This research is one of the primary reasons I
do not promote a homemade raw diet. The key word here is 'homeade'.I
understand the need for, and value of a raw diet, or raw component
to a feeding program, but I also understand owners do not generally
have enough resources or knowledge to do it right. This is why I promote
a commercially prepared balanced raw diet as
a better option- here is information to help you:
I am honored to share
this article with you by the esteemed Dr. Lisa Newman and Dr. Lee
PET CARE EXPERT CAUTIONS AGAINST RAW FOOD DIET FOR DOGS
An Evaluation of Raw Meat, Bones and Food in healthy dogs and cats.
Lisa S. Newman, N.D., Ph.D., Azmira's Director of Research
Lee Veith, D.V.M. Veterinary Regulatory Board
It is shown that a long term B.A.R.F. (bones and raw foods) diet is
likely to decrease the overall health of the pet. The pet's ability
to digest the raw foods is compromised by evolutionary changes to
the digestive tracts of domesticated pets. The difficulty in digesting
raw foods combined with this evolutionary weakness creates a systematic
breakdown of immune responses, leading to a variety of nutritionally-based
symptoms. Elimination of the raw foods protocol resulted in a reversal
of the obvious symptoms reported during long term use. When the B.A.R.F.
approach was resumed, the return of symptoms occurred within two months.
Nutrients including viable proteins still available in slightly cooked
foods and some higher quality, easy-to-digest commercial diets --
to fuel curative processes such as detoxification (blood purification),
improved organ function (to increase nutrient utilization), and superior
tissue growth -- can be utilized, long term, with vastly improved
"health responses" to substantially mitigate chronic conditions.
The interest in the B.A.R.F. method during the early Eighties prompted
Dr. Newman to recommend a raw foods approach, as she was already recommending
Macrobiotic diets with her animal and human clients, often with mixed
One of the most frustrating conditions in both dogs and cats fed raw
foods, particularly the yeast, bone meal, muscle and gristle trim
tissues and chicken parts such as necks or backs commonly used, is
that of digestive disorders and the resulting deeper weaknesses, such
as allergies, arthritis, I.B.S., liver, kidney or thyroid imbalance,
poor immune responses and other organ issues, including diabetes and
seizures. These diets prematurely age the pet, especially when symptomatic
holistic or medical suppression is also being applied rather than
addressing the digestibility of raw foods. In 1985, Dr. Newman concluded
an initial one-year study of household dogs and cats with a history
of good health and no compelling conditions who where separated into
three groups; the raw food eaters, home cooked diets and healthy commercial
diets supplemented with Dr. Newman's recommended foundation supplements
(Mega Pet Daily, SuperC2000 and Garlic Daily Aid). These results have
recently been re-confirmed after an additional five years of nutraceutical
data and several six-week follow-ups with previous test subjects who
remained on their group's dietary recommendations.
All of the above-mentioned changes became even more pronounced for
some pets during the second study with the utilization of Azmira's
Animal Nutrition Formulas, not available during the first trial. These
award-winning formulas contain fresh human-grade ingredients, rather
than the less potent, basic animal grade or rancid "human-grade
inspected" (but NOT "approved") ingredients as found
in the other "top Natural Brands" previously used in 1984-85.
All dogs and cats were healthy at the onset of this study, regardless
of previous diets used and lifestyle.
METHODS OF RESEARCH
There was a comparative one year study done on immune enhancing, tissue
building nutrients, in particular protein, found in fresh animal tissue
and the optimal delivery system for their assimilation. These nutrients,
combined, have been noted for their ability to address various conditions,
especially the six common conditions behind the majority of prematurely
aging dogs and cats. Although causes are numerous and often in conjunction
with one another, nutritional imbalance, poor digestion and assimilation
are the basis for the majority of chronic conditions today, including
arthritis, allergies and endocrine issues such as low thyroid levels
commonly associated with improper protein utilization.
These healthy dogs and cats were separated into three dietary groups
and one control group which consisted of eight dogs and twelve cats
left to the owner and vet's discretion to use allopathic methods of
feeding and care; First group contained sixteen dogs and seventeen
cats who were supplemented with Dr. Newman's vitamin/mineral protocol
while fed a high quality commercial dry and/or canned food. The second
group of twenty-two dogs and nine cats was fed the same home cooked
diet with no other supplementation than available within the ingredients.
Subject group three contained twenty-one dogs and eighteen cats (six
of which where champion Siamese cats who belonged to one of the top
breeders and staunchest advocates of raw food for pets), following
the same 75% raw meat, 25% raw vegetables recommended at the time.
To be chosen for participation, each animal was particularly healthy
and well adjusted.
With sixty-seven mature dogs participating, ranging in age from 2
yr to 11 yr, half the dogs were small and medium-types, mostly Cockers
and Terriers plus mixes, while the other half were full breed and
mixes of Shepards, Rotties, Goldens and Labs; the same quality ingredients
free of artificial ingredients and chemical preservatives for the
three study groups was followed, while the control group under individual
and random feeding guidelines choose foods within, as well as outside,
the study parameters. All animals were given fifteen minutes of exercise
and fresh air daily to aid in detoxification and nutrient utilization.
No other digestive support or veterinary medication was applied.
Before the beginning, and after the end of this initial study and
the follow up in 1991, an objective veterinary assessment was compiled
for certain medical parameters: all the dogs and cats were photographed,
confirmed on their weight, passed basic blood profiles, plus clinical
absence of internal and external parasitic, fungal or viral infestation
(to rule out underlying weakness) and given a behavioral assessment
regarding their particular environmental or behavioral triggers.
During the whole period of research, subjects' caregivers kept a daily
log that recorded how the animals acted, slept, how stable was their
appetites (acceptance of ingredients), the specific changes observed
after so many days, including the overall condition of the animals
and rapidity in loosing health or gaining wellness. Each section was
scored on a "1 to 10" rating and the score combined for
the final analysis and percentages reported. Feedback gathered was
utilized, not only to explain the symptoms still present on raw foods
yet eliminated with other diets, but to help formulate Award-winning
Azmira Animal Nutrition to the best standards available in the industry,
improving commercially available natural diets.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
By far, at 61%, the pets in group one, fed a high quality commercial
diet plus Dr. Newman's daily supplementation protocol faired the best,
cats slightly over dogs - with a total absence of nutrition-related
symptoms; 73% of these animals showing improvement within the first
week and 92% by week six.
Subjects that were only fed home cooked foods, with slightly steamed
or broiled meats plus cooked and raw vegetables came in a close second
at 29% improvement, dogs improving some over cats, most within the
first four weeks.
The group on raw meat, bones and vegetables, responding with a poor
wellness rate of only 8%, also had the lowest maintenance success
other than the control group when reexamined in 1991.