Raw petfood makes the news
Continued controversy likely with release of new documents, but practice of raw feeding expected to remain
The feeding of raw petfood has been a controversy for decades. Both sides of the discussion have their extremist factions, with some believing it is the ultimately healthful means of feeding dogs and cats and others convinced it constitutes a wholly unwarranted risk to the health of both pets and the people feeding them. Two recently released documents add ammunition to the anti-raw argument, though it is unlikely that the staunch supporters of raw petfood will be swayed from its use by this new information.
I have broached the subject of raw petfood in this column on several occasions over the years. However, few people are aware that in the 1970s, I was directly responsible for developing, making and feeding a group of dogs a diet consisting of raw dressed chicken carcasses (i.e., with whole bone), raw hamburger, apples and a few other ingredients as part of my undergraduate research study. As a pre-vet student, I was certain these dogs' intestinal tracts would become impacted with bones within weeks, but that never happened.
I was no longer at that institution at the termination of the study, but as far as I know, the dogs on the raw food remained healthy throughout the two-year trial. Regardless, and in keeping with the usual theme of my column, my focus in this matter is not whether I personally think raw petfood is safe and suitable, but rather to offer my thoughts as to the regulatory implications for commercial manufacturers.
The American Veterinary …