I would imagine – or at least I hope! – you've gotten a lot of mail about the article written by Dr. Alice Crook, DVM "The risks of raw food" which was in your summer issue 2004.
To use some of her words – many people ARE singing the praises of raw food diets – and it's precisely because of some of the worries that she lists when she's talking about why a kibble diet is better! She mentioned concerns with food safety and nutritional deficiencies with diets based on raw meat.
I'm not saying that a "Biologically appropriate raw food" diet is the best diet for every dog, or that it is the only way we should be feeding our lifetime companion animals. I don't even feed my own animals a completely raw diet – but it IS part of their healthy, varied, interesting, balanced over time way of eating. Most people
discover this way of feeding our animals because we've come up against serious health issues caused by the way big conglomerate dog food manufacturers – who veterinarians sometimes seem to be coached by – have been telling us that we must feed our pets. I have yet to come upon any dog anywhere that's been fed a grocery store dog kibble ONLY and lived to be old and healthy with a shiny coat, good joints, bright eyes and good teeth. Whenever a dog's health impresses me enough to
ask what they're fed and their owner says "I feed them X (kibble)" – I always ask the second question – "and what else do you give them?" Invariably they always get selected table scraps, supplements, sardines, and sometimes even raw chicken necks and eggs – whatever – but they're never just fed the kibble only. Ever.
I have great respect for Dr. Crook – she is a super advocate for the welfare of our companion animals – but she neglected to mention in her article any of the downfalls of a kibble diet. The only thing she mentions is right at the end is where she says "check the ingredient list, and look for meat or meat by-products as the principal ingredients". I REALLY wish she could have talked a little bit more about ingredients that go into making kibble pet food and how important it is to only buy food that have labels that say "fit for human consumption".
Grocery store and most pet food store kibble is made from all the indigestible garbage that is produced by the human food preparation industries. That's a fact. I don't think anyone who's done any research will dispute that – there's historical precedent to say that and it's still happening today. Would you feed your child "wheat middlings" or "animal digest"?
Our companion animals have such short lives – a couple years is a lifetime to them, and that's how big a difference in lifespan a super healthy diet can make – along with increased quality of life. I'd like to get as many days as I can with them. I feed my animals the same food I eat – I've never gotten salmonella or trichinella and I don't think my animals ever will either – I don't treat their food like it's "dog food" – if you know what I mean!
There are risks to raw food as there is to everything – but to me, based on my research and the research of a lot of people who are a lot smarter than me – the risks of a kibble diet are much higher on the long-term health of my lifetime companion animals.
So that was a nice surprise to see and read when I picked up Molson last night at Dr. Carnegy's! Especially since today is the day that Eddy who used to be Ebony found her new Mom - and her life was literally saved because of a raw food diet! How sweet is that! (plus a little Sinden mojo...)