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FDA Warns Against Raw Pet Food (Again)

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  1. Wolf

    I’d like to share your optimism, but I think there is a certain mindset that is beyond education here. It can be likened to a kind of religious zealotry, where there is faith beyond reason, beyond what facts tell one, beyond what science shows. This is a cult, of sorts. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But if these folks begin to see the benefits of lightly processed food, the foundation of “all that is sacred” begins to slip from under them. They would then have to call into question the validity of nutrition claims for highly heated, processed foods. They would have to question BPF. They would have to question the whole world as they know it. This one topic seems like a small enough thing to consider and see benefit, but seeing reason here really breaks down the whole system. So I don’t think they CAN. Denial is NECESSARY.

    1. Cathy

      Wolf has eloquently described the exact problem here: ‘faith beyond reason”. No amount of truth or education will shift the paradigm of the majority who work for FDA and who support FDA. This is a good example of such a simple truth that is easily understood. But they can’t see the truth. Their soul can’t know the truth. Denial is NECESSARY.

      Those very few who do ‘GET IT’ choose to get out and go elsewhere. Very few ever leave, and they go silently… not exposing FDA’s lies or biases.

    2. Reader

      Well I’m with you in spirit. But I the FDA making policy doesn’t allow for individual employees’ personal opinions. They’d never get anywhere if so. They’re not a “cult” because their mission is (supposedly) one of safety and prevention. Cults do not have the welfare of an individual in mind.

      It is more likely that raw food IMPROPERLY handled “could” be more hazardous than cooked or processed. However that possibility doesn’t mean that it “will” be, or that its nutritional value should be denied, because people who are knowledgeable enough to feed healthy food in the first place, also know the basics about staying healthy (hellloww!) In fact it could even be that after seeing all the data and negative reports out there about PF that individual FDA pet owners choose their own feeding methods quite contrary to policy. As Devil’s Advocate here, if a government agency says go ahead and feed raw, and some idiot leaves out raw PF all day long as in “free feeding” in 100 degree heat, then yeah, there are going to be problems. Same as why vets won’t recommend it either. Same as why nobody is saying you should leave out raw chicken or whatever it is, in the same way.

      I think in terms of “policy making” it’s a consistent view of all uncooked food hazards. But their policy making doesn’t go far enough in terms of welfare, protection and safety.

      That means the real question here that we should all be focused on is this. If SAFETY and PRECAUTION is the FDA’s mission, and they are concerned about consistency, then WHY do they ignore commercial PF violations (and all of the issues we know about)? That’s the real hypocrisy and difficulty in believing the policies they concoct. Unfortunately as we already know that’s where government (FDA management) is being unduly influenced by Big Money PFI lobbying. As in “hey FDA ….just look the other way, ….our issues aren’t that bad, ….because there’s no scientific research proving otherwise.”

      Demanding the PFI business go through massive reform would be nearly impossible for a government agency to control. Even after determining cigarette smoking causes cancer is it still legal? Will the government ever really care about us … or just the money? And that’s the real definition of their consistency!

    3. Lidia

      Just a comment if it can help an animal in distress. Though I’d make no recommendation of any type of food for every animal, conventional institutions stating there is yet no evidence to support contentions of raw benefits in cats and dogs may be right as far as lack of clinical tests. All I can say from a totally convincing number of incidents is that my cat is alive thanks to eating his food raw, when even surgery did not help him. After suffering from complete urinary blockage and continuing to create huge oxalate calculi in his bladder after surgery, when he was eating the prescription diet I was told to force him to eat and putting him through rough times and another surgery recommended as last resort, I changed his food to raw meats. No 2nd surgery or huge blockages to this time. As for us, use the same precautions as with any store-bought meats.

  2. Gitta

    Has the great and glorious and all knowing FDA ever bothered to count how many people get sick and how many die every single year because of contaminated human food? Where is the warning? What is done to decrease these outbreaks? Wouldn’ THAT be really in the interest of the public? After all, aren’t more citizens without a pet in their home?

    I am sure the great and glorious and all knowing FDA would probably love to warn consumers not to use any raw, unprocessed and unpackaged human food. Be it homegrown, from the local farmers’ market or a chain supermarket. It is just not yet politically correct or feasible to do so. Who knows – one of these days big food may have spent enough in “campaign contributions” to pull enough strings.

    I am more than sick and tired of their bs. But perhaps this is their way to distract from their failure to protect pets, their guardians AND the public from Chinese jerky treats. We KNOW these jerky treats are way more than a hypothetical threat.

    Really too dumb for words.

  3. Debra

    What I find insulting (aside from their spurious allegations of risks) is that the FDA assumes that none of us has ever handled raw food in our lives, until we chose to feed our pets raw food. I observe the same standards of hygiene regardless of whether I’m preparing raw food for my pets or preparing to cook food for myself that is raw.

