As pet parents, we all want the best for our furry family. And when it comes to their diet, many of us have turned to raw pet food as a healthier option.
With so many health benefits of a raw pet food diet, including improved digestion, increased energy levels and reduced allergies, you may be surprised to learn that many veterinarians don't recommend a raw diet.
But why is that?
Let’s discover by diving into the reasons why some vets are hesitant to support fresh raw pet food diets. Further, we will explore the safety precautions Furchild has implemented for keeping your dog and cat the healthiest and happiest.
We, Furchild, love vets for their dedication and commitment to helping our furry family members and believe vets have our pet's very best interest at heart.
Although veterinary school focuses on medicine and surgery, it does not typically cover nutrition.
The issue is the veterinary curriculum tends to have very limited nutrition studies (if any at all) so actual coursework in species-appropriate nutrition will be limited.
The actual quality and amount of nutritional training for veterinarians can vary from school to school and from vet to vet. Some may not have required nutrition courses, while some may have one or two semesters of nutrition in total for all species. If there is a nutrition class, the quality of the dog and cat curriculum sections on nutrition sometimes can depend entirely on whether the professor has an interest in it at all.
Veterinarians cover a huge spectrum of information on diverse topics which is why it is surprising to most people that veterinarians can have such a limited or even misguided opinion on fresh raw pet food.
Furthermore, the limited nutritional training that vet schools offer is often funded by big pet food brands. This bias to teach about products rather than foundational nutrition may mean that veterinarians complete courses, feel educated in nutritional products and skip the very foundations of nutritional health.
As a result, vets are more likely to suggest these processed pet food brands to you as options since that’s what they have been involuntarily familiarised with.
There is a misconception among veterinarian professionals who refer to raw pet food diets as 'trends'. Ironically, fresh raw diets have been their ancestral diet from 1000s of years ago, whereas processed pet food (kibble and canned diets) has only been around for less than 100 years, and is the confusing trend that's likely causing health issues rather than solving them.
Renowned veterinarian, Dr Barbara Royal (DVM, CVA), who has over 30 years of integrative veterinary experience, strongly emphasises pets having a species-appropriate diet, one that is close to the ancestral diet of cats and dogs.
“The most important health decision you make for your pet is what you put in the food bowl.”
- Dr Barbara Royal.
She further quotes, “While a good diet won’t cure every illness, a bad diet will ALWAYS cause problems” and reinforces that a balanced fresh raw pet food diet follows the ancestral diet and has remarkable health benefits for your pets.
In their #1 New York Times Bestselling book on dog health, The Forever Dog, Dr Karen Becker, an integrative veterinarian, and Rodney Habib, an author and pet influencer, also write,
"As with human medicine, veterinary medicine remains stuck in the age-old paradigm of managing disease and controlling symptoms rather than preventing its onset in the first instance. Your vet isn't purposely withholding this critically important information; rather, she doesn't discuss targeted nutritional interventions, lifestyle choices, and risks and preventive strategies with you because they didn't teach her these things in vet school."
This is a valid concern for anyone in nutrition. It’s true that feeding an unbalanced pet food diet can present short and long-term health risks for your pet. This is why we are so careful about the ingredients and nutrients in each of our Furchild recipes.
But, before your vet turns his back on all raw pet food diets, it’s important to note that all raw diets are not created equal. As pet parents ourselves, we want to ensure that every pet gets a complete and balanced diet.
We have seen how the pet food industry and some home-prepared diets can go wrong - using wrong ratios of ingredients, poor food handling practices, or making diets lacking key nutrients. These shortcomings can give 'raw' and other fresh food diets a bad name.
Furchild is different!
We are focused on the healthy balance in our foods, the integrity of our ingredients and the value of our products to create healthy pets.
We take the guesswork out of preparing a homemade raw pet food diet and are far superior to an unbalanced diet based on percentages.
Our recipes are formulated by industry professionals and ensure that pets are consuming a balanced ratio of macro-nutrients, micronutrients, fats, amino acids, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Further, our recipes are certified for efficacy by two board-certified veterinary nutritionists from the USA.
We are a one-of-a-kind 'responsible' raw pet food offering, committed to the highest standards of product quality, food safety and targeted nutrition based on science and international expertise.
The truth be told - dogs and cats are not humans. Their bodies have a much shorter digestive tract with a high level of acidity that allows them to process their food very differently and deal with different types of bacteria.
Our pets' motility and pH in their GI tract digest foods differently and much faster than we do - long before harmful bacteria are able to multiply and cause problems.
While humans can get sick from eating raw meat in general, our pets remain unaffected. On the contrary, raw meat is an integral part of our pets’ healthy digestive biome and their natural, ancestral diet.
At Furchild, we maintain careful hygiene and meticulous handling of all our products, keeping food safety at its highest level.
And yes, raw meat can grow pathogenic bacteria, if not handled correctly. But wait, did you know that both kibble and canned pet foods can also grow pathogenic bacteria (and often do) if not handled properly?
Whether it’s fresh raw pet food or kibbles, pet parents need to be careful when handling food as dry kibble foods can also contain harmful bacteria, and are often recalled for this problem.
It comes down to practising common sense, implementing hygiene practices and the appropriate handling of food.
Raw meat should be handled in the same fashion as any other meat or food items should be managed. In addition, your pet's dishes, feeding utensils, and eating area should be thoroughly cleaned after each meal using hot soapy water, regardless of your pet's diet.
Taking this into consideration, Furchild has a 7-step food safety process, in which we implement stringent quality control throughout all operations, from sourcing and manufacturing to transportation. We also include the use of bacteriophage technology.
With all the added safety measures in place, we want you to rest assured that your pet is consuming a science-based safe raw pet food diet which meets strict food safety standards for pathogen control.
While it can be unnerving to consult with a vet who isn’t reinforcing your decision to feed your dogs and cats a raw pet food diet, there are in fact, many vets in the UAE recommending their clients to Furchild regularly. Moreover, vets are feeding our recipes to their own pets.
Having that said, we’re proud to say that our complete and balanced raw meals are stocked at veterinary clinics across Dubai. And we’re aimed at growing our list of stockists further.
And if your vet is against raw pet food, whoever they may be, we're here to support you.
We've also put together tips for you on how to approach raw feeding with your vet and have an open, informative discussion in our recent blog, How to Talk to Your Vet About Raw Pet Food?
FURCHILD is the first raw pet food company of its kind in the Middle East.
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