Raw meat diets for pets — thoughts from an expert

Hesitant about feeding your pet a raw diet? Here’s what an expert has to say on the matter.

I graduated from veterinary school in 1980 believing that commercial diets were the best because that was what my education taught me. Two years later, I began to learn about homeopathy, and over the next several years I began thinking about all the factors that help animals stay (or become) healthy. When I began asking others in my field whether they thought a fresh or processed diet was better for animal companions, almost all thought fresh, from local sources, was really the best.

Then I looked at the anatomy and physiology of dogs, cats and people, and realized how different they really are. Dogs and cats have mouths designed for ripping and tearing meat apart and crunching bones, not for lots of chewing to get digestive enzymes started. Their stomachs hold the chunks of meat and pureed vegetables in an acid bath for many hours, then their very short intestines finish with some absorption.

By 1990, I was strongly suggesting feeding raw meat (large chunks – with or without bones) and pureed vegetables – no processed food. There was at least slight health improvements in 80% of the animals once they adjusted to this diet. My professional opinion is that while some animals need variations of the raw meat diet – this is the place to begin.