Many of you have probably heard about the benefits of feeding raw dog food. Many more of you have probably heard that feeding your dog raw food is bad and if it doesn’t harm your dog it might cause your children to get really sick and die.
Now as a disclaimer, I have been feeding my dog Steve’s Real Food for years. Steve’s is a brand of raw dog food. And for all those years at my dog’s annual check up, my vet has told me how healthy my dogs are, followed by the question, “What do you feed them?” When I would tell him raw dog food he would give me a lecture about all the evils you hear about raw dog food. After 7 years he finally stopped lecturing me and told me that he had heard anecdotal evidence that people who fed their dog raw food could get salmonella from them.
Well, after all these years (at least 7) of warning me, his prophesy finally came true. While we had fed our two Golden Retrievers Steve’s Raw for 6 years till their passing, well into their 14th year on this planet, we have also fed our current dogs, a Chihuahua and Husky, Steve’s for more than 3 years without a singe issue.
That is until recently. A little over a month ago our Husky started vomiting every once in a while after she was fed. Considering she would eat cat poop, go through the garbage and destroy any tissue type substance when we left home we did not think anything of it.
Then one day we arrived home to find a floor covered with bloody vomit. Our first concern was the Husky ate the Chihuahua. She had attacked the Chihuahua once before. After finding the dogs both intact we determined that the Husky must have had ingested something sharp so we called the vet immediately and took her right in. Our regular vet was off that day but his partner saw us. He came in the room and sat down without even examining the dog.
He asked what the problem was and after I told him he asked what we fed our dog. I told him Steve’s Real Food and he said he had never heard of it. I told him it was a Frozen Raw Dog Food. And that’s where things started going sideways. He immediately started scolding me and telling me all the bad things about raw dog food. After that he started telling me how great he was. Sorry, listing all his accomplishments and how he was a trained epidemiologist and was going to go to Africa to help deal with the Ebola Virus.
After all the lectures and scaring my 11 year old son who was in the room who now thought he was going to die from salmonella if he touched the dog he prescribed an antibiotic, a pain reliever and a solution like Pepto to coat the stomach. He never even touched the dog.
So now we take her home and give her the prescribed treatment. She does seem to get better. No more bloody vomit. Just the occasional vomit after eating like before.
But then about two weeks later she stopped eating her food. We tried everything and she would barely eat anything. And what she would eat would be barely an ounce or two.
So this time we made an appointment with our regular vet. Although he was not a raw proponent he would not just dismiss everything out of hand and blame all the ills of the world on raw food. He’s actually a really good guy and pretty decent vet as well. It’s hard to find a good vet that isn’t adverse to raw. Even the holistic vet around here promotes the latest kibble craze over raw.
So now we take her in to see the regular vet and he listens to us and proposes we do an ultra sound and some X-rays. When he does that he sees a large mass in her stomach and biopsies it. When the results come back it is not cancerous. But the vet told me something I found interesting. When I saw the partner I told him the dog ate cat poop and we have clumping litter. The regular vet said that when he was preparing the slide of the biopsy that it felt gritty. I asked him if it could be clumping kitty litter. He said that they wouldn’t test for that but it is possible.
Our dog was barely eating and was not getting better so we scheduled surgery to remove whatever was causing her pain.
As it turns out, the mass in her stomach was cancer. It was in a place where if he had removed it she wouldn’t live. And not removing it she would die of starvation in a short period of time.
We had hoped that it was clumping litter and after surgery we would have our beautiful Husky home happy and well. Instead we decided that it would be cruel to stitch her back up and wake her up only to die from starvation in weeks or days while recovering from surgery as well.
So to answer the question, Can Raw Dog Food Kill Your Dog? Quite possibly. If you have a veterinarian that doesn’t even look at your dog and just assumes it’s the dog food. Actually more dogs have died from melamine and other things that shouldn’t be in dog food at all.
Another disclaimer. I sell Steve’s Real Food. I have for years. I have know more than 20 dogs who have or are currently eating Steve’s and know of many more who eat other brands of raw dog food.
I also have many of my customers tell me that their vets tell them every year at their dogs annual check up how healthy they are and ask what they feed them. And just like my vet almost every year they get lectures on how bad raw dog food is. You would think after the first time they would open their mind and actually pay attention to the results.
So my advice to you would be do your research. If your dog has a problem and your vet automatically blames it on the food to find another vet. I knew it wasn’t the food because I was not only feeding it to another dog in my house but personally knew other eating the same food from the same batch with no problems. Another thing that my vets partner would not listen to.
And the standard disclaimer. I’m not a Veterinarian so I can’t give medical advice. You should always consult your veterinarian. Sort of ironic since a veterinarian can give you bad advice and their only liability is very limited where mine is not.
Bill from www.petfoodaz.com