    1. Denise

      I agreed with Debra. It would make more sense if the FDA issued a warning to remind people that feed raw to wash their hands and the food dishes. What they have issued seems layered in big pet food manufacturers trying to manipulate the facts.

      1. barbara

        In the early 50’s I was asked to feed my next door neighbor’s cat, as she would be away. I was only 10 yr old. We didn’t have animals, so it was a surprise to me when she said to feed it what she’d put in the frig. It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen, but turned out to be a beef kidney. I had to cut it up, which to a young person not raised on a farm, was a pretty yucky process. I’ve never seen one since then. Now that I think back, she knew in the 50’s that it was the best thing to feed her cat – raw meat. I’m almost sure that I didn’t wash my hands in soapy water, and I’m still here to tell the tale.

    2. Jeri

      The insidious thing in this warning – as well as in the resolution against raw food passed by the AVMA in 2012, is that NEITHER of these organizations addressed the fact that there are documented cases of people AND animals who have gotten ill from kibble!! The AVMA admitted as much on their FAQ page, yet what we get re: kibble is…crickets. I’m betting FAR more people are in danger handling kibble because they think, being highly processed, that it is “safe”. For that reason alone (not to mention the stool sample study done by the Delta Pet Therapy group which showed that more pathogens were shed by kibble fed dogs than raw — as well as the fact that HPP, used by some raw pet food companies, renders “raw” “safe and completely pathogen-free”) — neither organization has any credibility with me. None.

  4. John Sturgess

    I have to beg to Differ on this part of your article
    ” This is not only a bias against raw pet foods, it is a lack of understanding ” I Truly believe that it is not a lack of understanding on the FDA’s part. They know when they put their 20 yrs in for a pension where they will go and work and that’s at the P&G’s Purina’s, Nestles of the World either as a lobbyist or management. Follow the money trail where the junkets are for the FDA, vacations, meetings etc… People eat Chicken Hamburgers Steak every day – yet where are the constant warnings about RAW MEAT handling it and cleaning it up. Because BIG BEEF has the $$$$$ to coerce the FDA while the Raw Food makers are a tiny market dollars wise and cant fight back against the GLOBAL COMPANIES.

  5. Jeanette Owen

    Maybe they are worried because they know most raw food for pets comes from the hell hole slaughter houses & are really a bad grade of meat etc.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Jeannette – why would you suggest that most raw foods are inferior sources of meats? I’m confident some are, but I’m not aware that most are. If you have information that we need to know about, please share.

    2. Jeri

      This is simply untrue, Jeanette. Many raw pet food companies are VERY cautious about the quality of the meat they get. They have to be because, unlike the kibble companies, they get no “pass” from the FDA.

    3. LisA

      There are commercially prepared, HPP raw foods that use meats from animals that were humanely raised e.g., free range, hormone free, antibiotic free — Nature’s Variety, Primal, Stella & Chewys, are a few I’m familiar with. These companies also follow very strict quality control and testing protocols with their products, ensuring safety before the products are released to the stores. Please check your sources before you make such a blanket statement next time, thank you.

  6. Grateful

    Wow, awareness must really be hitting the pet food industry in the wallet. Good.

  7. Kenneth Kalligher

    We keep having these same conversations around the edges. People on Susan’s site and others have bothered to seek information and have educated themselves and struggle to understand why we can’t do better. The debate is within this group and others like it, but the heart of the circle, the huge group of people representing most of the owners of pets (cats & dogs) just don’t care. It is estimated that there are over 525 million dogs worldwide. It is safe to assume that the world population of cats is close to the same; therefore the total cat and dog population is easily over one billion. With the mass of pet owners unable or unwilling to join the debate there is virtually no hope that the overall quality of pet food will change. It does not go unnoticed by the pet food industry and the government regulators, which I tend to lump together, that only a minute amount of pet owners are vocal, active and passionate about the quality of pet foods. Some pet food companies have responded with premium ingredients and prices to gain access to that small market, but for the most part the junk peddlers continue to have it their way with the complicity of the regulators. The world market for pet foods is currently about 58 billion dollars it is expected to grow to around 76 billion by 2017. Mars and Nestle control half of the total. In the US, 22 billion dollars are spent on just pet food sales. The premium pet food market in the US is just under 2 billion dollars and two companies own about 62% of that total. Oh, by the way those two companies cited as premium are: Iams, and Hill’s. When I think of premium companies those would NOT be on my list. The simple math is that there is only 760 million dollars left to share among the other “premium” companies. Assuming they are all companies that we would agree were truly “premium” manufacturers that would only represent about 3% of the market in the US. Obviously the worldwide totals would be far less than 3%. So, while the fight is real for we the pet parents that really care, it is not difficult to see why these giant corporations remain arrogant, blind and deaf to the cries of the active pet owners, and, they do it with the blessings of government regulators and political lobbyists. Truly this is a David and Goliath fight, but if anyone is up for it, it would be Susan. Keep the faith, it is a fight worth fighting and our pets lives are at stake.

