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By Gabrielle Jonas | 46

As pet owners reeled from the melamine contamination of some commercial brands of pet foods in 2007, many switched to a raw diet for their dogs or cats. But did those pet owners jump out of the frying pan and into the fire? Raw diets inc… more ›

Raw Meat Diets: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire?
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BriLar
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BriLar
4 years ago

What about the study done on cats with whole raw rabbit and whole cooked rabbit? This was done for years and they saw all the common problems we see with our pets in the cats on the cooked rabbit verses the raw rabbit group. Only thing was the taurine. Good grief, then just make sure they get taurine, which they did. They admitted grounding and processing the meat may have broken down the taurine in the rabbit. Pottinger's cooked rabbit cats actually where considered to have the taurine deficiency....but they were unaware of taurine at that time. Both the control and study group got raw milk, cod liver oil, and either raw or cooked rabbit.

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Denise L.
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Denise L.
4 years ago

I think it depends on the individual dog...but doing your homework on what to feed your pet is a MUST!

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Kris
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Kris
4 years ago

Raw diet or commercial. I think it is important to do your homework. There are a lot of options and a lot of junk foods out there. I have heard of many dogs doing well on raw diets, but I also think there are good commercial foods if you look for them.

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Stephanie
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Stephanie
4 years ago

Agreed!

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Jillian
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Jillian
4 years ago

not to mention animals should not be fed bone. bones absorb metals in the body and when regularly fed these higher doses, cancer can occur...and is fairly common.

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AiredaleLady
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AiredaleLady
4 years ago

Dogs are designed to eat bones. See this article: dearjubilee.com/supporting_pages/rawdiet.pdf Dogs have teeth for dealing with bones: big flat teeth for cracking them and sharp pointed teeth for tearing stuff off of bones. Their stomachs have much stronger digestive juices than human stomachs, and they can digest bones, dissolve them, in six to 18 hours. They are nothing like humans: they do not have teeth for chewing their food like we do; and no digestion takes place in their mouths (we start digesting in our mouths). Please do some research and learn what dogs are designed to eat; they are not little humans. they are carnivores. We have fed our dogs a raw diet of meat and meaty bones for 14 years. Our dogs are healthy, and our vet marvels over how seldom she sees us with a sick dog.

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AiredaleLady
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AiredaleLady
4 years ago

The article I was referring to is on a website called Dear Jubilee. Obviously, we cannot post a url on this board.

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Jillian
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Jillian
4 years ago

have done my research, which is why i've decided against it. no matter what you read, it's a biased source. raw diets have their pros as well as their cons, and there's a plethora of articles that can lead your beliefs into either direction.
my dogs are fed a balanced homemade meal that took me several months of intense research to perfect. bone meal was cut out due to studies showing the occurrence of cancer - in dogs, not humans. calcium and phosphorus have since been replaced elsewhere.

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KellyLogan
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KellyLogan
4 years ago

Reference please.

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Bowne
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Bowne
4 years ago

Except for fruits and vegetables, I can't see eating anything raw! It may be ok for dogs in moderation though.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

that is the big thing it MAY be the bacteria in meat could kill them if not cooked

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AiredaleLady
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AiredaleLady
4 years ago

Dogs eat bacteria. These are animals that lick their anuses and eat poop when and if they can. They have much stronger digestive juices than we do, and they do not die from licking or eating things that are full of bacteria like e-coli and salmonella. I wouldn't knowingly give them anything that is infested with bacteria, but when you say, nothing raw because of this, what are you saying about the meat that is sold for human consumption? Many people eat steak tartare. That is raw hamburger, albeit we would never buy ground meat to make it; we would grind our own. The meats sold for human consumption, which is what our dogs eat raw, are not sold with lots of bacteria. Maybe on the surface, but not throughout the meat. And freezing will do a lot to remove any germs. My dogs eat raw meat every day, and they are seldom sick (see my previous post on this thread).

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Hillfawkes
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Hillfawkes
4 years ago

This article is ridiculous. Dogs have been eating cooked food for 300,000 years? What? Since when did dogs evolve culinary skills? Or is the writer implying that since humans have been using fire that they have been cooking for their dogs as well - all of them - so that they can evolve a new digestive tract? What? Most commercial dog food is mostly grain based - wheat gluten, corn, rice, soy, etc... when did dogs evolve to eat that?

I feed my dog raw and have been doing so his entire life. When he goes to doggy daycare he has the shiniest coat, the most energy and the whitest teeth. He plays until the other dogs are dropping from exhaustion. True, there is an increased risk of parasites but I monitor that, and he has never tested positive.

