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Yesterday, I had to take my dog in for an ultrasound on her bladder. She is still having issues with struvite crystals and she strains to pee. Anyway, the vet asked me what I feed her and I said raw. She sighed and said that it's not good for them because the meat I'm feeding her is not straight from the wild. She said that the meat, whether it's from the grocery store or a premade raw diet, is from animals which are jammed into a crowded area, where they poop and pee all over each other and then slaughtered for human consumption. So when I feed my dog raw meat, she's eating the feces and urine from other animals. So I asked her if I caught an animal in the wild and fed it to my dog, would that be all right? She said yes but I'd still have to worry about parasites. Yay.

I'm posting this because her opinion, which she deemed the "real explanation", was different than in the Hill's literature we have to read and from anything else I've heard and read.

Since I feed Healthy Paws, I went onto their website and it says their factory is government inspected. This to me doesn't mean much really. I read some documents regarding raw meat regulation from the FDA and although they have many recommendations in terms of unadulterated meat, it did not say anything about how the animals are slaughtered and under what conditions.

The vet also said that if I wanted to feed a food without preservatives, I should feed canned. I asked her, 'what about the meat that goes into dog food?" She said that it was cooked so the bacteria would be killed.

So I'm totally confused and worried that I've been feeding my dog meat covered in feces and urine. The vet said this raw thing is a marketing thing and that, although it makes sense, the source of the meat is not the best and most natural as these companies may purport.

So what do you guys think?
 

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I don't get it...how is urine and feces on the outside of the animal getting to the meat inside....? I'm pretty sure that I learned in a class that they clean the hides before they cut the meat, but I could be wrong.

I guess I really don't understand it...raised animals eat feces because of how they live in lots but wild animals often poop in rivers/ponds/etc or their poop is washed into the main body of water by rain, then they and other animals drink it. E. coli is all over in water. I mean, by your vet's logic, nothing is safe from fecal contamination. I think most people would be amazed at how much fecal material humans eat in a year, also. A lot of different parasites are spread by fecal contamination...if people weren't eating feces, they wouldn't exist anymore. I would say that the meat your dog is eating is probably fine.
 

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Sounds very interesting, I have never thought of it like that. I don't feed raw, only because my dog won't eat it. But I am sure this might question some raw feeders out there... interesting.
 

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so, let me get this straight....the meat from these animals is ok for human consumption but not for the dogs.....even thru cooking, they say you can't kill all the bacteria.....don't make sense to me....
 

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Crazy stories from vet = find a new vet.

If, you get crazy stories from new vet, you might be the one who's crazy.

However, I suspect the earlier, not the later.
 

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Just as long as you don't feed your dog eggs and cheese, they can have all the urine and feces they want.
 

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Ah thanks Curbside, I do think this particular vet is a little loony but I work at this clinic and she's the only person who knows how to use the ultrasound. I expected the typical 'raw meat has parasites and your dog can get salmonella" argument but when she put it that way, it made sense in some sort of distorted, weird way. Of course, I hadn't had any sleep in 48 hours so maybe that's why I took her somewhat seriously. However, I might be going crazy because I've asked every vet that works in this clinic where I work about Kiri's struvite crystals and I got a different answer every time. The people at work laugh at me because they think I freak out at every little thing that happens to my pets and I read too much. Well I don't know, maybe I am crazy but we just had someone bring in a dog that is a "purebred doodle" so comparatively, I think I am quite sane at this point. hahahaha

I think her point was, not that the feces gets into the meat but that it's on the surface and since you're not cooking the meat, your dog is eating feces and urine and hence, that increases the likelihood of parasites, infection and such. But since we cook the meat that we eat, then we're okay. (I guess those who eat steak tartare are up s***'s creek without a paddle then). She didn't really answer my questions completely, just that the meat I'm feeding is not from the wild. Maybe I should add in some fur, claws and tails to my mix.

Believe me, I'm not saying that parasites and salmonella and stuff like aren't possible in feeding raw meat. If they do clean the hides, then I'm okay with that. I'm going to email the company that makes her food and see what they say. I probably have to change her food anyway since she still has struvite crystals without an infection. Of course, this vet 'prescribed' Hill's c/d for my dog. Ugh.
 

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i would have had to have asked the vet if she was a vegetarian. i don't understand how the meat can be fit for human consumption but not for dogs. i really don't like to think that the food that i get from the grocery store is covered in urine and feces, even if i cook it or not! blah! sounds like she is trying to find another way to say that raw is no good, a different argument.

i hope your dog gets better very soon and stays better :) i hope you get the answers you are looking for.
 

