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Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Posted by mudlady (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 5, 07 at 0:41

I have four Siberian huskies and two DSH cats, all reascues and all altered. I feed premium food, Chicken Soup for the cats and Canidae for the dogs, but believe feeding raw could be better for their health. My vet's immediate response was that raw meat would infect the pets with parasites. I would like to hear from those of you who have made the switch to BARF or some other form of raw.

Nancy in Central New York
Rescued Siberian huskies Zeke, Vixen, Duke and Moxie
Rescued DSH tuxedo cat Timmy
Adopted DSH orange polydactyl cat Toby
Volunteer transporter of rescued/adopted pets
Please Google to learn about prosopagnosia, a neurological condition.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I would like to know what parasites? I would think that might vary with the quality of the feed prcurred. I have fed a lot of raw meat, such as wood chucks, squirrels, and coon.I did routinly worm the dogs so may not have noticed any parasite load dud to raw, which did include the innards.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

We've been feeding our 2 cats a raw meat diet for over a year now, and if anything, they've gotten healthier, beautiful coats, friskier, trimmer, no signs of any kind of parasite infestation, just glowing good health. Cats are true carnivores and have a digestive system that can deal with parasites in meat, if there are any. Vets benefit by animals eating food not designed for them, increased sickness in the way of urinary tract problems, obesity, colitis, diabetes, skin disorders, allergies, etc, etc. Some of the recently recalled petfood causing kidney failure, etc was high priced designer food sold by Vets. Sorry, I'll stick with the raw food and take my very slim to none chance of parasites bothering my cats.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I've heard the same thing from my vet. I've said this before and I'll say it again... When I was considering this option, my vet told me that she would rather use even a grocery store kibble over raw due to the problems she has seen from people that feed their dogs raw food and due to the safety concerns with harmful bacteria and virus potential with handling raw food especially with children in the house. You have to really clean the place thoroughly with raw food. My vet said this long before the recalls so the example doesn't have the same effect today as it did then obviously.

The evangelical raw diet folks make the case that dogs in the wild eat raw food... Well we're not dealing with dogs in the wild. We're dealing with domesticated house pets in modern day living situations and time constraints.

They'll also make the case that acids in the stomach of your pets and being able to pass the food quickly offers immunity against harmful bacteria in raw food.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

In response to the above post, yes, Vets are likely to discourage pet owners from doing the raw meat diet, as their nutrition training was based on commercial pet foods being the main diet for American pets....before commercial pet food was available, what do you think they ate? Raw meat, fish, fish heads and bones, etc.

As for safety concerns regarding raw meat....don't you prepare raw meat in your kitchen for human consumption? I would assume you would take precautions cleaning up after cutting up raw chicken for your family as you would after preparing raw meat for your pet. Once you put the raw meat down for the pet to eat, it is quickly gone.

My main experience is with cats, not dogs, but I can tell you that cat's digestive systems are not designed to process corn, wheat gluten, soy, and materials that shouldn't even be considered food (recent plastics waste as filler!) Cats are and have always been exclusively carnivores, which means the diet that promotes health and good nutrition is raw meat, including the organs and bones.

And another thing about parasites....pets are way more exposed to parasites just being outside on the ground than they will ever be eating raw meat. Just my 2 cents.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I don't know much about this topic, but what QQ says makes sense. About the animals no longer being wild. My .02 is that they eat raw meat in the wild, but our meat is processed and we don't know how long it is left out between the butchers and your home to allow for the growth of bacteria. That is why we, as humans, cook our meat.


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RE: RE:Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Maureen, I must have been posting the same time as you as I didn't see your post first! I wasn't trying to be a smart a** with the .02 comment!

That's also a good point about the bacteria/parasites pets are exposed to daily. Heck, it isn't uncommon for dogs to eat feces. That would really do a number on our system! (Yuck)


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

My veterinarian was initially appalled when she heard what I fed but over the years she has asked more and more questions about it. The teeth on my old dogs is what has amazed her the most, and now she is giving raw bones to her own dogs to chew on. Little by little.

