Common Myths About Raw Feeding
There are so many myths about raw feeding. Many times these myths are already seeming to set up a pet owner to decide they do not want to feed raw or make it seem like it is very difficult to properly feed. If you are feeling uncertain, trust that you will learn how to properly feed a raw diet with ease. Many myths are fear tactics. Know that you were right in deciding to embark on the
Raw diets are complicated/hard to feed.
Raw diets aren’t complicated or hard. It may take a little time to get used to how to feed it, but once you get the hang of it, it is easy… many times much easier than making your own “human” dinner! As with all new things, it is a learning process. In the end, you’ll have a healthier pet compared to if they were eating processed foods. If it’s the difference in health between adding in a few extra steps to throwing food out of a bag into a bowl, it’s worth it.
The bacteria is harmful… salmonella… eek!
The main reason that some mainstream veterinary organizations are fearful of bacteria is for the pet owner, not the actual pet. However, working with raw food for your pet has the exact same safety measures as working with raw meat to cook for yourself. Always wash bowls after or put in the dishwasher, stainless steel or glass are best. Wash any surfaces or utensils that touch the meat. Wash your hands with soapy water if touching raw meat. As long as you use common sense when it comes to handling raw meat, you will be ok.
There are commercial raw pet foods that go through a process called high pressure processing, basically a pasteurization process. The benefit of feeding raw is that is has live, fresh nutrients in it. Raw foods that go through HPP, while still less processed than kibble and canned foods, are biologically dead. Dogs and cats on these foods still have to supplement enzymes and probiotics as they are killed off during HPP. Animals fed HPP foods have been found to show increased incidence of disease compared to fresh, unprocessed. With HPP foods, you’ll pay more money and not get as many benefits.
The bodies of dogs and cats are designed to handle the bacteria. Their stomach pH is less than or equal to 1, highly acidic, compared to our resting stomach pH which is 4-5.
Bones are not safe for dogs.
Raw meaty bones are a normal and essential component of a raw diet. The raw diet would not be complete without raw bone which can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Raw meaty bones serve many health benefits to our dogs and cats and are essential.
Cooked bones are NEVER safe and can be fatal as they can splinter. This is talking about cooked bones in ANY form, baked, grilled, dehydrated, smoked, etc. “Wreck bones” (weight bearing bones of large animals, such as a “marrow” or “soup” bone) are also not recommended as they can cause expensive dental work, unless the dog does not chew it to consume it.
Raw diets are not “balanced.”
“Complete and balanced” is a buzz phrase from the processed food industry. You will never find any food sources in nature that contain all the nutrients needed in one meal. Feeding a raw diet is the same. You obtain balance by feeding a variety of protein sources. Every protein source has different amounts of nutrients. By feeding a variety, you achieve balance over time, just as you achieve balance in your own diet.
Raw diets make dogs aggressive or want to catch animals outside.
Simply un-true. Do you feel aggressive after eating a steak or a piece of chicken? No? Well, the same is true for our dogs, cats, and ferrets. As for prey drive, this will be the same in your dog no matter what you feed. Dogs who chase rabbits on kibble will continue chasing rabbits on raw. A dog who could care less about rabbits outside, will continue to care less on raw.
On kibble, my Italian greyhound was nicknamed “my little predator.” At the time, we lived in the Quad Cities and would walk along a path with a long stream. We would see a decent amount of wildlife on this path. One day we spotted a few beavers. She thought she could catch a huge beaver! (Luckily she was on leash!) Another time we had a buck and a doe right in the middle of our path. This was an area where fence was on one side of the path as I-80 was close. I slowly picked Bella up and held her mouth shut and walked very calmly past them, as I knew if she had the chance she may try and chase them, and I did not want to get trampled by deer! She chases rabbits, squirrels, and birds too. She still will chase since being on raw, but she actually probably did more chasing on kibble. There may be a reason for that too, other than age, and that is: any species eating the whole foods that they are designed to eat are of greater health, a sound mind, and a calmer energy.
You can also put that into a different perspective: compare kids on processed and junk foods compared to kids eating a whole food, balanced diet of meats, veg, fruit, nuts, and water.
Questions and more information on which proteins