    1. Pacific Sun

      Eventual TAPF Followers go through stages, including initial curiosity, disbelief, denial, rejection, event impact, re-connection, re-education, true awareness, depression, cynicism (I think you might be at that point) and finally the realization that all movements take TIME. All worthwhile progress in our society has. Whether or not we live to see the end result we can know that we cared. More specifically that the author cared enough not to give up, nor should we.

      The PFI knows that a “Thorn” in their side will not go away. And as long as that is true, more and more horrifying information comes to light. The PFI never knows when the exact bombshell will turn the tide. Toyota, GM (probably others) seem to be responsible for the deaths of innocent drivers because their product’s defects kept getting swept under the carpet. It took some very dedicated plaintiffs and law firm research to benefit the rest of us … and all future consumers! Granted, the key IS media coverage and exposes. But the research and the body of evidence has to be ready and in place for exactly that point in time.

      If we focus on the “numbers” alone (as you’ve shared) then the task seems daunting and extremely discouraging. We think, well we can only do better for ourselves. But could we, if others hadn’t shared with “us” first? If we focus on pet owners one-by-one learning to save each of their companions, then the momentum is well worth keeping alive. Between 8 years ago and now, monumental awareness has occurred. One reason is social media and the internet and the power behind it. It’s exponential and available and free! People who are in the “event impact” stage are exactly the ones reaching out now. Asking questions, researching on the internet, coming across TAPF. Some will stay connected. We need to be there for that purpose.

      While PFI business as usual may be the norm for right now, industry actually plans for the future more than they even care about “now”. They are well aware of “Trending” and the need to capture future sales. They want to ride the wave, not just float the tide! The availability of PF information and issues that we see today was virtually unknown 8 years ago. The world will never be a perfectly corrected environment.

      It’s a process of change. And good conscience.

    2. Jeri

      The raw feeders must be having an impact or these “warnings” and obvious, transparent efforts to get people “back in line” would not be taking place. You don’t bother to fight something which isn’t a threat.

  8. sue buchanan

    As long as the pet food industry continues to make big bucks- since money is the only thing that seems to matter, no matter how much consumers fight this nothing is going to change. Why should we have to convince the FDA of anything? Anyone with any common sense should know that REAL FOOD has got to be better than trash. There needs to be a movement of education and then one to get people to make or buy home made REAL FOOD for their pets and to me this is where the effort should be.

  9. Pat P.

    It is true, as Kenneth mentioned, that so many pet food owners don’t care, which seems rather hypocritical, since they often claim to “love” their pets. (Of course, many don’t care about the problems with the human food industries, either.) When I try to discuss this issue with various people, they either get angry or just don’t want to listen. They may even argue their case, without a single bit of evidence or logic. (It reminds me of my political discussions). Often times, it is because they, erroneously, think that it will require spending a lot of extra money, or time–and they never seem to have it–for something that should be so important. Other times, it’s just laziness or convenience (the nearest grocery store). These same people wouldn’t bother researching cat behavior, illnesses, optimal health or medicines. I am shocked at how many people I have spoken with that are actual terribly misinformed about all cat (my main concern) issues.

    I also speak about the fact that so many pet foods are killing their cats, that dry food, IMO, as well as, many of the ingredients are bad for pets, etc. Some of these same persons know how many hours I have and continue to research cats, their food and behaviors, and how careful I am about what I take for truth. (I have been chronically ill for the last few years and spend a lot of computer time looking for answers.) Yet they still persist in their obstinance and ignorance–often adamantly.

    Luckily, but slowly, people are changing, at least, some are, as I did. I needed to learn or relearn what I believed in the past. Yet with organizations like the FDA and USDA who support the huge pet food industry, it makes a different way of thinking difficult. So many people believe that whatever they (incl. the PFI) say on these issues must be true and don’t bother to question, as they, probably, don’t in many areas of their lives.

    It would be nice if I had great examples (sometimes the best proof), of how feeding species-appropriate food can work wonders in a pet’s life, but I don’t. Both of mine are ill with eating issues, so I have spent enumerable hours in researching and purchasing the best foods (which they won’t eat). The only real luck I have is the switch from dry to wet. Now all they will eat, if at all and with an appetite stimulant, is the worst junk foods. One of my cats liked a very good raw for awhile, but won’t eat it now–just like most everything good in cans.

    After writing more than intended, all I can say now is thanks to Susan for her wonderful work and persistence in illuminating those of us who care, and hope that others will, eventually, “wise up” to the harm the PFI and their powerful allies are doing to our pets. I just hope we don’t have to lose many more pets to “poison” foods, in the meantime.

