Lv 7
? asked in PetsDogs · 10 years ago

DS: Veterinarians Against Holistic/Home-Prepared/Raw Diets?

I was doing some research on home prepared and raw diets for dogs today, and came across this article written by a showing/breeding veterinarian. She is 100% against any sort of raw/BARF/home cooked/holistic diet. In fact, she takes great pains to paint Purina and Eukanuba out to be the gods of the pet food industry and even makes the erroneous claim that the bigger the company, the higher the standards. Is that why the foods that were involved in the 2007 recall were all produced by the largest pet food manufacturers? Is that why Science Diet nearly killed one of my dogs and I suspect lead to the early demise of one of my others?

I understand many veterinarians have an agenda. They get bonuses for peddling certain brands of dogs foods falsely being labeled "high quality". The one statement I especially took issue with was this one:

"And nearly all of us (Veterinarians) are laughing all the way to the bank after we fix - if possible - the problems caused by some of the alternative diets to the tune of $5,000.00, more or less, per dog."

Seriously, who would take their dog to a veterinarian who laughs at the expense of your pets? What about the overwhelming evidence that supports raw or home prepared diets? Thoughts?

Here is the article:



Great responses so far, but I wanted to address TJ's points:

"Purina produces their own products, and was NOT involved in that recall !"

I didn't claim Purina was involved in the recall. Science Diet was, which two of my dogs had been on. Purina is still a garbage dog food, regardless of whether or not they're the leading brand.

"THIS ALSO IS NOT TRUE. Vets make the same profit on a bag of dog food as any other dog food outlet, and they are free to stock any product that they choose."

My sister is a veterinary technician and she will openly admit there are two major prescription foods vets are trained in vet school to push on clients. They take a brief class on nutrition and are encouraged to sign a contract with either Royal Canin or Hill's. They get bonuses for selling the foods. Vets shouldn't be in the nutrition business unless they're also licensed nutritionists.

"Look at the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient"

AAFCO standards are a joke.

19 Answers

  • Cheryl
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    i read till she supported purina and eukanuba and i knew this was not a reputable vet ... more like a vet on the purina/eukanuba payroll ... i can see some vets being against the diet because they do see the reality of some results of the diet ... my own vet supports barf and home cooked diets, but he does not support the prey model because he sees regularly the health problems associated with it ... such as malnutrition from lack of varied nutrients, it happened to my dog after only 8 months on the prey model diet ... and the fact that the vet laughed as you said "at the expense of the pets" just shows she is a business person first and a vet second ... sadly many vets start the profession as animal lovers and very quickly must become business people to survive ... and in reality, the vet may be making money, but it is the owner who put their dog in that situation with the food they have chosen for the dog ... but i think is is callous and rude for that "vet" to laugh ... and i am not sure where you are finding overwhelming evidence that supports the raw diet ... when i google and look around, it is more controversy now than ever with more studies being done ... it is not the end all/be all of pet nutrition ... and has actually been likened to a fad diet that is slowly loosing momentum with claims of malnutrition and damage and blockages from ingesting bone fragments .... don't get me wrong, i have a friend with two dogs on the prepared raw food diet with fruits and veggies and supplements added and her dogs are healthy ... their teeth are as white as puppies ... so i think there are good things about the diet if done correctly, but like people who turn vegetarian, the majority do not eat a balanced diet, and i think it is the same for raw diets, if you do not get the ones with other ingredients and supplements it is highly likely the dog is not eating a balanced diet ... and the prepared raw food packages, my friend pays more in a month for her dogs to eat than she does for herself ... so to be done correctly needs time, money and research ... most of the time dog owners would prefer to spend time on anything else than raw meat ...

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  • Arggg
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    She doesn't sound like any vet I know or would want to know. I would like a REAL vet's opinion on the raw food diet. I've never used it because I'm concerned about 1) worms, and 2) the fact that we're raising domestic dogs ("pets" for over 100,000 years) and not wild canids. Can they really digest raw meat the way a wolf could?

    I feed my dogs pet store brands or Pedigree, which seems to agree with them. Science Diet and Iams both used to be good dog foods, until they started marketing to supermarkets. Now they are just as bad (or worse) than the regular crap on the supermarket shelves. When you sell in supermarkets, the product has to have a seven-year shelf life, I've heard. I can't even guess how many preservatives they put in there, or how much nutritional compromise it entails. I don't buy those brands any more.

    I keep my dogs thin, and add fish oil and greenbeans to their diet, along with pet probiotics on occasion. I feed them two (maybe three) very small meals every day so they won't get bloated.

    I think Science Diet still makes vet-quality products for specialized diets (kidney, intestine, etc.). I used to feed my old dog I/D for easy digestion, but when I ran out I used rice and eggs, which seemed to work just as well.

