The more I see of the reaction of veterinarians to the growing raw cat and dog food market, the more I have come to believe that they are frightened of losing their bread and butter income (and important spin-offs1) from selling prescription diets and other expensive cat and dog foods in the form of kibble (dry pellets).
In truth, this is a battle, indeed a war being waged between educated and well-informed cat and dog owners and their veterinarians. Well-informed cat and dog owners are more aware of the potential health problems that can be inflicted upon a cat or dog through commercially manufactured dry food diets. These diet didn’t exist not so long ago but they have become increasingly popular because of their convenience both for cat or dog owners and retailers. In line with this trend is an increase in certain cat and dog diseases – e.g. feline diabetes.
Well-informed cat and dog owners are beginning to learn that commercially prepared cat and dog food is not always as good as it can be or should be and some are turning to a raw food diet which mimics more accurately the diet of the wild ancestors of domestic cats and dogs and are, therefore, more natural. They believe that the cause of a range of health problems might be the food that they eat. The connection between commercially manufactured pet food and health issues is coming to light despite the lobbying, research and PR power of the massive businesses engaged in the pet food market. They own the vets. The own research studies. The truth is hard to come by and we are dependent upon educated and committed individuals running their own websites to get to the truth.
Veterinarians believe that if raw diets are prepared and stored poorly then they become contaminated with bacteria which is harmful to both the pet owner and presumably to the pet. My personal belief is that the veterinarians tend to exaggerate this hazard as indicated in the Facebook video on this page taken from a BBC series which has just started in Great Britain called Trust Me, I’m a Vet.
I believe that the raw pet food movement is gaining momentum and the distrust, fed largely through social media and many independent websites, of commercial manufactured pet food, specifically dry food, is on the increase. Veterinarians hate to see this. They see grave problems ahead through loss of income and are fighting back.
Cat and dog owners should resist this veterinarian fightback. They should use their intelligence to assess the situation themselves. If they want to prepare raw cat and dog food they should do so but with great care, with prior research and in compliance with proper storage standards to minimise bacterial contamination. It is possible to buy commercially prepared raw foods for domestic animals but I very rarely see raw cat food prepared commercially. Certainly in Great Britain it is virtually unheard of. In the USA is more commonplace, as I understand it. Vets don’t stock commercially prepared raw foods perhaps to avoid to be seen as promoting it and encouraging homemade recipes.
Watch out for propaganda disseminated by veterinarians about the dangers of raw pet food and evaluate it carefully.
P.S. There is a link on this page to the inspiration for this post.
Note 1: spin offs such as increased foot fall, none seasonal income, passive income.