It is not EASY to feed raw. It isn't a matter of filling up a bowl out of a package. You have to LEARN about diet. You have to do research and talk to people and know about organ/muscle/bone/veggie ratios. You have to FIND OUT what vitamins are, how they work and how much to give. Once learned, these things come easier but you can't just throw raw meat in the bowl and hope it is correct like processed kibble out of the bag.

You want an A-one performer, then do the researcher and give your dog a species appropriate diet made with fresh foods (cooked if you really can't stand the thought of raw) and throw away that bag of corn that he can't properly digest anyway.

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Jillian
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Jillian
4 years ago

dogs are domesticated animals, is the point this article makes. their bodies have evolved away from a carnivorous diet and modern dogs lack the ability to fight off all parasites and bacteria, unlike their wild ancestors. when you domesticate an animal, you are alternating their biological makeup. w/o carbohydrates, the domesticated dog can't process meat into proteins and it will slowly deteriorate their liver and kidneys, causing an array of health risks down the line, such as pancreatitis. the domestic dog can no longer receive all the nutrients they need from meat. their diets also need carbs and vegetables. you should also never feed an animal bone meal - this causes cancer due to the high amounts of metals found in bones. the commercial dog food you speak of is highly disregarded by anyone who has done their research, as it does contain many ingredients unsuited for dogs. a good site to find a high quality dog food is: www.dogfoodanalysis.com/dog_food_reviews/ - and none of highest rated foods on here will contain the barf diet.

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AiredaleLady
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AiredaleLady
4 years ago

"modern dogs lack the ability to fight off all parasites and bacteria" -- where did you get this idea. Where are the studies that prove that dogs have changed since they were domesticated? Do you know that dogs do not have the digestive enzymes to break down the cell walls of fruits and vegetables so they get no nourishment from them?

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KellyLogan
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KellyLogan
4 years ago

Again, references. You make all these unsubstantiated claims about the evolutionary biology of dogs but provide not one shred of proof. A dog's DNA and a wolf's DNA are 99.9% compatible hence the use of dogs as wolf proxies for some wolf studies. Dogs have NOT evolved away from a carnivorous diet as you claim and your statement of the "modern" dog lacking the ability to fight off parasites is absurd. The canine digestive enzymes have a pH of 1 which is roughly the same acidity as hydrochloric acid, also found in the canine stomach. Dogs do NOT need carbs to process proteins nor maintain organ health. What is needed is glucose and that is produced via a process called gluconeogenesis using amino acids and fat. Dogfoodanalysis rates dry and wet dog food - not prepared food; that's why BARF is not rated despite your claim that BARF isn't rated because of its suitability; its a review site for KIBBLE and CANNED food.

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Jeanindenver
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Jeanindenver
4 years ago

It seems odd that a philosophy professor with no veterinary or nutrition training was used as a source of info, when one of the top veterinary schools in the US is on the same campus. Perhaps a veterinarian would not have made such erroneous claims. And there is quite a bit of misinformation in some of the comments as well.

Dogs have been domesticated for less than 100,000 years (most sources cite 15,000 years), so the claim that they have been eating cooked food for 300,000 years is way off. Even widespread use of fire for cooking only goes back 125,000 years. Regardless of date, the question remains: how do we know that early humans were cooking not only their own meat, but also the meat they threw to the dogs? It seems far more likely that dogs got the raw leftovers. And of course, dogs have been eating processed pet food for less than 100 years; it didn't become popular until the 1930s. That's not much time for entire species to develop a whole new digestive tract--and they haven't.

Nor is cooked meat more digestible. Carbohydrate digestibility is increased by cooking, but for protein digestibility is decreased. Multiple studies show that, in dogs and cats, raw meat is more digestible than cooked meat. Adult dogs and cats have no physiologic need for carbohydrates whatsoever.

The issue of bones is controversial, and certainly even raw bones are potentially hazardous, but contrary to the article, not *all* raw diets contain them. If bones are not included, then an alternate calcium source must be added.

The authors of the rabbit-feeding study ultimately concluded that, not only is taurine relatively low in rabbit meat, but grinding whole rabbits distributed bacteria throughout the food. Intestinal bacterial degradation of taurine was the reason cats developed taurine deficiencies in the 1980s. Had the digestive tract been removed before grinding (as wild cats typically do when they eat their prey), the cats would likely have done fine. While most dogs can produce sufficient taurine from other amino acids, taurine should always be supplemented in raw diets for cats--but it's an easy obstacle to overcome in making a *balanced* raw diet (which requires other supplements as well).

It's true that raw meat diets are likely to be contaminated with a a variety of bacteria; but dogs and cats are relatively resistant to them. At least 3 studies on raw-fed dogs found a high rate of Salmonella in the meat, a lesser rate of Salmonella shed in the dogs' feces, but zero sick dogs. Yes, raw diets have risks, but so does processed pet food (e.g., melamine, aflatoxin, poor quality control...).