I do not worry about parasites in the dogs. They eat muscle meat, bones, and organs, but none of these are particularly parasite ridden IMO, and I don't use pork.

On the cats I do worry about parasites as part of their food rotation includes whole mice- Arctic Mice frozen and sold as reptile food. They are presumably raised in sterile conditions as reptile folks are fanatics about food, but I still don't trust them. So I use Revolution topical on the cats about twice a year as insurance to control intestinal nasties. They are 100% indoor cats but the thought of them getting a mouse parasite squicks me out much more than feeding the mice. If I did not use any "whole animal" type food I would not worry too much about it.

And I always have a stool check on every animal at least once a year.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I never fed raw as a diet. That said I did know someone with a couple of English Mastiff's that were beautiful, shine to coats, healthy, longer lived than most, structurally sound that were fed raw. I agree with the posters that do feed raw, you must know the nutritional needs of the animal.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

*** keep in mind we are in the debate forum ***

"...before commercial pet food was available, what do you think they ate? Raw meat, fish, fish heads and bones, etc."

Before the automobile was invented we rode on horse & buggies. It's a dated practice for modern times as is the raw diet.

"As for safety concerns regarding raw meat....don't you prepare raw meat in your kitchen for human consumption?"

Only when I'm in the mood to clean it up afterwards. However I do not shake raw chicken in my mouth while running around the house at the speed of sound then hide it under daddy's bed to nibble on later.

"...pets are way more exposed to parasites just being outside on the ground than they will ever be eating raw meat. Just my 2 cents. "

'Just your 2 cents'... That's quite a claim so I'll patiently await further details about those parasites.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Thanks for all the input! My question is based on my vet worrying about tapeworm, which she believes is carried in raw meat. I don't know if a raw diet is better than a truly good kibble as far as nutrients, but I do think it could do miracles for my dogs' teeth. I don't use pigs ears and chewies because I never feel I really know what might have contaminated them. My dogs don't get any real chewing and one of them will soon have dental work to remove plaque from her back teeth that is so heavy the vet may have to pull the teeth. Ironically, she is one of two of my dogs who chew every piece of kibble. The other two wolf it down whole.

Nancy in Central New York
Rescued Siberian huskies Zeke, Vixen, Duke and Moxie
Rescued DSH tuxedo cat Timmy
Adopted DSH orange polydactyl cat Toby
Volunteer transporter of rescued/adopted pets
Please Google to learn about prosopagnosia, a neurological condition.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Do you brush their teeth?


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

However I do not shake raw chicken in my mouth while running around the house at the speed of sound then hide it under daddy's bed to nibble on later.
Nor should you, because your digestive tract is not designed to handle the bacteria raw meat generates. Other species have different digestive systems, so compairing ones own habits to those of a dog means absolutely nothing.
You don't lick your own butt either but that doesn't mean your dog will get sick if he licks his.
And he does.

My dogs don't get any real chewing and one of them will soon have dental work to remove plaque from her back teeth that is so heavy the vet may have to pull the teeth.
I would respectfully suggest that you find a large raw beef bone and allow your dog to chew it for about 30 minutes a day. In three days all that plaque will be gone, and the need to a procedure requiring anesthesia will be gone right along with it.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Just my .02 too :) I've done some reading on this as well as vet recommenations against it. My thoughts are the same as the adams has said: but our meat is processed and we don't know how long it is left out between the butchers and your home to allow for the growth of bacteria. That is why we, as humans, cook our meat.

As for chicken in my house....I carefuly disinfect my counters, scrub my sink, wash my hands etc after preparing chicken for cooking. I make sure every surface it touches is carefully cleaned and disinfected. I use clean paper towels to do this, replacing them often so as not to spread the bacteria from the chicken.

