How do you feel about the practice of feeding raw meat products to pets? The debate about feeding “in the raw” has been simmering for some time. There are those who feel that our domesticated dogs and cats should be ingesting the same ingredients that filled the bellies of their carnivorous ancestors. At the other end of the spectrum are those who firmly believe that feeding raw meat products to pets is potentially hazardous to the food eater as well as the food server/pooper scooper (that would be you and me).
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recently expressed their opinion on the matter by approving a policy that specifically recommends against feeding raw or unprocessed meat, eggs, and milk to cats and dogs. AVMA delegates defended their votes, claiming concern for public safety.
More than 3,800 supporters of a Change.org petition did their best to dissuade the AVMA House of Delegates from approving this new raw food policy. Some were quite vocal and accused the AVMA of being a “puppet of the pet food industry.” In spite of this opposition, 90 percent of the AVMA delegates voted in favor the new policy.
Will the AVMA’s stance against raw foods prevent veterinarians from recommending raw food diets for their patients? The policy is a public guideline rather than a mandate, so vets will remain at liberty to advise their clients however they see fit. The number of veterinarians in favor of raw food diets is certainly growing. So, if this is your leaning, you should have no trouble finding a doc who is supportive of your preference.
Which side of the food bowl do you occupy when it comes to the raw food controversy?
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.