Adherents to the raw petfood diet trend claim that pets eating raw diets have shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, improved immunity and easier weight management, but Colorado State University veterinarians say there is no evidence to support such claims. There are, however, real risks.
"We advise that pet owners analyze nutritional claims and look for the research to support those claims, especially if they seem too good to be true," say the vets. "Look for references to research that has been both published and peer-reviewed; this approach is built on scientific rigor and helps ensure valid data." Some of the risks associated with feeding raw petfood include:
Veterinarians at the CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital recommend the following when considering nutritional options for pets:
With the availability of quality ingredients declining, perhaps we need to explore this category
Tomato pomace has the potential to provide additional nutrition and health benefits
5 small steps would streamline information on petfood ingredients to help communicate with pet owners
To be effective, probiotics must be live and viable
It's an "Intel inside" type of molecule -- but also a problem child
What is this quiet, unassuming ingredient, and should it be there?
Safe, nutritious, tasty petfood requires careful handling and processing of raw meat ingredients
The new US food safety legislation will also affect regulation of petfood
Processors should carefully develop, validate and implement an effective kill step to support production of pathogen-free petfoods
US trade data show petfood faring relatively
Commercial petfood makers are creating mixers and diets
that require consumers to get involved with preparation
For more about sustainability in petfood, watch Jan Hoijtink's Petfood Forum 2010 PowerPoint, "Corporate social responsibility: from whim to a matter of strategy."
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