(The other concern I have for cats, is you would need to be well versed in feline nutrition. In the wild, some of the nutrition they would get is from the already digested plant materials, etc of the animals they kill. Care would need to be taken to ensure that cats receive the proper nutrition, tuarine, etc...)


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Here is a good web site with some great information.

Here is a link that might be useful: A raw food diet web site


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

There is considerably less threat of parasites in todays meat than there once was in the U.S. If there is a threat of parasitic activity it is generally found in the digestive tract of animals. Don't feed digestive tract material and stick to muscle meat and select organ meats. Also, the digestive system of dogs and cats are usually strong enough to prevent parasites from being problematic if indeed they are present.

And if you give your dog regular heartworm prevention, you can admister a pill that is effective agains heartworm and some other common parasitic worms (hookworm and roundworm).


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

"Nor should you, because your digestive tract is not designed to handle the bacteria raw meat generates. Other species have different digestive systems, so compairing ones own habits to those of a dog means absolutely nothing.
You don't lick your own butt either but that doesn't mean your dog will get sick if he licks his.
And he does."

My concern is with the humans in the house and spreading to the humans. I may not lick my butt or my dogs' butts but I do cuddle and give/receive kisses with them. If they lived out in the yard in a doghouse the raw diet might work out better. Until then I'd just as soon not have raw food winding up under my bed or various other secret hiding spots. Or worse a game of chase ensues all over the house over some bone or chicken wing.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I have no answer to that one as I do all the dog feeding outdoors. As far as licking and whatnot- my dogs do live inside my home and I have gotten doggy kisses from raw fed animals for years and never even worried about it.

The cats are made to stay in the kitchen while they eat. I have never had any foody bits hidden away.

Feeding raw is a philosophical choice as well as a practical one and not everyone is ready to make the leap. There are plenty of decent commercial foods available, too. All I would ask of any pet owner is just to at least think about what and why they are feeding, do a tad bit of research, and make an educated choice about what they think is best for their situation.
If you've done that then I have no issue with what you are feeding.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I thought the vast majority of tapeworms were caused by fleas. I woundn't think that parasites would be much of a concern unless you were using wild game. I have read some tho about salmonella in raw diet. I think I'd be more concerned about that.

Lisa


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Proper hygene and washing of hands and utilensils would be required for handling raw pet food that same as it would be for handling raw people food.

My dogs are trained to keep their food in their dish. THey are not allowed to carry it around the house, whether is raw or bagged.

Salmonella doesn't affect dogs the same way that it effects people.

Most diseases are caused by poor hygene than anything else.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

My dogs can't carry kibble around the house. That would involve taking only a little bit and leaving the rest of bowl unattended. Raw food items would undoubtedly be a different story in this house!


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

"Raw food items would undoubtedly be a different story in this house!"

I wonder why?

I wouldn't encourage anyone to feed raw if they weren't comfortable with it. But why do you think raw food would end up someplace other than the dog dish? And wouldn't it be an easy correction, if for some reason (that I don't understand) your dog would try to take the food someplace else?


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Actually Salmonella DOES affect dogs the same as people. Certain strains are harmless and heaven knows I've probably eaten more than my share (too much traveling to 3rd world countries LOL); others have endotoxins that can kill a person or dog or any other species. Of course it also depends on the dose ingested, the health of the individual, and other things as to whether or not the individual becomes sick or dies. I wouldn't feed very young or very old animals raw, nor would I feed an animal that is on steroids or otherwise immunocompromised raw foods because it is too risky- even usually harmless "bugs" can cause problems in these animals.

Feeding a homemade diet, raw or cooked, is not to be entered upon lightly. There is a LOT of balancing nutrition that has to be done, careful measurements of ingredients, and appropriate handling of food and equipment. Which isn't to say that anyone who truly wants to feed raw couldn't do it, but tossing an animal a slab of meat is NOT going to provide complete balanced nutrition.

