Opponents of feeding raw food come in a few different types: the disgusted, the cost and time “conscious,”and the “evidence-based medicine” group.

Those who are disgusted are often vegetarian and just can’t stand the raw meat idea. I do have a few clients who will suck it up – they can do whole pieces of meat, but not the icky ground stuff. They sure don’t leave their hands in the bowl for long. Some people argue raw isn’t natural – did you know there are humans who eat raw food? They even eat raw meat?

There are those who say raw is too expensive and/or takes too much time to prepare. Granted, raw is more expensive than cheap kibble, just as a steak and green beans is more expensive than a cheeseburger slider. I argue our pets are worth the extra money on the food, as high quality food cures 80% of what ills our pets. Spend the money on the food, not coming to see me with a sick pet, I don’t mind. I’m not sure about the time argument: feed it in chunks, there’s nothing to cut up (well, not much). Gotta get your groove on and get a system. Dumping kibble in a bowl is easy, but, shoot, our dogs and cats are worth doing it right. And, raw is NOT more expensive than high-end kibble.

The “evidence-based” medicine (EBM) group is the hardest to argue against as they cite research and publications. EBM is the current trend in human and veterinary medicine. “They” say if you don’t have research to back it up, your facts aren’t worth talking about. So, there are lots of articles about how feeding raw meat leads to salmonella infection in all sorts of species. There aren’t any articles about how healthy raw food is – who will fund the research? Research is funded by many special interest groups, and some excellent, independent groups, but the cards are stacked. And, no journal wants to publish an article that finds a clean bill – no controversy. Don’t get me wrong, I love research; I just know the game, having been in it for a while. Anyway, before EBM existed, there were only case reports. Well, there are about a million case reports of how healthy pets are on raw food, including mine (9 case reports, today’s count). A million case reports adds up to a pretty nice sized meta-analysis (that’s geek talk for a big fancy study that sums up all the results of everyone else’s studies). Compare these case reports to the latest “voluntary” recalls for salmonella contamination in 10 different brands and over 30 flavors of kibble. Salmonella can be found anywhere poor food handling exists (or, poor quality meats). The blame lies on the handling, not the physical state. I could grow salmonella in my fridge if I let hamburger meat sit around for a few weeks.

The most important thing about feeding our pets is the same as it is for us humans – food should be healthy, have variety, been grown in nutrient rich conditions and the food should be handled with respect. We all deserve to live the best life possible and we want our dogs and cats to have that best life. Feed real food, it should look like food – it should look like what my great-grandma used to feed. And, she didn’t have kibble to feed the cats – she fed what we didn’t eat for dinner.

Need ideas to get started? Check out our free recipes at www.DinnerPAWsible.com – they CAN be served raw! Like the recipes, get the book – available at Amazon, and on Kindle, Nook and iTunes.

P.S. Our pocket pet friends are worth it too. Instead of (insert any species) chow, why not feed human-grade seeds, fruits, vegetables, etc? I had a client whose rat’s tail looked, well, ratty. I had them feed real food and her tail looked awesome in a matter of weeks.

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