  10. Jeanette Owen

    What I meant in my previous comment above was I was told at the famers market here in Scottsdale Az, one company selling beef etc – brings their cows into the barn & slaughters them there without the cow being stressed out at all & does not know what’s happening & is humane as you can get. Another place said they take their cattle to the “state” slaughter house which is WAY cleaner, smaller etc. – then the awful huge slaughter houses we hear about. Germy!! Now so much the cut of meat, but the areas & events leading up to getting the meat.

    1. Pet Owner

      Though not ideal to our ascetics, germ ridden versus diseased protein (cancerous, chemically altered, toxic waste, etc.) is different. Dogs are can handle unsanitary feed. As in scavenging from pure garbage and roadkill, which is “feed” on its way to fermentation (a state of natural rot). But they are not designed to be ingesting consistently and long term the kinds of chemicals required to correct any and every kind of rendered substances (including miscellaneous non edible garbage that gets mixed in). If feeding raw, why bother with “ground up” anything? Just use identifiable chunks of meat and minimally cook it so it’s safe to touch and hold for a certain period of time, but is still rare and retains all the natural juices for the dog? Commercially prepared raw, by contrast is (supposed to be) sanitized through a system of high pressurized processing.

      My guess is that some pets are attracted to “worst junk food” because it is a combination of highly concentrated organ meats (not fit for food retail) along with (probably sweet tasting) fillers. If PF companies have researched anything worthwhile, it is probably various scents and flavors stimulating an animal’s appetite, requiring a minimum value add, and yet are potent enough for an animal’s senses. I have yet to see a dog (at in least in our breed) refuse Little Cesar. Gawd only knows what’s really in it. But they lap it up like caviar. It must appeal to their instincts in some way.

      Perhaps older cats are habit driven and can’t be weaned onto more healthy food. Hopefully Followers here with younger, more adaptable pets, heed the warnings, and start them off on wholesome food. Like delaying the introduction of “Fast Food” addiction to small children!!

      1. Jeri

        Not all raw companies use HPP. Some test for pathogens independently and try to ensure none get through.

  11. Jeanette Owen

    I also want to say my dogs go haywire over the grass beef ground beef from the farmers market!!! They love it!! I love it!! They jump & down. Last the tried the brand “Laura’s” which is suppose to be organic – was it ever lousy! NO Comparison. I’ve bought Laura’s before in the big supermarkets & it was not so bad, but this last time it really was not very good. Won’t buy it again. So… I am sure this beef ran thru the big slaughter houses?? Also I would like to say at a dog show here in Phoenix Az in February, someone selling all kinds of freeze dried, dehydrated food, ligament etc told me she checked out 3 slaughter houses around here & some were really nasty. She went with the she uses for her food.

  12. Peter

    One thing that bothers me is that consumers relying on the quality of so-called “professionally made” pet foods can be exposed to the very same issues that this warning seems to “warn” about. There are no assurances, except that generally, everything is baked and cooked and incinerated and treated and fortified to make up for nutritional losses that occur during the baking, cooking, and incineration which is necessary to kill off all the bad stuff. So maybe the employees who authored this particular FDA warning should go back and read the agency’s February 2013 report on the inspection of the Kasel Industries plant in Denver, CO. The company had chicken sitting exposed on a loading dock, nothing was covered inside, it was filthy and there were insects everywhere…

    They can find it on their own site: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofGlobalRegulatoryOperationsandPolicy/ORA/ORAElectronicReadingRoom/UCM339743.pdf

  13. Ellie

    This always amazes me. Vets and the FDA warning that feeding an animal raw food is dangerous to the animal and people.
    First of all who on earth was cooking for these animals before it became popular to feed dogs and cats fast food? Before the 1950’s there was no pet food industry other than the local butcher. The family pet was given raw meat to eat if it was lucky or they were given leftovers from meals that were not highly processed as they are today. Most domestic animals had to fend for themselves.
    Don’t people still buy raw meat and cook it at home? Is that raw meat less dangerous to handle than the pet’s raw meat? When you handle raw meat you are supposed to wash your hands afterward. Isn’t that so? When you feed your dog or cat raw meat you should wash your hands when your done. So what is so difficult about that it would warrant an FDA warning?
    As for commercial raw food. Wash your hands after you handle it and do the same if you handle anything to do with kibble or canned food.

  14. barbara

    A person who says that they love their pets but feeds commercial pet food does not mean that they love them less. I could list a dozen reasons why these folks are not aware of what is good or bad pet food. If you look back just 8 to 10 years ago, most folks never questioned the quality of pet food. They just poured out the kibble or opened a can and thought that they were doing what was best for their pets. I was one of those people.

