Should You Feed Your Pet Raw Food?

You love your pet. We see dozens of patients come through our office on a weekly basis, and know the love and care you place on your pet’s health. One of the first questions we receive when a family welcomes a new dog or cat into their home is, “What type of food should I feed my pet?” Inevitably the next question is, “Is it OK to feed my pet raw food?”

Raw food sounds better, doesn’t it?

When comparing what some may deem as “factory-processed” food to the way “nature intended it” we may be quick to judge raw food as much more beneficial for our pets than cooked, prepared food.

This isn’t the case, though. It’s absolutely vital that all pet owners pay close attention to this message.

Let’s make this crystal clear for all of our current and prospective patients: Dr. Bruce does not recommend feeding your pets raw food.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, commonly referred to as the AVMA, raw food creates an incredibly high risk of health hazards to your dog or cat. In fact, the AVMA went as far as writing and approving a policy specifically addressing raw foods for our pets.

The Association specifically mentions that feeding cats and dogs any type of animal-sourced protein that hasn’t been subjected to a process for eliminating the harmful pathogens could cause serious illness to both pets and humans.

You can find all types of advocates for raw pet food by scouring the Internet, but the fact remains that cooking or pasteurizing pet food will raise the temperature so that it kills the contaminants within your pet’s food.

What type of raw animal sourced proteins cause concern for pet owners?

The following types of uncooked animal-sourced proteins are areas of concern, according to the AVMA:
• Beef
• Pork
• Poultry
• Fish
• Other animal meats
• Raw and/or unpasteurized milk and eggs

When pets are fed these raw foods, they are at risk of being contaminated with a wide variety of pathogens that can cause serious illness. As if your pet becoming ill wasn’t bad enough, these harmful pathogens can also infect you, their caregiver!

The list of harmful pathogens inside of raw pet foods is one that nobody wants their pet to suffer from:

• E coli
• Listeria
• Salmonella
• Staphylococcus
• Clostridium
• Camplobacter

If your pet comes down with any of these, it could be incredibly harmful and in some cases, fatal. Instead of putting your pet’s health at risk, we recommend that you feed your pet safe and healthy food.

What pet food does Dr. Bruce recommend?

Your pet’s species, activity level, age, and other lifestyle factors play into the decision as to what type of food will be recommended for them. This is another important reason that regular checkups should be scheduled with Dr. Bruce to ensure that your pet’s health is on track.

For pets without specific prescription dietary requirements there is a huge assortment to choose from at both grocery stores and pet supply stores. Whether you choose dry food or canned, as with everything else in healthcare, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to pet nutrition. The type of food you feed your pet is going to depend upon a number of factors that should be discussed with Dr. Bruce.

Just like with us, what our pets eat is important. You wouldn’t feed your pet the equivalent of fast food every day, would you? Take care of your dog or cat’s health by offering them the same opportunity at a vibrant, happy and healthy life with a good, wholesome diet.

At Dr. Bruce’s Animal Hospital, we offer prescription diet food for our patients with special needs, to choose from.

There are two main brands of pet food offered by Dr. Bruce’s Animal Hospital, Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet. Both are prescription diet food, and have different variations available based upon your pet’s specific needs.

Always consult with your veterinarian
Prior to making any major changes to your dog or cat’s diet, please consult with your veterinarian. Your pet’s life depends upon receiving proper nutrition! The nutrients your pet receives from their food is what will help develop their brain and organs, as well as fuel them to have energy to be at their best. As pet owners we want happy, vibrant pets and it begins with what we feed them on a daily basis.

If you’d like to consult with Dr. Bruce on your pet’s diet, please contact our office by phone or using the contact form on our website.

Author: IgniteMedia-Galel

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