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  • Wow...to say they "laugh all of the way to the bank" at the expense of other people's dogs health...disgraceful for a person who is supposed to care about the health of animals.

    While I will admit that I chuckle a bit everytime I see an answer swearing that Pedigree is the best food out there for your dog...I'm not laughing because a dog is sick from eating it. That's just sad. I've been in the position of not knowing better when it has come to animal nutrition. My cat used to eat Friskies and my dogs, Iams or Science Diet. I didn't know better. I try not to chastise when people who honestly don't know the difference between dog foods because we all have to learn from somewhere.

    Exactly what problems is she fixing from holistic or raw diets? I don't feed raw, simply because I don't have the time or effort to put into measuring, weighing, and balancing a raw diet myself. I do, however, feed a high quality kibble as an alternative. I feed Orijen, and I researched the company before I decided to use it. I was sold on the fact that the meat sources are not imported. Everything is locally farmed or grown. ~shrug~

    Sadly, most vets are not actually trained in animal nutrition. It is not a required course in veterinary school. My vet supports raw feeding and also feeds her dogs a grain-free diet. She has done separate research into feeding her own dogs and has come to the conclusion that grain-free is the way to go for her personally.

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  • 10 years ago

    Nestle' bought out Purina so it is a pet food division of Nestle now and not the same as when it was solely Purina.

    On the raw foods . Well it is a health concern for the public.Vets often are on the lookout for potentially zoonotic issues that would affect the human public. This is a possible potential risk so they will discourage people from doing things that would potentially become a public health risk from pets.

    Well there are some issues. If a pet is always at home and does not have contact with the public, zoonotitic issues would not be as big a health risk for the humans elsewhere. Owners can take precautions in how they handle their personal dog's raw food to avoid Salmonella and E. coli cross contamination along with various other bacterial issues one can get from handling tripe and other raw meat products. And they can take due care to properly dispose of the dog's feces and decontaminate the ground .

    But for animals used for pet therapy with persons who have compromised immune systems there would be a risk .

    article on this-

    BARF and other raw meat diets banned for therapy pets

    Why is the Delta Society banning BARF and other raw meat diets?

    Among the concerns relative to feeding BARF and other raw meat diets is a tendency for pets consuming the diets to pass enteric pathogens (bacteria in the intestinal tract that can cause disease), such as Salmonella and E. coli. Pets which are shedding these pathogens may appear perfectly healthy themselves. However, there is concern that certain individuals, particularly the very young, elderly or immunocompromised individuals, may be more susceptible to developing disease when introduced to these pathogens. Unfortunately, these at-risk groups make up a large portion of the people who are visited by these therapy animals. For this reason, the Delta Society believes it to be in the best interest of the patients to ban pets consuming these BARF and other raw meat diets from their program.

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  • 10 years ago

    I think others summed it up quite nicely, but @Jesus is the Reason- If lucky, Vets only have ONE class on nutrition and it's about the sh*ttiest foods out there. PLUS!!! They get PAID each time they sell Hills, etc.

    Just wanted to point that out.

    "I would seriously think before mocking a trained professional. She is a veterinarian and a professional dog shower. Don't you think she would know what she's talking about when it comes to nutrition?"

    So, if you have a BYB who just breeds dogs because they also earn money for it. That means they know EVERYTHING about breeding, and not getting scammed? Because, they ARE a breeder, after all, they must know EVERYTHING!!

    Uh huh.

    Nope, NOT how it works. *I* show dogs, *I* worked at a Vet Clinic, *I* know what most Vets are thinking. They do NOT sell HEALTHY stuff that WON'T put money in their pockets. They're good for medical advise for pets, and that is ALL. END OF!

    I also feed Prey Model, and have found internet searches more helpful then bullsh*tting Vets on nutrition. Now, I don't bash anyone who doesn't feed raw. There are MANY high quality dog foods that should be fed, Raw Feeding takes lots of research time & money.

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  • Dd
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    Just wanted to mention this to TJ who made the claim that Purina was not in that recall. Alpo is a Purina product. Purina makes lots of different pet foods but they don't all have "Purina" in the name.

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  • Peg
    Lv 5
    10 years ago

    " Purina published information that they had taken dogs conforming to their definition of perfect weight, and cut their food consumption by 25%. The dogs on 25% less food lived on average two years longer..."

    In other words, feed them less garbage and they live longer.

    "the larger the pet food manufacturer, the better and more frequent quality control and more research they will run, eventually benefiting you and your dog."

    I take this as biased research if they are performing it. They have to run more "research" as part of advertising to make them so large of a manufacturer. In their research, what are they comparing it to?