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Even if there is urine and feces on the animal before it is slaughtered, how exactly does it get on the carcass after they've skinned it? The conditions the animals are kept in in life are in no way indicative of the presence or absence of feces or urine on the final meat product.

What are they doing, bringing in live animals to crap all over their already slaughtered ones?
 

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LOL, that vet has obviously never been to a dog food plant.. The one I went to was about the most disgusting place I've ever been.

As for raw.. I wouldn't feed raw for the same reason I don't eat raw. Bacteria and parasites. That why we cook it.

Wild meat would have the same issues only more so.

The only other difference is what the meat animals consume. Animals we raise for consumption will generally have a much higher fat content than much leaner wild meat. Maybe some hormones, maybe some other artifacts from eating other ground up dead animals which is what "mad cow" was all about.
 

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...maybe some other artifacts from eating other ground up dead animals which is what "mad cow" was all about.
The united states has some pretty serious restrictions on recycling of animal proteins for commercial meat. It's one of the reasons we had no issues with it during the outbreak in England, as they had almost no restrictions whatsoever.

What you should be worried about is recycled proteins in dog food. In the lower end foods, where the ingredients are non species specific (ie blood meal, meat meal and not chicken meal) it could be anything. This includes, often enough, rendered down road kill, and euthanized pets (phenobarbital residues have been found in dog food in several studies). There are zero restrictions for recycling proteins in dog feed, since it never ends up being eaten by us.
 

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The united states has some pretty serious restrictions on recycling of animal proteins for commercial meat. It's one of the reasons we had no issues with it during the outbreak in England, as they had almost no restrictions whatsoever.

What you should be worried about is recycled proteins in dog food. In the lower end foods, where the ingredients are non species specific (ie blood meal, meat meal and not chicken meal) it could be anything. This includes, often enough, rendered down road kill, and euthanized pets (phenobarbital residues have been found in dog food in several studies). There are zero restrictions for recycling proteins in dog feed, since it never ends up being eaten by us.
Exactly, I wasn't going to go into detail on the dog food plant, or say what brand it was, but it almost made me physically ill just from the smell of the place. Not to mention the rest.
 

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The thing is, most vets have almost no training in diet and nutrition. I'm lucky in that my vet has educated herself extensively in animal diet and nutrition, and she is a HUGE proponent of raw diets. All her pets are on a raw diet and she's absolutley thrilled that Kuma is on raw. Sounds to me like you need to look into a new vet.
 

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The surface bacteria argument is actually a good one; given the choice, I'd prefer homecooked to raw. The thing about the 'dogs in the wild' argument that always bugged me is that for most dogs, their ecological niche isn't as a pack hunter, but a scavenger adapted to human village waste dumps. Admittedly, we're talking about less than 15,000 years of evolutionary history, but that's arguably enough time for natural selection to favor dogs that were best able to digest foodstuffs discarded by humans.

There is a theory in human anthropology that cooking was actually a significant part of homo sapiens' success. The cooking process not only kills off bacteria & parasites, but it also denatures proteins and makes them easier to digest. It's a little gross to think about, but trimming, chopping, seasoning/marinading, and then cooking essentially simulates the early stages of digestion. It's similar to the way some animals will feed their children regurgitated food; cooking makes our metabolism much more energy efficient by moving several stages externally. If the theory is true, it seems plausible to me that dogs evolved under the same selection pressures.

Of course, I feed my dog EVO, so it's all moot to me.
 

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The surface bacteria argument is actually a good one; given the choice, I'd prefer homecooked to raw. The thing about the 'dogs in the wild' argument that always bugged me is that for most dogs, their ecological niche isn't as a pack hunter, but a scavenger adapted to human village waste dumps. Admittedly, we're talking about less than 15,000 years of evolutionary history, but that's arguably enough time for natural selection to favor dogs that were best able to digest foodstuffs discarded by humans.
You argue against yourself here. So dogs evolved for 15,000+ years to eat out of garbage dumps, I'll agree 100% there, dogs are most likely evolved from pariah dogs, not wolves. Do you think those garbage dumps are sanitary? What would you lick first, a cut of raw steak from the grocer or something you pulled out of the bottom of last weeks garbage?

What kind of stuff do you think they evolved pulling out of the garbage? That's right, week old rotting RAW MEAT trimmings from the garbage. Along with all other manner of bacteria infested refuse. The USDA inspected meat cuts, and the fresh butchered game pose absolutely minimal threat compared to your own argument of eating trash.