Education and common sense can easily overcome the minor problems with raw diets. While they're not for every pet, universally condemning them is not appropriate, either.

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Kris
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Kris
4 years ago

excellent comment, Jean

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KellyLogan
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KellyLogan
4 years ago

Ridiculous is right. Obviously the writer phoned around looking for a quote to support her thesis. Appeals to authority is a typical fallacy you learn in logic 101. Either the good professor is out of his element or the writer is a careless hack regarding this 300000 year claim. Homo sapiens were still hunter gatherers 25000 years ago so it's very unlikely Grok and Mrs Grok sat around the campfire at 300000 BC cooking for the family AND the wolves hanging around the temporary settlement. Archeaological evidence varies with regard to the domestication of dogs but it ranges from 100000 BC at the extreme end to 10000 BC - Prof Rollin's assertion is off by 2000 centuries.

Perhaps the writer decided not to use quotes from any of Prof Rollin's peers at Colorado State University COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE. You know, the college with the Veterinary Hospital?

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Kitty W.
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Kitty W.
4 years ago

I'm speechless

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

as am i. what about all the bacteria that must be cooked away

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Kitty W.
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Kitty W.
4 years ago

That's true.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

when this diet first became popular i was horrified. as the article says feeding it raw they will get all the bacteria and even bugs that cooking will kill off

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Ches21
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Ches21
4 years ago

The Truth is that just meat by itself does not keep your dog or cat healthy you need to add other things too such as veggies, fruits and maybe some rice too. My grandma gives her poodle Cricket chicken but it seems she can't just do that cause Cricket has food allergies if you come up with this problem you need to see the vet to see what kind of dog food is okay and what kind of occassinal treat that is some type of raw or cooked meat okay. I think you are better off to give a dog and a cat as well a meal cooked in the frying pan for a few minutes soft and dry food mixed and meat, veggies, fruit or even rice cooked with it and mixed in to it with a spoon or mixer is going to be more healthy and tastier to the dog and to the cat.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

ches that is much better advice then only raw.

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AiredaleLady
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AiredaleLady
4 years ago

Thank you, Ches21. I have been feeding a raw diet to my dogs for 14 years. Over that time, I have also helped a lot of other people start their dogs on a raw diet. Not only Dr. Billinghurst supports it, but Dr. Tom Lonsdale also supports it. If you have not read their books and articles and if you have not known anyone who feeds raw over time, then you really cannot say it is bad for animals. My 14 year old Airedale is incredibly healthy and so are the other two. I belong to three huge lists about raw feeding, and the thousand people represented by those lists are all experiencing the same good health in their dogs and cats as we are. Dogs digest raw meaty bones in their stomachs in about six hours.

My traditional vet, who is very negative on the raw diet, says of my dogs: "You never have sick dogs." My holistic vets are both solidly in favor of feeding raw for health, for clean teeth, and for robust bodies.

One cat died during a study? Do you have any idea how many animals have died in studies of dog food? It is pretty common for animals or people in studies to get sick or die, just as it is common in the population regardless of what they are fed. There is no information as to that cat's health or what it died of. The article just says one cat died during the study.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

since our dogs have been eating cooked meat for so many years their protection from bacteria maybe gone. i do not think raw is safe i have known dogs to die from bacteria in raw meat

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Idaviruma
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Idaviruma
4 years ago

the study didnt specify whether they fed organs or bones, it cannot be just meat by itself, no wonder they developed difficency. Raw diet is absolutely fine and is an ideal diet for both dogs and cats, but for optimal benefits and safety, it has to be thoroughly researched to avoid any possible difficiencies down the road.
I think if people chose to feed their animals a species appropriate diet, the vets should be more open minded since they have no bussiness in giving out advice regarding proper nutrition since all they do is push their brand of kibble and presription diet that absolute crap.

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

i would think eateing to much organ meat would be as bad for our dogs as it is for us

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Kelley D.
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Kelley D.
4 years ago

There are many good dog food kibble out there made with human grade food, no chemicals and 100% natural. I personally use <a href="http://www.critterminute.com/dog-food-review-pure-woof-gold">Pure Woof Good.</a> My dogs love it, consider it to be a treat and Sadie no longer has any side effects from eating it.

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Michele Z.
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Michele Z.
4 years ago

I hope Mueller doesn't hope to win an argument by stating, "It's no different from physicians being against chiropractors"!

To have a recall already of the raw diet food--when people turned toward it, primarily to avoid contamination--is a disgrace!!!

There are probably various "hazards" involved with eating any kind of food. If handling raw food can be hazardous to people, it doesn't make sense to try to protect pets at the expense of risking humans, does it?

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daryl b.
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daryl b.
4 years ago

no it doesn't and why would we feed our dogs something we would not eat ourselves for health reasons

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