German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, I got my 10.5 week old GSD last Friday and took him to the vet to get checked today. Everything went well, but when the vet asked what he is eating he was very anti-raw. As I have been feeding raw (Blue Ridge Beef) and once a day adding dehydrated beets/carrots and 1 scoop of nuvet.

This vet didn't give raw a chance and suggested 5 kibbles. He said he had 4 GSDs in his life and the last 2 made it to 14 years old. I am just asking for everyone's personal experience and feedback regarding why vets are so anti-raw, when there's a lot of good on the internet and communities on who support the raw food over kibble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,917 Posts
Hey everyone, I got my 10.5 week old GSD last Friday and took him to the vet to get checked today. Everything went well, but when the vet asked what he is eating he was very anti-raw. As I have been feeding raw (Blue Ridge Beef) and once a day adding dehydrated beets/carrots and 1 scoop of nuvet.

This vet didn't give raw a chance and suggested 5 kibbles. He said he had 4 GSDs in his life and the last 2 made it to 14 years old. I am just asking for everyone's personal experience and feedback regarding why vets are so anti-raw, when there's a lot of good on the internet and communities on who support the raw food over kibble.

Vets are not nutritionists in most cases. Some vets are anti raw because they are misinformed, but many are anti raw because they deal with the aftermath of people being careless with raw food and also not ensuring that the dogs are fed a balanced diet. There is more to raw then tossing a hunk of raw meat at your dog as you know but many people don't understand that.
You need to also understand that most clinics get paid to push certain brands that they carry in their clinics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Most vets don't approve of raw because it can carry potentially harmful bacteria which kibble generally does not since its cooked. My vet suggested a multitude of different kibbles but my dog just kept getting sicker and sicker, we switched to raw and it saved his life! Now every time we see our vet he tells us to keep feeding him what we're feeding him and he wouldn't have believed it if he didn't see it with his own eyes. The thing most vets don't think about is that dogs stomachs are made a lot tougher than humans, they can usually handle the bacteria on their own unless their immune system is compromised. But companies even make HPP processed raw food now which is basically raw that is just compressed with so much force that the bacteria are killed but it still has the benefits of raw so the raw feeding options are greater now than ever for immuosuppressed dogs.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
16,483 Posts
Well, it is YOUR dog and your decision to make. I don't feed raw but a lot of others do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
My one vet was really leery of raw because I think she sees a lot of people who put raw hamburger in the bowl and call it good. She relaxed a little once I explained that we were doing an 80/10/10 meat base and adding things in for variety (eggs, veggies, etc.). She still didn't like it but she grudgingly said she could understand why we did it and admitted that she thought my dog looked great. I think more of them accept it a bit more now that there are so many commercial raw diets and they see people seriously researching how to put their homemade raw diets together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,479 Posts
Vets are anti raw for many reasons.
1. Unbalanced diet from people throwing a chicken quarter at the dog and calling it good.
2. Higher bacteria count in the food.
3. Lack of scientific data supporting the health benefits
4. Vets literally get one semester of nutrition in college. A vet who teaches at Cornell told me that.
5. Immunosuppressed animals getting sick from raw diets.


Disclaimer: I feed raw and have for years. Both dogs and a cat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,886 Posts
Bacterial infection, cost, and poorly balanced diet are why vets often caution against raw. None of my vets has ever pushed Science Diet or any kibble brand on me- not a one. I don't think vets are as easily influenced by the kibble companies as we might be led to believe by raw promoters. Most vets are in it for the true love of animals. They don't make a lot of money, are often in very high debt from veterinarian school loans, and work incredibly long hours.

Whenever I am at the vet, I thank them for the tough job they do. It is a very difficult profession, and emotionally draining.

Raw done right is fine, I am not anti-raw, but for most dog owners a good quality kibble is safer and easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,697 Posts
This is a 10.5 week old puppy.

