What if raw food contains parasites, bacteria, or pathogens that can actually harm my dog’s health?
Is that what you are thinking?
Let’s investigate the facts:
Tibetan Mastiff Raw Food Diet - Good or Bad?
Before 1993, when veterinarian doctor Ian Billinghurst wrote the book ‘Give your dog a bone’, every dog owner was OK with feeding their beloved pets conventional, commercial dog food.
After the book, the raw pet food revolution began.
FDA Claims: Raw Dog Food Diet Is Unhealthy!
Yes, the FDA, the same guys that allowed diseased meat into pet food without warning you.
Renowned dog food companies sought advice on raw food, as you would do.
However, they can pay a lot to find just the kind of expert advice they want to disclose.
FDA Indirectly Claims: Raw Dog Food Diet Is Healthy!
Take this raw pet food diet study published by the FDA, for example:
Veterinarian Renate Reimshuessel, one of the study’s principal investigators, concluded that a significant percentage (16%) of the raw foods tested for pets contained listeria monocytogenes (the bacteria responsible for listeria disease).
Curiously enough, another study from the FDA, this one specific about listeria disease (or listeriosis), says that it is very unlikely that listeria monocytogenes could cause diseases in dogs or cats.
The study states that, even when infected, pets only show some mild ailments, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
This pretty much renders the results of the Reimschuessel study useless for assessing raw food risks on pets.
Salmonella In Raw Dog Food Diets For Mastiffs?
The Reimschuessel study investigates salmonella contamination of raw food. Of the 196 raw pet food samples analyzed, 15 were positive for Salmonella. That’s about 8%.
Not really a large percentage, but enough to get you somewhat worried.
After all, Salmonella is responsible for some 400 deaths every year. I mean, human deaths.
But we’re talking about dog health here. Big difference.
Next example: An article on raw dog food and Salmonella risks in the WholeDog journal digs specifically on raw dog food and salmonella risks.
In that article, Denise Flaim – professional journalist and breeder of Rhodesian Ridgebacks – explains that dogs’ acid rich digestive systems usually disarm the salmonella bacteria before they can cause illness.
Remember: A dog’s digestive system is not like yours. It is designed to process dangerous pathogens, bacteria and parasites. It is highly acid, with a P.H. value of 1, something not many living things can resist.
So, do you still think your Mastiff dog can get ill from Salmonella in raw food?
But My Mastiff Is On A Prescription- And Breed-Specific Diet
Ok, I understand. You are paying extra money to feed your dog breed-specific or prescription diets. If so, have you asked yourself on what conclusions you made that decision?
Royal Canin, one of the main vendors of breed-specific dog food, tells us that its Breed Health Nutrition products feature “Unique nutrients and high-quality protein sources”. The brand also mentions that they’re specially designed for each dog’s facial and jaw structures.
What is your stance in this? Consider this story:
Piers Smart of Scampers Natural Pet Store in the U.K. discovered something peculiar about Royal Canin’s Breed Health Nutrition: the same products have quite a few differences depending on the country where they are sold.
Take, for instance, Royal Canin Bulldog food in the U.S. There, the top 5 ingredients are chicken meal, rice, brown rice, oat groats, and pork meal (in that order).
Meanwhile, in the U.K., the top 5 ingredients of that very same product are rice, dehydrated poultry protein, animal fats, vegetable protein isolate, and hydrolyzed animal proteins (also in that order).
Are bulldogs that different in the U.S. and in the U.K.?
What if pet food manufacturers know that you will pay extra by making you believe in their “breed specific” diets?
What if they also know this: If they own your perception they own your wallet.
Regarding the dog’s “facial and jaw structures”, isn’t it pretty easy to chop the food into a size that fits your dog’s mouth?
If your barking friend is a Chihuahua, chop smaller bites; if it’s a Great Dane, chop bigger bites.
What about a vet recommended prescription diet for Tibetan Mastiffs?
Dana Scott, CEO of Four Leaf Rover compared the labels of two processed dog food products on a pet shop shelf: one regular food, the other prescription dog food.
Guess what? The top 5 ingredients in both products were exactly the same.
Yes, they were exactly the same: Chicken by-product meal, cornmeal, sorghum, barley, and chicken.
Why is the prescription product sold as a veterinary prescription diet?
I bet you know the answer.
We find no reliable pet food studies on this. Sorry!
Sadly, all pet food studies on this are questionable, as Ryan Ramka (founder of Luna Science and Nutrition) explains:
It would take 5 to 8 years to do clinical research showing whether dry or canned food is healthy.
There’s not one single substantial study that supports the claims of the three major dog food companies that raw food is unhealthy.
The bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter how much effort or research a company invests in “special” diets. No one beats Mother Nature.
Tibetan dogs naturally ate raw meat for thousands of years. Not Kibble.