    Nowadays the majority of pet owners in the US, say 95% or more, continue to purchase the low quality commercial pet food, for whatever reason. They don’t go on Susan’s website, don’t notice notice the media, or don’t have friends that clue them in. As Pacific Sun says, we learned by someone sharing with us. It’s called the 100th Monkey Effect.

    The “greening” of America is a snail’s process. Remember counterculture and granola 40 years ago? Now granola on all the grocery store shelves, because industry realized it was a “Trend” and that they could market it. There are still Corn Flakes, but granola is here to stay. Health food stores are everywhere. Organic is “in”. Organic pet food is on the shelves. Of course, Greenwashing is a disappointment, but not surprising, as industry wants to ride the wave of the trends. The slowness of the greening of America is too slow for me, but still the seed is there, festering and growing.

  15. Jeanette Owen

    FDA is useless. (except for the “big” money people)

  16. Suzanne

    I totally agree that raw meat is dangerous for animals and contains parasites, bacteria, and could even contain salmonella and other such poison. That is why I stopped visting and reading the “Pet Advisor” about dog food, because raw dog food was advertised. Also, dangerous comments were allowed by people who pushed feeding raw meat to dogs, and they infiltrated all conversations about any brand dog food. I would NOT feed my trusting dogs raw meat under any circumstances. They trust me, and would eat anything I fed them. They can depend on me to protect them.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      On this site we allow everyone to have their opinion on what style of pet food is preferred – and raw meat feeding is one of those styles that is discussed. Please understand that here or any other website if someone firmly believes in a style of feeding (as example I home cook for my 2 dogs and 4 cats) they want to share that with others. Using me as the example again, I so believe in home cooking (one reason) because my almost 15 year old cat has kidney function of a 5 year old cat! That’s amazing. My vet thinks its amazing too. So of course I would want to share that with others. No one is pushing you to feed one brand or one style over another – they are just often thrilled at the health changes they have seen in their own pets – and they want to share. Home cooking isn’t for everyone – raw isn’t for everyone – kibble isn’t for everyone. It’s not a one size fits all thing.

      1. Lisa

        Agreed Susan, thank you. I have been using commercially prepared raw foods for both of my cats, now almost four years old. My male cat has feline herpes in addition to IBD. Our vet, who only treats cats, initially, discouraged me from raw feeding. Almost a year later, he is surprised at how well both cats are doing, (they are siblings, male and female), especially Mikey. His IBD with all its’ symptoms, e.g., vomiting, loose and smelly stools like Play-Doh, is practically non-existent now. As far as his herpes, he rarely has flareups, I don’t even have to give him lysine anymore (for his eyes which were also runny and half closed most of the time) due to the change in his diet. Although I was not previously feeding them dry kibble, they were eating a high quality, mostly meat (95 % meat) and carrageenan-free canned food. He still was not symptom free of either his FHV or IBD. Now – it’s like a miracle.

        Both cats have far more energy than before, there is much less waste and odor in the kitty box and I’m actually saving money by feeding raw in lieu of canned b/c it takes less raw than processed for an animal to feel sated. We use both free dried raw (reconstituted with water and in case there is a power outage) and thawed frozen raw. We follow and practice safe handling guidelines and don’t leave any uneaten food out more than 20 minutes (but they always eat their food so that’s not an issue). Once in a while I’ll give the “kids” a can of wet as a treat, but otherwise it’s raw all the way.

        To a certain extent, I can see why most vets tend to discourage raw; they don’t really know their clients, maybe they see them once or twice a year, at best. They don’t know who won’t e.g., just take a raw chicken breast, throw it in the pet food bowl, “Here Fido — gnaw on that for dinner!” Some home prepared raw or even home cooked meals by individuals who don’t add necessary supplements for their pets or don’t practice safety guidelines. But it’s up to us, those of us who have had positive experiences with raw feeding – whether it’s homemade raw through a meat grinder or an HPP raw, those of us who have transformed the lives of our pets through diet, to provide this feedback to our vets and others. That’s all – no one is forcing anyone else to feed their pets raw — but we want fairness and the FDA is clearly biased, shame on them for their disinformation campaign against raw and legitimate info *out of context* to represent raw feeding as a whole.

        Thank you Susan for the exceptional work you do and for providing this forum. (Sorry for the long-winded post.)

