Such a great question! A customer asked me this question, yesterday. She took her bulldog to the vet, and when she mentioned that she was feeding raw food, which is why her dog was finally doing well, her vet gave her “the look” and lectured her about e.Coli and salmonella…blah blah blah.
I’ve been feeding raw food to my babies for several months and had told my vet that I would be doing so…luckily, my vet was cool with it and didn’t give me the lecture or the look but I know many vets will.
Keep in mind, while your vet is well trained in medicine, he/she is NOT trained in nutrition. At least, not if they went to a traditional vet school. Most vet schools only do a short training on nutrition and it’s usually sponsored by Royal Canin, Purina or Hills Science Diet…that means that most vets are only trained in kibble. We all know how I feel about kibble. yyuhrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggggggges. <—— Bugsy says hello.
So, how DO you respond when your vet gives you the look and the lecture?? Easy…first, you stand your ground. Don’t let your vet bully you into being scared of e.Coli or salmonella…your cat has the bacteria in their gut to destroy any pathogen in raw meat. After all, they kill and eat ALL KINDS of prey, loaded with gross pathogens! Rats, birds, cockroaches, snakes and other vermin. Seriously, don’t sweat it.
Second, you educate your vet. Yes, really. They should have been trained in the digestive tract of dogs and cats, but may need a reminder that their digestive tracts are only 12 to 14 hours and e.Coli and salmonella have incubation periods of 22-24 hours long. That means that IF there is bacteria in the meat, it will be in and out of the cat and dog body before it can even try to do any damage…IF their gut bacteria hasn’t already annihilated it…which it probably has.
Third, have your vet touch your pet! After they pet your dog or cat, do they have a giant handful of fur? No? I wonder why? Have them look at their teeth, ears, paws and if possible, their waste! Everything about a raw fed pet is healthier than ANY kibble fed pet…PERIOD. It doesn’t matter how good the kibble or canned food is, your pet will have a healthier coat, mouth, ears, paws and healthier, smaller poop with raw food. If they REALLY are diligent about trying to convince you that you’re poisoning your pet, many raw food companies have their test results on their website, so you can show them that they’ve high pressure pasteurized their food and there is no living bacteria in the food.
After the tragic shutting down of Rad Cat, by means of harassment from the FDA and AAFCO, it’s important to stay diligent. WE KNOW that our pets are thriving on what their bodies are made to eat and we are their parents. We aren’t denying them vaccines and sending them to the dog park, we are simply giving them the food their bodies need to be healthy. I will never NOT feed raw meat to my babies. It’s what they need and they are so healthy on it. If I have to educate, or re-educate, a few vets in the process, so be it.