When I am at a dog event or on a walk and see a dog, it only takes two seconds for me to recognize a kibble-fed dog from one that eats raw or cooked wholesome food. You know what I’m talking about..!
I often catch myself struggling between saying nothing or saying something…and what. The guardians obviously love their dogs. They are just unaware that the average dog that’s fed kibble is going to be less healthy and die earlier. And so, more often than not, I don’t say anything. And, in my head, anguish: “Not my patient… Can’t save the world…”
I am not saying here that raw or cooked food fed dogs never get sick. They are just much healthier on average, which results in a longer and happier life. I have stopped trying to justify my stance against processed food. It makes common sense that fresh, natural food is better than the one that sits in a bag on the warehouse shelf for six months or longer. The essential principle of fresh food applies to both – people and animals – making a fresh, species-appropriate diet the necessary cornerstone of every patient’s treatment or wellness plan.
Why DO most vets still sell processed food and speak against a raw diet?
The pet food industry plot was uncovered a long time ago and, based on the pages from Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition (the only nutritional text I received in vet school), the industry giants willingly disclose that “processed pet food sales” are a BIG BUSINESS. Andrea Fascetti and Sean Delaney state that “a vast majority of veterinarians are forced by necessity to concurrently become business people.”
I do not deny the fact that everyone needs to make a living and sell something – it is the nature of life. Even a teacher sells his or her service to the students and vets deserve to be rewarded for the years in school. What I am saying here is that the medical profession needs to free itself from “making recommendations” that are less optimal for the sake of sales. Most veterinarians are highly educated and intelligent people who understand the value of wholesome food. The problem is that average veterinary practices earn up to $100K profit from processed food sales. In my opinion, this is the main reason raw food is not recommended by most vets while dog lovers rave about it.
I strongly believe that most people would prefer their vet cutting their ties with processed food giants in exchange for higher appointment fees. People naturally lose their trust when a veterinarian is pushing special diets with ingredients such as pork fat, brewers rice, meat by-products and corn gluten – to name a few – and for monetary gain. To an average dog lover, such diet makes no sense. To an average dog lover it also makes no sense that the veterinarian peddling these special diets received no nutritional training that was not provided by the pet food industry.
So what can we do when we see a dog with “kibbleitis” on the street or in the park?
- Do not feel bad if you do not have time to open up the conversation, but if you do, speak on behalf of the dog. You can just let the guardian know what your experience with raw/cooked diet has been and how your dog has benefited.
- Sometimes, I just ask how old their dog is, and then I tell them that Lola is 10 years old and Tony is pushing 14, which is usually met by a reply: “Wow, they do not look it.”
- At this point, I usually say that my dogs and cats eat a raw and cooked food diet and get good supplements.
- By then, you can ask what type of food they feed. If they reply with “he/she is on the best kibble there is”, suggest that eating dehydrated food every day is hard on the digestion and kidneys and promotes inflammation throughout the body. Plus, who would want to eat such food every day?
- People often say that they do not have enough time or money. In my experience, people usually say that it took them less time than they thought, and for most dogs, per day it cost them less than a latte from their favorite café.
- By now, you can ask the guardian if they would be willing to give you their email address. If you trust my information, you can send them the following links on keeping their dog happy and healthy.
- Why switch to raw food?
- Feeding a raw, species-appropriate diet
- Feeding your cat: know the basis of feline nutrition
- Dietary recommendations for cancer recovery in dogs and cats
There are more articles, but it is important not to bombard them with too many. The key is that once people start learning, they will get excited, and many will make the switch. Both of us know how amazing it is to see the transformation when our carnivores switch to real food. I thank you for thinking of other dogs and cats and their people and teaching others.
I love that the scare tactics of processed pet food companies are not working and are losing ground, and natural raw and cooked diet feeding is becoming more mainstream. Our time with our dogs and cats is the most precious asset. Telling others about what you have learned is the best gift you can give.
Thank you for sharing this info with your friends!