Disagreement on Raw-Meat Diet for Dogs

A vet and a breeder disagree on raw-meat diets, leaving the owner caught in the middle.

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Q. My wife and I have recently added a Native American Indian Dog to our family. The breeder has been breeding dogs for about 30 years and has always fed her dogs a raw diet. Taking her advice, we have been feeding our dog a balanced diet of raw food including meat. Our new vet is totally against a raw-meat diet. I am torn and concerned about what to do. Could you please give me your opinion on this matter?

A. As you have quickly discovered, feeding raw diets is a controversial subject, with passionate arguments made by both camps. You shouldn’t have to be put in the awkward position of choosing between the conflicting advice given by your breeder and your veterinarian.

Many committed breeders are having great success feeding raw, with excellent results in breeds from Chihuahuas to Irish Wolfhounds. Many veterinarians are likewise proponents of this practice.

If you are confident in your breeder and happy with the condition of her dogs, which are being fed a natural diet, then continue. You may also want to find a veterinarian whose personal philosophies are more in sync with those of your breeder, so you don’t get stuck in this position again. Since you have a fairly rare breed, get referrals from your breeder, or have her put you in touch with other owners in your part of the country.

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An animal lover.   Somewhere in this small world., YT

1/23/2009 2:52:02 PM

Well, my two cents are that although vets are extremely knowledgeable in animal health, not all of them are advocates for 'natural feeding'. I guess it's kind of like the human doctor, some are for natural remedies (like my doctor), and some aren't. Moreover, although this may give some vets a bad name, vets (just like any other business people) do have ‘sponsors’ and do have to give out their products…(wow, I just threw out a big, politically incorrect subject.) Anyway, dogs have been eating raw, unprocessed, unscientific food for thousands of years. As long as you are responsible to give your dog all his/ her nutrients, give it what it naturally eats! There's my two cents.

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Joan   Miami Shores, FL

11/14/2008 1:36:11 PM

my dog was the worst eater & was underweight (to the point where my vet said "take her to mc Donalds" I switched her to a raw diet. Not homemade. FlaSH FROZEN PATTIES & now she's healthy a good weight, has a shiney coat & likes her food.

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dog lover   anywhere, YT

11/3/2008 9:06:39 PM

I would take the advise of your vet and NOT feed a raw meat diet also known as BARF. NAID's are not wolves,and are perfectly capable of eating a good quality kibble diet. It is down right scary the parasites that are in raw meat.I've seen the parasites inside the flesh of freshly killed deer. I have also heard of people feeding their dogs road kill just to provide the raw meat in the
diet.

I have spoken with many vets on this subject and they all agree, FEED A GOOD Quality kibble. The pup is yours now. I would follow your vets advise. After all, they are the experts in all aspects of your dogs health.

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Pat   St Louis, MO

9/11/2008 1:10:46 PM

I can understand people's reluctance to rely on commercial dogfood after the Chinese contaminate scare. But really balancing your dog's diet can be a challenge if you don't know what you're doing. They aren't strictly carnivores like cats. So I'm sticking with a commercial line. (On the humorous side, my dog gets enough raw food as it is with her hunting skills--I call it "instant rabbit." Comes complete with furry roughage....)

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