    Then this whole paragraph: "Our society is driven so much - and more all the time, it seems - by marketing that we are well into damaging our dogs by becoming the disciples of idiots with a good pitch. I am not naming names here, but rational readers will immediately know what I mean; of course, the gullible brain-washed culties will never get it. I saw one newly advertised dog food produced by a Mom-and-Pop (as they proudly proclaimed) business. Well, unless Mom or Pop was Chairman of the Animal Nutrition Department at the local land-grant university, and unless their annual sales are in the billions of dollars, I personally wouldn't even bother to read the label."

    Oh, there is just too many comments I could say about this. I will spare you. I'm sure you have just as many to say about that.

    "the grocery store food comes from huge companies with superb quality control and research programs. It flies off the shelves..."

    Because it's cheap and, I'll quote that other paragraph, "Our society is driven so much - and more all the time, it seems - by marketing that we are well into damaging our dogs by becoming the disciples of idiots with a good pitch."

    "These home-made diets may follow a recipe in a book. And of course, if it's printed in a book it's automatically true"

    And if it's printed online then it must be true? (like this ranting article)

    "And nearly all of us (Veterinarians) are laughing all the way to the bank after we fix - if possible - the problems caused by some of the alternative diets to the tune of $5,000.00, more or less, per dog."

    She didn't even mention the costs of other dogs with expensive health problems. Biased comment.

    There is more I can quote and comment but this will get too long. If I was still feeding my dog the cheap stuff, like Purina, then this ignorant rant would change my mind just because you can tell that she is a moronic spokesman. This would make me think twice and look into more intelligent reading materials. People like that can actually cause people to do the opposite of their original intention. She sounds like an uneducated child.

    I learned a long time ago that even dumb people can get degrees. It's just a matter of completing the courses with dedication, not all intelligence. Plus cheating in colleges is a huge problem.

    ADD: I should also mention that there are people that improperly feed raw, barf and home cooked diets because they didn't get fully educated on the matter before they start. Nobody should go by one book or article they read. You have to read many to be fully knowledgeable about anything.

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  • 10 years ago

    I think most vets are like that.. sadly.. I work for a vet and I love him. Don't get me wrong.. But they don't know much about nutrition. and everything they are taught is by the companies who benefit from their knowledge, sad but true..

    Everyone at my work cringes at the thought of Raw diets.. The are very closed minded. We do have a wonderful vet that comes in when our vet is on his hikes and camping trips and she is AWESOME! She knows all about holistic medicine and raw diets. She also does acupuncture for our clients.. We all love her.

    Nutrition is just one of those things people have to learn for themselves and make their own judgments.. And find a vet who view things similarly, because they are out there..

    ***I would also like to ad that in the 2.5 years I have worked for my vet I have not seen 1 dog come in due to a Raw diet illness.

    And I think the only reason a dog would be unhealthy with a raw diet is because it is not being done right...I personally feed kibble because i can't afford, nor do i have the time to feed raw (I'm lucky if I make our family a well balanced meal everyday.)

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  • .
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Disgusting. First off to laugh about a dog being sick? That says a lot about this so called vet. obviously she only cares about the money she gets and not the well being of the pets she's entrusted to treat.

    What's laughable to me? Some vet thinking they know **** about nutrition.

    y'know what ticks me off? My vet (besides the old guy) likes to argue with me over a raw prey model diet. Bloodwork is ALWAYS spot on, soft coats, great teeth, the ONLY thing they could find wrong with my dog is her weight. Got her last yr at 3x the weight she should be, found out recently why she hasnt lost anymore weight is because she has hypothyroidism.

    My cats? They can't find anything wrong with them. I always get lectured and then a "Hmmmmmm....everything seems to be okay.... *poke poke* hmmm" and then SD is pushed on me. Malnutrition? I'd like to see how many that do a proper raw/barf/homemade diet have that issue. I see raw feeders arguing over if rabbit/chicken/deer/ etc off the right nutrients and if we can feed x more than y and still get good results. Testing? No, we research BEFORE we feed. I for one have never said I'm going to feed mostly x & y and hope they get what they need.

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  • i'm a student geared toward health (RN) and even as a student I get mail from pharm companies with info on their drug and seminar dates for me to attend all expenses paid, and learn about why their pill is so great. The same goes for vets and drugs AND food (there is prescription dog food Hills, Purina and Royal Canin, that I know of, but not limited to what vets push and profit from)

    You got some good answers, and as usual some terrible answers from the same people who refuse to admit at their dogs expense that they feed poorly.

    Look into how the Delta society (one of the 2 major national therapy dog organizations) has BANNED raw fed dogs from being therapy dogs ever since Purina became on the board. It's the same reason why some vets won't see raw fed dogs. They use bullying to get their way, to gain. These vets are ignorant. They may laugh to the bank, ignorance is bliss, but they think they are right, because they get paid by Hill's to believe it.

    So all I'll add besides that, is this site:


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