As far as parasites, as long as you are feeding from human sources there shouldn't be a problem. High production farming has necessitated the use of antiparasite drugs in all food animals (unless organic, and I would always cook organic meats because of this). Most dogs are dewormed on a regular basis anyway with their heartworm prevention. You could do the same with cats to be more safe. Then just check fecal samples on a regular basis. Most animals do not become sick from a mild parasite infestation- again very old, very young, and immunocompromised animals are more at risk.

BTW- Average GI transit time for humans and the average size (50#) dog is exactly the same. I looked it up. Cats go a bit faster.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I was curious about Salmonella not affecting dogs. In the wild, when a chicken is killed and eaten by canines and felines it is eaten immediately and therefore the predator is not exposed to salmonella as bacteria has not had time to grow. As I mentioned above, what concerns me about a raw diet is the processing of our raw meat and the time it is left out between the butchers and your home. (i.e. deliver from butcher to middle man, to grocery store, to your home)

I did some research and found out some interesting things:

First, their is no definitive proof that Salmonella does not effect dogs. Apparently, Salmonellosis is found frequently in greyhound kennels and the morbidity is 100%, with the mortality being almost 40%. Also, their is no scientific proof if their is actually a health benefit to feeding our pets a raw diet. There have been a couple small studies done that have shown homemade diets tend to lack nutritional needs. It is possible to create a homemade diet that meets your pets nutritional needs, but one cannot make subsitutions without understanding the full complexities of their pets diet. Which, the average person is unaware of. It has taken science may studies and research to learn and understand these needs.

In addition, epidemiological research shows that their is great concern of environmental contamination through dog feces. Also, dogs can be carriers of Salmonella. So, yes, the concern of human infection from dogs IS a concern.

I was once hospitilized due to Salmonella poisonong, not fun. While most people do not get severe cases, it does happen. This risk is certainly not worth it to me.

Here is some info on Salmonellosis from CDC.gov:

"Persons with diarrhea usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of persons who are infected with Salmonella, will go on to develop pains in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter's syndrome. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis which is difficult to treat. Antibiotic treatment does not make a difference in whether or not the person later develops arthritis."

"Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. Young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised are the most likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 600 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis."

Here is a link that might be useful: CDC.gov link to Salmonellosis


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RE: REDo parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Meghane, I was posting at the same time as you. Very interesting, glad you posted!


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I do not feed raw but not because of worries over Salmonella or parasites. My husband won't mess with it and I travel a lot for my job and he has to feed the kitties more than half the time. I do buy chicken necks and frozen raw meals for them occasionally.

We handle raw meat all the time. We buy in bulk and vacumn seal and freeze it. We eat meat for dinner every night. Handling raw meat doesn't bother me at all. Human grade raw meat is not full of parasites.

It is my understanding that those who feed raw chicken freeze it first.

Tapeworms are from fleas.

Taurine is found in muscle meats. The reason it had to be supplemented in cat foods is because many are mostly grains!

The only grains in a cat's natural diet are pre-digested in the stomachs of mice and birds.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

When you use the term Salmonella you are generalizing a whole catergory of pathogens many are commonly present in the GI tracts of animals.

Salmonella doesn't affect dogs the same way that it effects people is because healthy dogs can carry salmonella and shed it quite easily without showing any ill effects.

(I saw a number that said something like 30+% of dogs stools will test positive for salmonella. And that is not specifically dogs on raw diet. Though I don't have a reference for it... I think it was in wisconsin vet med article.)


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I don't think I could ever feed raw. We don't eat much meat (much to my boyfriends dismay, I'm sure!) and when we do, it's more often than not just chicken. I would be horrible with the nutrition balancing, not to mention having 4 to put on a raw diet on top of our groceries would probably more than double my grocery bills.

I am curious though, what about those who have picky eaters?? I have a cat who won't touch anything but cat food, and the occasional piece of chicken if she's feeling daring. She likes cream cheese on bagels too, but I'm sure thats probably not good for them. My sister has a cat who absolutely would never touch anything but his cat food. No ham, no chicken, no cheese, no cat treats, just his kibble. Can you ever make the switch with these animals??