If you're just not comfortable with it, that's totally fine by me, but evolutionary history, and the behaviour of semi-feral dogs all over the world begs to differ.
 

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I don't believe that was George's point, that garbage is preferred over raw. Only that garbage would be closer to the 'nature' of dogs than hunting for raw meat.

If you're just not comfortable with it, that's totally fine by me, but evolutionary history, and the behaviour of semi-feral dogs all over the world begs to differ.
We have documented benefits of raw diets over other diets in the evolutionary history of our dogs? We have documentation of the benefits in feeding behavior of feral dogs over domesticated dogs? If so, please point.

Cooking the meat minimizes the risk of bacteria contamination *before* it is served to the dog...that's the benefit. If you're comfortable with that risk, that's totally fine by me, but it's a fact bacteria will not survive in high heat environments. Still, 'natural' is not synonymous with 'optimal'.
 

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We have documented benefits of raw diets over other diets in the evolutionary history of our dogs? We have documentation of the benefits in feeding behavior of feral dogs over domesticated dogs? If so, please point.
I wasn't saying anything about benefits, only what behaviour and diet was pushed through evolution. I feel, anecdotally, that there are benefits but I have yet to see (or hear of) any study showing any kind of proof. I do not, and never have, tried to claim scientific proof to nutritional benefit to raw feeding. What our dogs' ancestors, and what current feral dogs eat is, however, pretty common knowledge. All it takes is a trip to a developing nation to see it. Again, no claim about it being better, just that evolution has created an animal adapted to eating things with much higher bacterial load than raw meat from your grocer.

In fact, after looking back at this thread I don't see a single person stating anything about the nutritional benefits of raw whatsoever. Just pretty good discussion about what is in dog food, what is on the surface of raw meat, and what dogs evolved to tolerate and process. Above all that it's been very controlled, non inflammatory discussion - something that you don't find in all of our raw discussion threads. No reason to get on anyone's case.
 

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That has to be the most outrageous reason I've ever heard from a Vet as to why not to feed raw! And back when I did raw, I heard some originals :rolleyes: I welcome Vet's who offer their customers practical advice - I seek out those types! However, there is a drastic difference between advice giving and operating as if the Vet was the actual owner of the dog. There, I draw the line.

Correct me if I'm wrong, my brain is on overdrive & about to blow a fuse but aren't struvite crystals the ones that form in highly acidic urine? Either type crystals can be managed on diet. In the case of struvite, the simplest way to manage this problem would be to add urine alkalizing foods to the diet, such as veggies and/or grains. Meat is an acidifier, veggies/grains are alkalizers. Make sure the dog gets no Vitamin C, as well, since this is another acidifying agent. Just a spoonful of vegs or say oatmeal should go a long way in diluting the urine out.
 

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You argue against yourself here. So dogs evolved for 15,000+ years to eat out of garbage dumps, I'll agree 100% there, dogs are most likely evolved from pariah dogs, not wolves. Do you think those garbage dumps are sanitary? What would you lick first, a cut of raw steak from the grocer or something you pulled out of the bottom of last weeks garbage?

What kind of stuff do you think they evolved pulling out of the garbage? That's right, week old rotting RAW MEAT trimmings from the garbage. Along with all other manner of bacteria infested refuse. The USDA inspected meat cuts, and the fresh butchered game pose absolutely minimal threat compared to your own argument of eating trash.

If you're just not comfortable with it, that's totally fine by me, but evolutionary history, and the behaviour of semi-feral dogs all over the world begs to differ.
Then again what is the average lifespan and health of such a pariah trash eating dog?

People can eat quite a bit of meat raw as well, we didn't evolve that much differently than dogs and used quite primitive preservative methods until fairly recently in our history.

As well many folks allow their dogs to lick their faces or their kids faces.

Personally I'll stick with cooked meat.
 

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Then again what is the average lifespan and health of such a pariah trash eating dog?

People can eat quite a bit of meat raw as well, we didn't evolve that much differently than dogs and used quite primitive preservative methods until fairly recently in our history.

As well many folks allow their dogs to lick their faces or their kids faces.

Personally I'll stick with cooked meat.
I saw some pretty old ones when I was in Central America a few months ago. Upon asking locals how old they were, it seemed plenty were 7-10 years old and a few were guessed to be older than that. How accurate that is, I don't know, but it's what I was told.
 
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