Raw Feeding and Yearly Boosters

Ask A Vet: Louise Rayment-Dyble BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS

 

Vets Opinion On Raw Feeding and Yearly Vaccinations

I lost my girl (bulldog) to cancer this past year and it was absolutely heart wrenching but during all of it, I learned just how many fur babies do die of cancer and started doing my research. I'm reading about raw diets and yearly vaccines and would like to know just what you think about these two things. I realize that vets make their money on their patients and I have never spared a dime to take care of my babies but I really want to know what's best for these babies?? Thank You in advance!

   

Hi,  I find that if you look hard enough you can find many arguments both for and against raw feeding.  I think raw feeding is catching on as people are keen to follow a more naturalistic approach to feeding their dog. Whilst I am not against the principle of raw feeding I have seen a few cases of obstruction and constipation after feeding bones, and also campylobacter after feeding raw chicken, so I think you have to be aware of the risks and take the time to research and do it properly. 

After all, in the wild dogs would be scavenging a carcass, or killing something and eating it fresh, so it is still a challenge to properly replicate this in a home setting. For example, you have to make sure you source the freshest of products, and you may need to add a vitamin and mineral supplement to the diet.  That is the benefit of feeding a ‘dog food’, most of which are tested and made to be nutritionally balanced to take the guesswork out of it. Whilst I myself am not aware of any scientific paper that has proven dog food can increase the risk of your dog getting cancer, it goes without saying that not all dog foods are the same and it pays to go for the better brands, especially the veterinary endorsed ones, as they are generally better quality. ‘You are what you eat’ still applies to a dog and if you buy a cheap, heavily cereal-based food, the chances are it may have scurfy skin, produce mountains of poo and have bad wind! 

As for vaccinations, again lots of arguments against but I have been a vet now for 14 years and can still count on one hand the number of cases that I could attribute to a genuine ‘vaccine reaction’.  I still believe the benefits far outweigh the very small risk. We are lucky that in the UK, our pet vaccinations have to go through stringent testing before they become licensed, so they are generally very safe. Also, make sure you choose a vet which uses the most up to date products as often the more modern vaccine protocols greatly reduce the worry of ‘over-vaccination’. 

Best wishes

Louise Rayment-Dyble BVetMed CertZooMed MRCVS 

All Creatures Healthcare