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Animals absolutely can get tapeworm from raw meats. Wild cats often are affected by tapeworm because the larve for tapeworm is usually on the dead animals they eat.
Assuming the raw meat we get from a store or butcher is cleaner then the beasts cats and dogs eat outside,there is still a chance of them being them infecting your pet when the meat isnt being properly heated to kill parasites. Round worm is another pets can catch,and is much harder to get rid of.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Just because Salmonella does not effect dogs in the same manner it effects humans, does not mean that it is not causing illness in your pet. A dogs stomach is just more effective in attacking this bacteria.

Studies have shown that Salmonella can cause serious illness in both dogs and cats. Please note that animals who eat feces, groom each other or share food/water dishes are at a higher risk to be infected by Salmonella.

While adult animals have better prognosis, young animals have a very poor prognosis. In young animals this infection can cause death and in pregnant b*tches it can cause abortion, weak offspring and vaginal bleeding.

At any age severe infections can cause blindness, paralysis of the hind legs, seizures, pneumonia, nose bleeds, and the list goes on.

In addition, humans and animals become sick from different molecules found on the exterior of the bacteria.

Here is a link that might be useful: Source: Provet Healthcare Information


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This too...

While Dr. Ian Billinghurst made the "Bones and Raw Food (BARF) Diet" popular, multiple studies that have been published in Veterinary medical journals have proven the dangers of the BARF diet.

Here is a link to an article by Jeffrey T. LeJeune, DVM, PhDDale D. Hancock, DVM, PhD entitled "Public health concerns associated with feeding raw meat diets to dogs." Unfortunatly, a subscription to this journal will be needed to view this article online. From my understanding, for a copy you can contact Dr. LeJeune. His present address is: Dr. LeJeune, c/o Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691-4096.

Here is a quote from Dr. Wendell O. Belfield online article "Raw Meat Diets for Companion Animals?":

"As a veterinary practitioner for thirty-seven years and a veterinary meat inspector for seven years, I, in good conscience, cannot recommend raw meat diets to my clients. My advice to my clients is "cook the meat until the redness is gone". When this is done, there is no vomiting, the cholesterol level is normal, the risk of infection by microorganisms and parasites diminishes."

Link to this article which is free to view: http://www.belfield.com/article11.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Public health concerns associated with feeding raw meat diets to dogs


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

> "But why do you think raw food would end up someplace other than the dog dish? "

Because that's what they normally do when you give them something that can be run off with... They run off with it and go to their safe little hiding place where the other can't come and try to take their thing away. The the chase ensues.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Because that's what they normally do when you give them something that can be run off with...

The raw food that I feed resembles canned dog food... except its not canned. It can be broken into little chunks easily with a fork.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I've fed my dogs raw for about 10 years with no ill effects on them or me. And I am not known for being the best housekeeper in the world ;)

If you don't feel comfortable with feeding raw, at least feed a home cooked diet.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

That's great that your dogs have had no illness from their raw diet. However, there is a lot that needs to be considered when feeding a homemade meal, other then just offering a steak.

Also, just because your dogs have not had any problems does not mean others won't. Heck, George Burns lived to be 100 and smoked cigars everyday! There must be a severe case of longevity in his family! The same can remain true for dogs, though. Certain breeds have stronger immune systems then others, and ofcourse certain bloodlines within each breed are healthier then others.

As Meghane, a Vetrenarian Student, stated above:

"Actually Salmonella DOES affect dogs the same as people. Certain strains are harmless and heaven knows I've probably eaten more than my share (too much traveling to 3rd world countries LOL); others have endotoxins that can kill a person or dog or any other species. Of course it also depends on the dose ingested, the health of the individual, and other things as to whether or not the individual becomes sick or dies. I wouldn't feed very young or very old animals raw, nor would I feed an animal that is on steroids or otherwise immunocompromised raw foods because it is too risky- even usually harmless "bugs" can cause problems in these animals.