    2. Ellie

      Seriously! How do you think dogs survived for thousands of years without anyone cooking their meat for them? Commercial pet food did not become available until the 1950’s. Before that dogs ate raw meat and it was highly recommended by the vets of that time.
      Have you ever considered how highly processed most “dog food” is? It is not even close to being a real food product. Look into how kibble is made. There is no organic material left that has any kind of nutritional value in it after the kibble producing process. It’s just a fact. Your pet is living on synthetic vitamins Pet food companies can put whatever low grade ingredients they want in their foods because if they add their synthetic vitamins they can say the slop meets nutritional standards.
      My dog eats meat that comes from grass fed animals that have not been injected with any hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. It’s good fresh meat from the best bred feed animals available. Do you know where the meat came from that is in your dog’s food? Do you know what grade of meat it was? Have you bothered to educate yourself about the pet food industry?
      Most Americans will swallow whatever propaganda is tossed their way by a multi billion dollar pet food industry along with the vets and FDA that profit from supporting them. It’s so much easier than doing your own investigation.
      Processed foods are not good for humans or animals. It is convenience food. Our bodies are meant to digest nutrition from fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and meat. Our dogs and cats have bodies that were meant to digest fresh meat. They could not have survived thousands of years on the earth if they needed highly processed kibble or canned foods in order to maintain their health.
      It is so sad that this country, for the most part, knows nothing about nutrition.

      1. Suzanne

        I research thoroughly and am aware of the requirements of dogs and their needs, and am well aware of the dangers of feeding dogs raw dog food. We are not living in the stone ages, and neither are dogs. Being civilized is a good thing.

        I work day and night in rescue, and my dogs are rescued, treasured and fed the best, the safest and the healthiest food. . They are NOT placed in danger of any kind, and they never will be. Thank you..

        1. Ellie

          That would be a matter of opinion on your part since raw feeders are having excellent health improvements in their pets after years of illness while being fed the highly processed kibble.
          Raw meat is only a hazard when handled improperly and working in a rescue hardly qualifies anyone as an expert on the subject.
          You fail to answer how pets managed before the invention of fast food for pets. Vets promoted feeding fresh raw meat to pets before the pet food industry started financing veterinary colleges and promoting their products in veterinary offices. Vets are hardly disinterested factors in the pet food industry.

          1. Suzanne

            Veterinarians never recommended feeding dogs raw dog food. People fed left over food to their pets, and even in the 50’s there was canned dog food, and it wasn’t raw. Sometimes people who are in the business of selling raw dog food for dogs like to post everywhere so they can to help sell that food. I would never recommend feeding raw food to dogs and I would never feed it to my dogs. However raw meat is handled it still contains certain comtaminates, and could contain botulism, Salmanella, viruses, parasites, and bacteria.

            Raw food is a choice, and dogs cannot chose for themselves, they trust us to feed them legitimately safe food. Some people eat Sushi,, which can potentially be poisonous. I don’t eat Sushi for that reason, and for the same reason I don’t feed my dogs raw meat and see no reason to expose them to danger. There are some great food choices available for dogs and cats, I select the safest and the best, and raw food is not one of them.

            We hold different views. Let’s leave it at that.

        2. Pacific Sun

          Suzanne, because you’re equating the safety of PF with ~only~ its format (cooked vs raw) and because other (possibly newer) visitors are also reading these comments this discussion needs to be balanced.

          If you slaughter a healthy head of cattle, store and deliver it properly, then feed the meat to a healthy dog, no problem. True it’s going to need additional nutrients over time no doubt. But you feed from a bag of kibble or canned meat (24/365 days) where the ingredients were contaminated by toxins (pesticides, carcinogens, mold, unnatural foreign substances) and was overly synthesized from processing, then your dog IS going to have a problem!

          Unnatural feeding strains the dog’s metabolic processes and organs. “Feed” ….whatever the state, whatever the format, needs to be wholesome and easily metabolized. That means eating no diseased protein, artificial additives or toxic chemicals. Period! The dog’s digestive system (stomach acids) handle uncooked meat. It’s humans that can’t! Where did the distinction between what people versus pets can eat … get all messed up? Please stop.

          Please remember, in the ‘80’s a fast food chain served E-coli tainted hamburger (obviously improperly prepared) proven to be responsible for at least one death (if not multiple)! Foster Farms chicken continues to sicken people due to Samonella contamination from their California Plant. Mold from improperly stored corn (used in kibble) is sickening (if not killing) pets. So where is it said …that ANY food stuff (for pets or people) is guaranteed to be 100% safe? But what does help protect a dog is when it is already healthy and strong because of its diet. Being in a state of health that nature intended, is derived through rotation diets, multiple feed sources and recipes delivering a wide range elements, fed long term, to help prevent organ degradation. The more naturally derived enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals absorbed, helps to keep the dog’s organs and digestive processes working as they were intended.

          Domesticated dogs survived, and evolved, through scavenging skills. Not all dogs killed and immediately consumed a fresh, red meaty, juicy carcass! They also foraged on the remains and leftovers of dead animals, often being left in a state of natural decay (fermentation) which included the stomach contents of the dead animal, which often lived on vegetation and surrounding secondary feed sources.

