in commercial raw diets. The amount of bacterial contamination allowed in grocery store chicken is greater than the amount that the FDA would compel a company to recall a raw pet food. Presumably, this poultry would be cooked before humans eat it, but how is the handling of raw poultry by home cooks different from the handling of raw pet food prior to serving? And there is reason to be confident that the stomach acidity and short GI tract of dogs and cats will render the bacteria harmless to pets consuming raw meat – unless the animal is seriously immune-compromised. In that case, feeding raw meat that has been treated with HPP will suffice, as it makes the meat sterile without heat. It does adulterate the food, since it kills enzymes and beneficial bacteria along with the pathogens – but it is still in a better, more digestible form than kibble, with its excessive starch, low quality proteins, and need for synthetic vitamins and minerals to be added. I suggest you investigate and see if you can come up with any significant number of cases of illness in pets eating raw food, from salmonella. The veterinary community likes to stress the danger of illness, but is short on proof that it actually occurs. Also, the AHVMA and many holistic veterinarians have studied nutrition and are doing the research that needs to be done on raw diet safety. They certainly are not naive about the dangers of contamination from all sorts of toxins, but they recommend raw food as the most species-appropriate form for dogs and cats, and they are not seeing cases of illness in their raw-fed patients attributable to the food.

    • In this particular article with me being part of the veterinary community, I certainly was not stressing how a raw diet could make a dog sick. I actually mentioned that most healthy dogs will most likely not get sick from it due to their immune system. I think the primary emphasis of concern from the veterinary community is not that dog eating it will get horribly sick, it is that they are more likely to shed the bacteria Salmonella in the environment which increases the likelihood of exposure to those who may be compromised to the bacteria. My viewpoint is while both diets can have the potential problems, I don’t think it necessarily makes one diet superior over the other. Just like you may not see many health problems feeding pets a raw diet, it is the same observation I see with pets that are fed a well-balanced kibble. While it is certainly devastating when a food is contaminated with a mycotoxin, when that occurs I don’t blame it just on the fact that it is kibble. I place blame on the handling, and disinfection protocol of the associated food company. With a raw diet the disinfection protocol is strictly in the pet owner’s hands. As far as the comparison between preparing meat meal for a family to feeding a raw diet to a pet, I still see it has being different. The main reason is because there is much more handling of raw meat when it comes to feeding pets vs when preparing a meal for a family.

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