Feeding a homemade diet, raw or cooked, is not to be entered upon lightly. There is a LOT of balancing nutrition that has to be done, careful measurements of ingredients, and appropriate handling of food and equipment. Which isn't to say that anyone who truly wants to feed raw couldn't do it, but tossing an animal a slab of meat is NOT going to provide complete balanced nutrition."

Certainly, with this in mind, it would not be wise to encourage everyone to feed a homemade diet. IMO, it is not a good idea to encourage people to do so without providing them with information on recipes and a balanced diet. At a minimum, explaining that homemade diets require a substantial amount of work to ensure that the final product includes a complete nutritional balance. That simply cooking chicken or steak everyday is not a balanced diet and that much research should be done before starting this diet.

The ASPCA states:

"If a homemade diet recipe is used, it is very important to follow recipe directions exactly, not allowing for substitutions or omitting of ingredients. This includes processing and cooking instructions since some processing steps can destroy or damage the nutrients in the ingredients. It is also important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian at least twice a year, so that her health can be evaluated.

You may also want to provide your pets with certain fruits and vegetables, after consulting with your veterinarian, for potential health benefits. Also keep in mind that some fruits and vegetables can be harmful to pets. Be sure to avoid feeding onions, garlic, chives, avocado, grapes, raisins, and macadamia nuts, all of which can cause illness when eaten by pets.

...Pets that do not tolerate dietary changes well or have specific health conditions should not be given these types of extras unless approved by the pets veterinarian."

They also recommend contacting the American College of Veterinary Nutrition for recipes.

Here is a link that might be useful: American College of Veterinary Nutrition


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I heard an interesting comment on the radio last week, from a raw food advocate. She said feeding a dog processed bag kibble is akin to a person eating cheerios everday. Sure you can live on it, but is it really a good diet. Grains fortified with minerals....

Most vets are "trained" to support the processed dog food industry because there is money and research to support their products.

As more people get more aware about what is in that bag of food, I would be willing to predict that processed pet food ingredients will be improving, due to the recent scare.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I found a website that will design a diet for your dog, based on pre-existing conditions or a healthy dog, whatever. They are veterinary nutritionists, and the diet is complete and balanced and can be used indefinately. I was looking into it because I'm getting sick of the pet food industry, but one of my dogs has a few serious health issues, and an unbalanced diet could literally kill him. The cost is $200 for the consultation, but I do feel like the information is worth it, especially for animals with health issues. The website is petdiets.com (link follows post).

Here's another site to use. I believe their recipe prices vary and are less expensive than petdiets, but are generic and shouldn't be used for animals with health problems. It's called balanceit.com.

Hope this helps some people who are willing and able to make their pets' food, raw or home-cooked.

Here is a link that might be useful: Petdiets.com


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Hi. I'm new to this forum, and thought I might contribute something on this subject. I am a practicing veterinarian and a dog and cat owner. The issue of feeding a raw vs. commercial pet diet is like any other issue -- you will find people who are for it and people who are against it.

Personally, I do not feed my dogs and cats raw meat, nor will I ever do so. I feed them a high-quality commercial diet -- and one of my dogs is a 14-year-old, 80-pound Golden Retriever mix. The last time I did bloodwork on him (about three months ago) the results were absolutely normal. My other (younger) dogs are also completely healthy. However, if DONE CORRECTLY, I do not see a problem in feeding a raw diet to pets.

Having said that, I'd like to address the question that was actually asked by the original poster: Do parasites increase when dogs/cats are fed raw diets? And the answer is: There is a greater RISK of parasites when feeding raw diets. No, not all dogs and cats are going to contract parasites when fed a raw diet. But there is certainly the possibility.

