For about 100 years, raw dog food diet was condemned by the traditional pet food industry. Few know that this condemnation is based on 4 myths:
The commercial pet food industry, AAFCO, and some veterinarians enable these myths to discourage you from buying fresh food for your dog.
Are these myths the truth or misinformation to deceive you as a pet owner?
This article will highlight the 4 myths and expose the truths surrounding the raw dog food diet.
Now let’s get to it:
Myth 1 — Feeding Your Tibetan Mastiff Raw Food Diets Means Salmonella Risks
This is the biggest lie sold in the pet food industry. The fabrication designed to cause panic amongst pet owners started in 2012, after reading an FDA pet food study.
FDA tested over 1000 brands for bacteria. After, the FDA came with a conclusion stating that the risk of the Salmonella bacteria is higher in raw pet food than other types of commercially produced pet food.
Although the FDA was right to provide safety precautions that are necessary when handling all dog food, the notion that raw food has a higher chance of being contaminated by bacteria is an erroneous deduction that caused unnecessary panic.
Of course, dry pet food manufacturers took advantage of this and warned alarmed pet owners to stay away from raw dog food providing kibble as the better option.
The same thing happened in 2018. As reported by Fortune Magazine, five pet food companies had their raw food products recalled by the FDA for Salmonella and Listeria contamination. Some of the brands recalled were; Dog Food Red Barn, Raws For Paws, and Smokehouse Pet Products.
Here's The Truth About Salmonella In Dog Food
The risk of Salmonella bacteria in dog food is high in all kinds of pet food including canned, semi-moist, and even kibble.
Still not convinced? Let’s get to the facts:
From 2006 to 2007, there was a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella enteric serotype Schwarzengrund in the US reported by the CDC in 2008.
The cause of the outbreak traced back to kibble produced by Mars Petcare US, affecting 70 people from 19 states. The pet food company voluntarily recalled the only two selected brands of their products in 2007, after microbiological testing conducted by the FDA confirmed the contamination.
But that is not all.
There was another outbreak in 2008, extending the number of infected persons to 79 with the new cases recorded in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, and New York. The FDA tested the remaining brands and found multiple brands contaminated with the bacteria. On September 12, 2008, the company made another voluntary recall of all dry dog food and cate food.
Myth 2— Raw Dog Diet Is Nutritionally Unbalanced Food For Mastiffs
The AAFCO guidelines specify that carbohydrates are a nutritional requirement for dogs. However, dogs do not need much carbohydrates to thrive.
Dr. Karen explains that the classic inflammatory diet that most vets recommend for dogs is a low carb, high protein diet.
But you know what else?
Raw meat fits into these nutritional requirements.
What about kibble? Surprisingly enough, most commercial kibble products and canned food have nutritional deficiencies. The heat used in processing them reduces the nutrients in processed pet food.
Besides, commercial pet foods like Kibble usually contain unhealthy ingredients with a high quantity of starch, fillers, artificial preservatives, and colors.
Some pet manufacturers go to the extent of adding additives, chemicals, and by-products, making them toxic for pet’s consumption.
The odd fact is:
The FDA has nothing written on Google addressing the nutritional deficiency of commercially produced pet food.
Isn’t it funny how the FDA dedicated a captivating article on how raw food is dangerous to your dog’s health. But nothing on the nutritional deficiency of kibble?
Here’s the kicker:
FDA acted negligently in 2007 and failed to perform its duty to conduct a proper inspection of all the company’s products. Hence, they did not eliminate the risk that the company posed to human lives in 2007.
Dr. Jones, a veterinarian and owner of Nelson Animal Hospital, had earlier exposed the FDA. He explained that the FDA has double standards when it comes to regulating pet food standards compared to human food standards.
Unfortunately, the idea that kibble does not pose a threat of microbe infestation as fresh food put 79 lives in danger from 2006 to 2008. Also, the FDA’s failure to act quickly and effectively accounted for the extra nine cases in 2008.
Why did the FDA conclude that raw meat has a higher possibility of contamination of bacteria? Did FDA forget the 2006-2008 Salmonella outbreak, or is this proof of the FDA’s hypocrisy?