          Pets Advisor is certainly different than this website. What’s presented here is very well researched information and exposes, published for nearly 6 years. The author’s experience goes back nearly 20 years. The website newsletter takes no advertising, no income, and is not influenced by any interested parties. It’s purpose is not to be an entertaining magazine format, nor are readers and contributors necessarily interested in idle conversation. But they CAN benefit from honest discussion, actually because they’re a well thinking group of dedicated pet enthusiasts, who are grateful for the thorough PF advocacy work of the author. At the very least this website can ~ help open up ~ how people think about pet food! I hope you will continue following TAPF, and give it a chance, as well. Thank you for contributing.

    3. Ellie

      Yes, veterinarians did recommend raw meat for pets pre-WWII. If you did much reading you would know that. My grandmother always took her pets to the vet during that time period and was considered quite extravagant to do so. The majority of the vets in this country back then were large animal doctors. A great deal of their time was spent on farms.
      Raw meat was as natural for a dog or cat as feeding fresh grass and grain was for the live stock (which few of them ever see anymore). Most people purchased their meat from the butcher who had plenty of lesser cuts of meat available for the family pet. While not everyone could afford to feed meat from the butcher to their pets what they did have was much better for the animals than the nutrient and enzyme depleted kibble being fed as a staple to pets today.
      Yes, we have had a lot of scientific advances since 1948 but the health status of the people and pets of this country has not improved along with those advances. Both pets and humans suffer from the same food induced diseases. I have worked in healthcare for many years and have seen first hand the tragedy and suffering the food industry has has helped to create all in the name of convenience.

  17. Karla

    Thanks to statements like this, the FDA has long since lost all credibility. No press release can negate what I see WITH MY OWN EYES … that my pets are far healthier when they eat raw food. Sorry, FDA, but this is a no-brainer, and once again the FDA is on the wrong side.

  18. Kelley

    Over my dogs’ lifetimes I’ve fed average & best kibble, raw, and minimally cooked. And I’m curious about this aspect of the discussion. People don’t have to eat “raw” for optimum health Fresh fruits & veggies, plus cooked protein seems to do the trick. By the same token nobody can thrive on junk, fast food and highly processed energy type shortcuts. Neither can our pets on kibble. I think the attraction of raw feeding is a convenience factor, relative to the convenience of pouring out kibble, but a whole lot less work than home cooking. When I fed raw, I just scooped out a pre mix of “ground beef and veggie based nutrients” mixed with THK. Raw feeders like the ease of using chicken parts, meat chunks or ground up, with or without a base. But until an actual (unbiased) one-for-one comparative feeding trial is performed and published (kibble vs raw vs minimally cooked) perhaps owners see an amazing improvement in their pets (not so much “because” it’s raw food) but just because they are ~ NOT ~ feeding kibble!!

    I’m going to tell you that home cooking is a LOT of work! I use 2 proteins, 3+ veggies/fruits, 3 carbs plus calcium sources. My 15 yr old has NO problems. But the worst part of the job is all about the shopping, the grinding and mixing-up for a 2 week supply. followed by clean-up! I don’t even cook for me! Especially during the hot summers.

    So I think it’s very curious that the FDA has nothing to say (specifically) about minimally cooked diets for pets. All they’d have to do is publish a guideline (percentages of protein to other nutrients) and suggest the kinds of foods that would cover the spread. The fact that they can only criticize and not offer any constructive alternatives for people interested in wholesome, fresh PF diets absolutely shows that they are PFI proponents.

    Where the raw food (and I would include minimally cooked food) warnings come from, would be for the owners who simply leave food in pet bowls on the floor (free feeding) for long periods of time and fail to pick up the bowls from out of the crates. You know it’s going to spoil in hot weather, attract insects, collect on pet space surfaces, and be a hazard for kids crawling around and all of it. While kibble can make anybody sick, it probably won’t kill ’em. With regard to these warnings, I think that kind of mentality is their best defense.

    So wouldn’t it be nice instead, if they could include a warning along with proper INSTRUCTIONS and reminders about handling alternative diets, while giving full credit for wholesome feeding!

    Dimwits, they certainly are!! And worse, the flunkies of the PFI.

  19. Jeri

    Re: raw being “dangerous” for animals, you may want to reacquaint yourself with the biology of our carnivorous animals: shorter digestive tracts, and enough acid (in dogs’) to kill most anything. If you still need more proof, though, you might find this “study” done by a very anti-raw pet therapy group (formerly known as Delta) which tested the stool of raw-fed versus kibble-fed dogs. The results were apparently not what they were expecting: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/08/05/nations-leading-dog-therapy-organization-shoots-self-in-foot-with-ban-on-raw-fed-pets.aspx As for the idea that raw is more “convenient” than cooking, maybe time-wise, but certainly the “convenience” factor is more in line with feeding the processed kibble and canned stuff. I have fed everything and seen first-hand what a difference raw has made. I also know that cooking introduces carcinogens into meat: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2013/05/27/cooked-meat-carcinogens.aspx Lightly cooking, of course, will minimize this, although some enzymes may still be lost. Bottom line: for those buying into the “chicken little” drama about raw killing (motivated on the corporate and organizational level by fear of lost profits for themselves and their “friends”), no “proof” will ever be sufficient because they ignore what they do not want to hear – just as Delta has. For this they deserve to be ignored – as they have certainly lost all credibility.