Someone said that tapeworms are spread by fleas, and that person is correct. SOME tapeworms are spread by fleas. But there are many species of tapeworms, including beef and pork tapeworms. Some species of tapeworms are spread when a predator (such as a dog or cat) ingests the tapeworm cysts that are imbedded in the raw meat. These cysts (called hydatid cysts) are absolutely disgusting, and you can see them by simply Googling "Beef tapeworm hydatid cysts". One of the jobs of meat inspectors in processing plants is to inspect the meat for tapeworm cysts. If any cysts are found in the meat, the entire carcass is condemned. Most of the beef and pork produced in the United States now is tapeworm-free.

I heard the radio interview with the raw-meat proponent who said that feeding dogs commercial kibble is the same as a human eating nothing but Cheerios. And I have to say that this is complete crap. It made a good sound bite, but the analogy is nonsense. There are a number of commercial pet foods available that provide pets with a balanced diet, including digestible proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. They may cost more, but they are available.

Feeding a raw meat diet is very complicated because simply feeding raw steak or raw chicken to your pet is not enough. Pets have specific needs, and some of these can only be fulfilled with special types of foods. For example, cats have a requirement for a substance called "taurine" in their diets. Cats with taurine deficiencies develop retinal degeneration, heart problems, problems with their white blood cell function, and abnormal growth and development. High-quality commercial cat foods contain taurine that cats are able to absorb and use. Cats in the wild obtain their taurine from ingesting the abdominal organs of their prey. This means that if you are feeding a raw meat diet, in order to provide your cat with taurine, you would need to feed all of the abdominal organs as well. Pieces of raw chicken, steak, fish etc are going to cut it, so to speak. All I'm saying is that the diets should be well-researched.

I would also highly recommend, when feeding raw meat diets, removing the bones. Large "soup" bones from beef are the only bones I would ever give my dogs (I actually don't give them any bones at all). I have seen too many dogs die of peritonitis from punctured intestines, obstructions from swallowing bones, and impactions from pieces of bones that become cemented together in the colon, causing severe consitpation.

Someone said "Vets benefit by animals eating food not designed for them, increased sickness in the way of urinary tract problems, obesity, colitis, diabetes, skin disorders, allergies, etc, etc." I find this offensive and mystifying at the same time. If this is how you feel about veterinarians, how do you trust any of them to care for your pets? Surely you have found SOME good, responsible, ethical vets out there.

Personally, I do everything I can to ensure that my patients grow up healthy, and stay healthy. I would MUCH rather do preventative medicine, such as vaccinations, dewormings, prescribe heartworm preventative, etc, than to try to save one of my patients who is extremely ill. When a client brings in a seriously sick animal, I agonize over it, just as I would agonize over one of my own dogs or cats being ill. I beg my clients to keep their pets in good body condition, to keep them on heartworm preventative, to vaccinate for parvovirus. I tell them not to feed poor-quality foods. They don't always listen, but when they do, their pets are generally much healthier than those pets of the people who do not listen to me.

So, as far as veterinarians go, my suggestion to you is this ... if you do not trust your veterinarian to give you the best advice, to take the best possible care of your animal, to do what is best for both you and your animal, then you need to find another veterinarian. There are good ones out there.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Just as there is a wide variety in the quality of bag of processed dog food, the same exists for a raw food diets.

There might be someone out there is just feeding their dog a chunk of meat and a few bones and calling it a raw food diet, but I think if someone has cared enough to find out about why raw diets are becoing popular they probably also and know that is raw is not just a a chunks of meat and some bones. Which is what the Vet's seem to imply.

I am feeding raw, but its still a processed food, a balance diet including organs and meat that has been tested and designed by veteranary nutrionists to be a healthy diet for pets.

http://www.naturesmenu.com/site/493564/page/126491


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Thanks joepyeweed - I like what I see so far on that link - how long have you been using Natures Menu?


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

I have been feeding Nature's Menu off and on over the past four years. Since the recent pet food scare I have been feeding it exclusively.


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RE: Do parasites increase when cat/dog fed raw?

Oops, forgot to add:

Great post september_rain. Thanks for taking the time.


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