Why hasn’t there being any publicized case of kibble contamination by Salmonella bacteria after 2008?
Be honest, you are asking the same questions. Well, those are topics for another day.
But here is another unnerving fact:
Most healthy dogs harbor Salmonella bacteria regardless of the food they consume.
Dr. Karen Becker, an integrative wellness veterinarian explains that about 36% of healthy dogs are carriers of the Salmonella bacteria as part of their normal gastrointestinal flora.
Here’s the interesting thing:
She emphasizes that all non-typhoid Salmonella species are commonly present in the environment and reside in the Gastrointestinal tracts of animals.
Shocking right? Considering the emphasis placed on the opinion that infection of Salmonella is through contaminated food ingested. Or were we lied to after all?
Myth 3— Stool Passed by Tibetan Dogs on A Raw Diet Is Not Normal
Another myth of the raw food diet is; the smellier the poop, the healthier your dog. Of course, there is no accuracy in it. Usually, dogs on a homemade diet pass solid stinky excreta.
But when dogs change their diet from kibble to fresh food, there is a notable difference in the excrement.
The stool changes to light excreta that easily crumbles. The color of the poop also changes from a deep brown to white. Sadly, most raw feeders panic based on the assumption that the new excrement is not normal.
The simple truth is:
The change in the stool passed is totally normal and healthy.
Myth 4 — Raw Dog Food Diet Makes Your Tibetan Mastiff Unhealthy
When pet parents switch their pooch’s diet from commercial pet food to a Specie Appropriate Raw Food (SARF), there are complications in most cases.
Some of the commonly exhibited symptoms are diarrhea, bad breath, vomiting, itchy skin, etc. Most pet parents panic because they think their pooch got sick from consuming fresh food.
What most of them think is unhealthy is actually a detoxification process.
As Dr. Karen explains:
“Oftentimes, after one to three months of feeding raw food, pets go through a process of detoxification, this is totally normal.”
The detoxification phase is accompanied by shedding an enormous amount of hair or producing a lot of wax in their ear. Dr. Karen recommends a gradual introduction of the new food.
Now get this: The process of detoxification enables your pet to shed its old furs and grow shiny, soft skin. It is necessary for the greater good. However, not all dogs get sick as a result of a change in diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
• Is Raw Food Diet Good for Dogs?
We are told dogs are omnivores. But historically, canines thrived only on raw meat. Don’t be deceived! Pet food is a new concept— the first pet food was not available until 1860.
That is why dogs need raw meat to maintain their health and agility like their cousins— the grey wolves. Also, they obtain higher energy levels, shinier coats, smaller stools, healthier skin, improved digestion when introduced to a fresh food diet.
• What Are the Benefits of Feeding Your Dog A Raw Food Diet?
Raw meats, fruits, and vegetables have higher nutritional benefits than kibble, canned food or homemade. Just imagine what the heat used in processing does to kibble, canned food, and homemade. Definitely, most nutrients may be destroyed.
Raw meat contains enzymes, vitamins, fats, and protein. Besides, antioxidants present in fresh food and vegetables boost the immune system of animals. Your pooch needs all these nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
• How Do I Feed My Mastiff Dog A Raw Diet?
If you are changing your canine’s diet to a Specie Appropriate Raw Food, it is imperative to introduce the meal slowly. Dr. Karen recommends that pet owners should introduce the new food as a treat and watch the stool. After this, the ration of fresh food can increase.
What is important is to watch the stool. If the excreta passed is fine, and the dog does not experience severe gastrointestinal problems, replace one ration of old food with the new food. Furthermore, if the stool is fine after several days, completely replace the old diet with the raw diet.
What's the bottom line?
Now that you know the truth, feel free to feed your pooch a raw dog food diet. And remember: Do not ignore precautionary measures in handling fresh food or kibble.
After you feed your pet any fresh food, wash your hands thoroughly. Dr. Karen recommends exercising the same degree of care while handling human food while handling animal food.
Also, she urges compliance with the FDA’s safe handling dog food tips.
Do that, and you will be glad to see your dog healthy!