I have no objection to raw feeding that's nutritionally complete, but I REALLY worry about people just kind of "winging it," esp. with puppies. I also worry about pathenogenic meat being fed to still-developing immune systems -- I have 2 very young rescue puppies currently recovering from clostridium and camphylobacter, so I can tell you with certainty that puppies CAN get food-borne bacteria (they had it when they came into rescue). I think HPP is probably the safer raw option for puppies because of this risk:
https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/17_16/features/High-Pressure-Processing-and-Your-Dogs-Raw-Food_21181-1.html

With your tiny puppy, getting it right is a lot harder with raw than it is with kibble, and the price of getting it wrong can be growth problems that lead to permanent damage. You MUST get nutrition right for a growing pup. At this age, there isn't much margin for error.

I vaguely recall that Blue Ridge has had some allegations come up from time to time, questioning their meat quality (4D meat, maybe?). I've never fed that brand, so I don't know for sure whether the criticism is fair or not, but here's an example of the stuff out there that would cause me to hesitate:
https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2017/12/17/the-blue-ridge-beef-controversy/

If you're looking to say your vet's opinion is wrong...what research caused you to determine that what you are feeding is a good combination for large breed puppy growth? Show us what supported your choice, and we can help you figure out whether you're relying on good info.

The big question that I would want to know if I were feeding this to a puppy is this: What's the ca/ph ratio in what you're feeding, with all the extra stuff added? (And secondarily: does this raw food product and supplement cover all the necessary micronutrients?)

The supplement you are adding must be in your nutrient calculation because the NuVet says it contains 100 mg of Ca per serving -- which could potentially throw off the Ca/Ph ratio from the commercial raw diet. So you can't just rely on the dog food manufacturer's label because you are adding other stuff. This is the kind of thing your vet was probably worried about, but if you're being careful about your calculation and following NRC guidelines on a spreadsheet, showing the vet your spreadsheet would go a long way to easing his or her mind.

If you're not sure about all that and don't want to fool with figuring it out, then I would reassess whether this is the best choice during the critical growth phase. If you don't want to feed kibble, and you don't want to have to worry about getting raw food right or making sure you're choosing an appropriate complete commercial raw diet, then perhaps do some research on dehydrated options like The Honest Kitchen Revel or Love.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
LuvShepherds, was just going to mention that! I once worked for a vet, and a dog came in with a big piece of bone blocking its intestines. Vet gave it tons of laxatives, and daily x-rays to monitor the progress of the bone, and eventually the dog was able to pass it without needing surgery. But as you might guess, this cost the owner a LOT of money, and could have had an even more expensive or even fatal outcome if the dog had needed surgery. And no, I don`t believe the dog could have passed the bone without the vet`s help.

Reasons I don't feed raw:

1) See above story

2) Know someone whose dog choked to death on a whole turkey neck.

3) Have a friend whose dog needed $3000 worth of dental work after cracking teeth when chewing recreational bones.


4) Had a much loved pet cat nearly die when it caught and ate a bird, and a bird bone punctured its intestine.

5) Used to work in an osteology lab. One of the specimens was the skeleton from an ocelot that some idiot had kept caged in the basement (no sunshine) and fed nothing but raw hamburger. The bones were severely deformed from rickets. Like they said above, feeding raw is a lot more complicated than throwing your dog some raw chicken or hamburger, and I don't really want the responsibility of making sure my dogs get a balanced raw diet.

6) Raw food required refrigeration when travelling, and I travel fairly frequently with my dogs.

7) Raw chicken has camplyobacter, salmonella and various other bacteria present in it. I can tell you from personal experience what it feels like to get a camplyobacter infection from undercooked chicken....NOT FUN!!