    1. Kelley

      Once again, it isn’t that dogs can’t handle raw. There is no dispute about the nutritional value of it. The FDA isn’t arguing the deficiency of the diet itself (because they can’t). But they identify the risks and issue the warnings, and that by comparison commercial PF is “safer.”. [We the Followers all know that’s a relative claim, no dispute!] From the FDA’s perspective however it’s about inexperienced and careless owners who aren’t equipped to feed raw. Do you honestly think a pet owner carrying out a 30# bag of Ol’Roys from our most favorite discount chain store, has ANY clue about what’s best for their family OR their pets? These are the same people that the FDA is addressing. A lot of people put down that bowl of feed and leave it. Some do it for all day long while they’re at work. They free feed. In all kinds of weather. Bugs, crud and moisture. That same group never washes the feed bowl. The pet would be lucky to get fresh(er) water within a week! So it would be just like some “Twerk” approached by a lawyer to say … hey, the FDA hasn’t issued any warnings against feeding raw food. Yet the kid in the family scoops up a handful of rotten chicken meat sitting all day long in a PF bowl, and what happens …? Then who’s to blame? Can the kid grab that same raw food out of the fridge … of course! And so the FDA has a written a whole section on the safe handling of ALL raw food products. They really don’t care who or what is consuming that raw food.

      As a government agency designing official policy, they can’t be inconsistent (just because we happen to believe that raw food is best, and know how to use it). The AVMA obviously felt the same kind of pressure, and so they also rely upon the FDA to back up their reservations as well.

      ONLY because a segment of the owner population isn’t educated … and never will be. That’s why we have these discussions on this website.

  20. Pasadena Dog Food

    Does the FDA have an agenda? Why aren’t they acknowledging the facts about kibble products? Great post.

  21. Anne

    I feed any Cat indoor or out “Canned Chicken” works for them and works for me!!!
    (You can buy canned chicken on sale); You can also buy “chicken livers: just simmer the “chicken livers” a bit of water; they cost pennies; very high Vitamin B12!

    1. Grateful

      This is not a balanced diet for a cat, I hope you are joking! Canned chicken, besides being way too high in salt, doesn’t contain a balanced combination of the nutrients a cat needs to be healthy. Chicken livers are okay, fed as part of a balanced raw diet, but are very high in vitamin A, fed too much or too often can lead to vitamin A toxicity. Please learn about feline nutrition before it is too late for you cats! If you have been feeding only this for any length of time, I am afraid your cats are very sick indeed, already.

      1. Anne

        yo ! I think canned chicken low sodium is about as good as a Cat can have; besides home cooked; ps raw chicken livers have far more Vit. A than cooked!
        If chicken is not good for Cats; then please state why you think “chicken is not good for Cats”!!! Thank-you!

  22. Anne

    grateful wrote: Please learn about feline nutrition before it is too late for you cats! If you have been feeding only this for any length of time, I am afraid your cats are very sick indeed, already

    Anne’s comment; “oh you can see my cats from your living room ? that’s a good one; I think you are the one who is joking grateful;
    My Cats are “extremely healthy”! AR (they also get Fish; Eggs; Fish OIl + Pellets)!!

  23. Anne

    My (fiinal) comment on “Dry Pellets” for Cats or Dogs; “there are so many dry pellets on the market; some are excellent some are lousy; to say all dry pellets are not good is ridiculous ! My dry pellets contain “no corn; they have chicken and fish; they have omega oils; flax seeds; vitamins minerals and probiotics (Proplan); my dry pellets contain no artificial colors or flavors; some pellets are mostly Corn!!!
    ps a person can get “Salmonella or Trichinosis just from handling raw Pork!!! AR 🙂

  24. Anne

    My pellets are made with “extruded salmon; this is “fresh Salmon “steamed + deboned”; they use the Fish Oil for other purposes; then use the Salmon for Cat Feed; Purina is the only company I know who uses “Salmon extruded by Steam”;
    Purina also uses “Chicken; not chicken by products as no 1 ingredients in ProPlan;
    Preplan has a earthy chicken flavor; no artificial colors or flavors; solid pellets; my indoor cat is not constipated; not does she get diarrhea; she is healthy !!!
    This diet works for my Cats !!! signed out Anne:)

  25. Anne

    notice: cooking meat destroy “99% of bacteria”; this is called canning; a good thing
    canning alone prevents food from going bad; canning food was a great discovery !!
    My cat likes canned chicken tuna and salmon and I will continue to use this a staple!

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