It is becoming common now for me to receive emails from people who have been feeding commercial raw food to their pets and still experiencing disease. This surprises them because these commercial concoctions have been represented to us as the best we can do for our pets and are whole-heartedly endorsed by ‘holistic’, raw-friendly vets. Unfortunately, these foods are not the best we can do. The truth is, commercial grinds like Rad Cat, Answers, Stella & Chewy’s, Instinct, Darwin’s and a growing plethora of others are nothing more than a better class of garbage for your pets. They’ve been called “the kibble of raw feeding” by some. Others not so generous call them “pink slime”.
The profit motive
First, it’s important to remember that, just like all other commercial pet foods, these products are not manufactured to keep dogs and cats out of the vet’s office, but to make profits for their makers. The market has observed the interest in raw feeding among pet owners, and its response is to produce a product that it can claim is raw and optimal.
Are they optimal?
Any food calling itself “optimal” MUST be, by definition, low in fat. Fat is a HUGE contributor to disease in dogs and cats. Why is fat such a big deal? Because when we feed the fat from agricultural animals in pet food, our pets are eating the indigestible garbage that was deliberately fed to the original animals for the sole purpose of fattening them up. Residues from these inappropriate foods and other deleterious substances are stored in fat cells. In our pets’ bodies, these wastes perpetually circulate in the bloodstream, get deposited in tumors or fatty tissues and generally wreak havoc with organs, particularly those tasked with eliminating waste from the body. Kittens and puppies weaned onto these commercial raw foods might even experience the same kinds of symptoms that result when they are weaned onto kibble.
Sleight of Hand
Recently I had a brief exchange on Facebook with the manufacturer of “WeFeedRaw”, one of the many commercial grinds now on the market. When I asked about fat content, I was referred to their website where the same information was provided that we see on every dog food label. All of their products were shown as below 20% fat, as they had claimed in their initial response to my questions, but when I inquired about how this was possible given that a whole raw chicken with skin is 59% fat by calorie, my questions were not only not answered, they were deleted. To account for this, it’s possible that the percentage they provide is calculated on weight, which would be favorable to the manufacturer since fat weighs far less than muscle, bone and water. This is how deceptive dairy producers can claim their 30% fat milk is really 2%. It’s also likely that these percentages shown on their website are the typical meaningless “minimums”, a hold-over from the days when feed buyers wanted to be sure there was enough fat (protein, etc.) in a product. There was no indication of any of that on the website. Any reader not savvy in the deceiving ways of commercial dog food producers is left to assume that the products are low in fat, which is exactly what the manufacturers want.
Keep in mind I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt when I assume they’re using whole animals in their products. It’s entirely possible and even probable, considering the profit motive AND lack of oversight, that they are using much fattier discards from the human food production system, such as chicken/turkey backs and wings. The important question is, how are we to know if they do not provide us with meaningful information about the content of their products?
Fat causes disease and generates profit
The fat that is deliberately put on agricultural animals makes money for every link in the supply chain until it gets to us, the consumers. When we eat it or feed it to our animals, it continues to make money for industries allied with the processed food industry, like the medical and veterinary industries, because it causes SICKNESS.
The manufacturers of commercial raw pet foods would not make a profit if they did the right thing and trimmed fat from the agricultural products they buy for inclusion in their products. They do not do this. The fat is ground up with the meat and passed along to the consumer. Next time you buy a whole chicken or even a package of leg quarters, turn them over and see the large blobs of fat that the meat packagers are careful to hide from you. This is what your dog or cat is eating when you feed commercial raw ground pet food. It’s simply not possible for the manufacturers of commercial pet foods to turn a profit, imo, if they produced a product that would prevent disease while spending all the money they do on packaging, transportation, marketing, fancy websites and other related overhead. If such foods did exist, you’d know their quality by their exorbitant price, which would likely be far out of the range of affordability for most people. If nobody can afford to buy them, they’re not going to be manufactured. That’s why the ONLY way to keep their dogs and cats healthy is to learn how to home-feed.
We have the power
Even the meats that are sold on the human market are inferior to what would be produced in an ideal world, certainly. The “marbling” of beef is what is said to give it its flavor, and this is because residues of the corn that cows are fed are stored in their fat cells. Corn is at least closer to human food than beef is, and that’s why people like this flavor. Grass fed beef, while being a bit healthier to eat, is said to be less “flavorful”.
Regardless of whether the fat that exists on agricultural animals is there due to the profit motive or consumer demand, buying the leanest whole cuts of meat we can find and trimming the fat before we feed instead of feeding commercially ground pet food gives us much more control over whether our animals get sick.
Nobody’s talking about the problems with these commercial grinds, so unless people find my website or otherwise become aware of the fat issue, they can start to think that it really doesn’t matter what their animals eat and that sickness is truly unavoidable because of this perception that these commercial grinds are “optimal”. Often owners then allow their vets to persuade them that feeding raw food is the problem, and it’s an easy sell from there to prescription kibble. These former raw feeders then complain to everyone who will listen that they fed raw and their animals still got sick, like raw feeding doesn’t work. They even have the gall to email me and tell me that raw feeding doesn’t work.
Home prepared raw food is the only way to properly feed pets
Raw feeding works, but only when it is done properly. Pet owners cannot abdicate the responsibility of feeding their pets to companies that have profits as their #1 priority, no matter what the labels say or how caring, “sustainable” and eco-friendly their websites make them look.
Preparing your dog’s food yourself is not difficult or complicated and does not require weeks of research! In fact, researching how to raw feed a dog can be hazardous to your dog’s health because it will have your head spinning with all the conflicting and confusing opinions. Added to that is the fact that everyone seems to have a line of “natural products” (herbs and supplements) to sell to “assist” your dog’s body in the transition. The reality is that all your dog needs is real food, the kind that can be bought in any grocery store. It is not time consuming or expensive. It is 100% accessible to everyone, regardless of where you live. All of the information you need to make the switch for your dog and take full responsibility for his/her health is available here. There is no cheaper, easier, simpler, more effective way to feed your dog. Any questions you may have after reading it can be asked and answered by me on my Facebook Group, No More Vet Bills.