8) Know of many incidents where dogs have gotten chunks of bone stuck in their teeth, back of the throat, esophagus, etc. and needed veterinary intervention. EVERY vet has seen this many times, and it is probably the #1 reason they do not recommend raw diets. Oh yeah, and they DO get kickbacks for recommending stuff like Science Diet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,244 Posts
I've fed raw for almost 11 years and never had an issue with blockages, broken teeth or any bacteria borne illnesses.
I researched and feed quality meat. I don't give weight bearing mammal bones. I feed a balanced diet that has helped my dogs through medical problems as in allergies and kidney failure. If I chose to keep feeding a kibble, I am not sure the dogs health issues would have resolved.
To each his own. If people do their homework, feed a good balanced diet and supplement with vitamins/minerals as needed for the individual dog, a vet should commend their client for doing so.
My own vet doesn't recommend raw, but doesn't bash it either. Because they understand they aren't specialists in nutrition.
I'm dealing with a dog with kidney failure and my vet wants me to engage with a nutritionist that specializes in that, as she is not knowledgeable enough to give me advice(0ther than to offer their Rx kibble). Thankfully we do have these resources to do our own research, which most pet vets don't have time to when they are dealing with so many different animals, and conditions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sunsilver

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
If it works for you, go for it. I just like to let people know I've seen the downside of it. But many other people say exactly what you said - they've NEVER had a problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,839 Posts
I feed raw, but some raw feeders can get pretty "vegan warrior" about it. I'm not. I would happily feed a well regarded premium kibble. But I much much prefer raw.

There are risks.

You can screw up their nutrition big time if you are uneducated or "meh" about keeping track of it.

If they are bone inhalers you have to be very careful. My English Mastiff swallowed a chicken drumstick whole once. Watching her poop it out was worse than any labor and delivery footage I have ever seen.

You need to be diligent about handling it and cleanup, just like with any other raw meat. But if you are feeding sexy stuff like calf brains, green tripe..understand that a lot of stuff good for dog consumption has a much larger bacterial load than the tbone you are going to throw on the grill for yourself.

I am pro feeding raw, as long as someone is educated about it. Just like other things in life.

What do I do to do it in a way I feel comfortable and safe?

I make sure one meal is a good hi rated commercial grind with the nutrition listed right on it. I follow 80/10/10.

I use a food scale to make sure I have my ratios close for the homemade mix I give as a 2nd meal. I make sure my home mix consists or secreting organs that are NOT just liver.

I give supplements like a multivitamin/mineral from Chewy.com, coconut oil, tumeric, raw pumpkin.

I invest in a vitamin/mineral panel at the vet every so often.

Me personally, the only bones I am comfortable giving are chicken/turkey drumsticks, wings, thighs, softer beef/pork ribs. I just do not like the spindly bits on breasts. If they can poke and hurt my fingers I'd just rather skip it. Drumsticks are bendy when raw. Much more comfortable with that.

I watch them eat. My 2 dogs are chewers. If I see either of them attempting to swallow whole drumsticks, I'll change it up. Right now, they are good.

I do not do recreational bones. Too rough on the teeth. Makes me worry.

All of my food for them is frozen for 3 weeks before feeding. Even the commercial stuff. Kills a lot of stuff, freezing.

See, the vets are kind of indoctrinated in one small session by big food companies like Proctor Gamble. From what I have been told, that is the sort (big corps) that comes in to do their semester of nutrition. And, they see that bad side. The mistake makers. Nutritional deficiencies and big mistakes like people who did not know to NEVER defrost in a microwave (renders bone unsafe).

As for the food borne illness..there have been enough recalls on premium kibble to make me happy with just being hygienic with raw. I have had food poisoning a few times, never from my dog's food source. Bad fish in the restaurant (I will never eat Chilean Sea Bass again), salmonella from a bbq..stuff like that.

The benefits I can see, feel, and smell on my dog from their raw diet is glaringly obvious to me and the vet. So while she will say "be careful" she can't legitimately say "this is wrong". My dogs' coats are like velvet. They smell warm and pleasant..like, I don't know, slight smell of roasted peanuts in the shell lol They do not smell doggy. And I do not bathe dogs unless something catastrophic happens. Their teeth are pearly. Their body condition (especially on my sleek pit mix) is amazing. Shedding is greatly reduced. Poops turn white and ashy and just blow away in like 3 to 4 days. THAT is a known sign of a biologically appropriate diet.

Anyway, hope all that input helps.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top