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I am bringing home my very first Spoo in a couple of weeks and have become pretty firm on the idea of feeding a DIY raw diet.

The long Version:

I would like to preface this post by saying that I am not looking to vet-bash, nor am I looking to discuss DIY vs. Commercial Raw vs. Kibble. There are excellent commercially available raw diets as well has very high quality kibbles, and there are valid reasons for choosing those options. However, after a few months of weighing the pros and cons for each for myself, my family, and our future dog, DIY is the best option for us.

However, I know that many veterinarians are not always on board with DIY Raw plans due to concerns regarding the dog not receiving all of the essential nutrients that they need (especially for puppies that have unique dietary needs to support their growth and development). There are also sometimes concerns regarding salmonella, though most raw feeders I've spoken to say that as long as you practice the general safety precautions that you would when handling any raw meat (washing hands after handling and disinfecting any surface that the raw meat was in contact with) that the risk of salmonella is pretty minimal.

Holistic vets tend to be supportive of Raw Diets, but there is not a holistic vet within an hour drive of where I live. In an ideal world, I would just pack up my pooch and drive her an hour to the vet for check-ups, but I wouldn't want to have to make that trip if there were ever an emergency that needed more immediate attention.

I am very new to raw and want to make sure that my puppy is getting everything that she needs, so I have decided to have a meal plan created for my new puppy by a certified canine nutritionist.

TLDR:

For those of you who feed a DIY Raw Diet, how did you approach this subject with your vet?
 

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I did raw for a few months (in the hopes to cure allergies, but it didn’t work) and I truly hated it. I don’t think there is any special way to approach a vet about raw feeding, as all of them will be against it because their association has issued guidelines against it (at least in my area).

I’ve met one vet who said to try it as a last resource, but had no advice to give. You’ll be basically on your own if you rely on a regular vet. It’s a shame, really.
 

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I’ll preface my own post by saying outright that I personally am not in favor of feeding raw unless as a last hurrah to solve a problem (and am also working on becoming a vet myself, lol), but what works for you, works for you. If you have your diet planned by a nutritionist, the vet might be okay with it. You do have to be aware, as Dechi said, that the vet does have a license to keep up with, so if they say, sure, feed your dog raw, and you or the dog ends up sick because of it, they can get into legal trouble. Which is another reason why most vets are against it, and why you can expect some pressure towards feeding an alternative. You could try seeing both the holistic and the main vet, I suppose. Best of luck.
 

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My first vet did the traditional "you're going to kill your dog" thing, so I was evasive in my answers (I don't recall if I just nodded along to feeding Purina or told them I feed a home made diet). As I educated myself on a number of health concerns, I realized he was old school in a lot of ways and asked sport dog owners (and trainers and breeders) who they use. They all said the same person, so I transitioned to him. It's been pretty easy all around since then.

My advice is talk to other folks who are really into their dogs about vets in the area.
 

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Misha's been raw fed his whole life and we use a local vet that's totally on board with raw diets as long as they're balanced and healthy. I know there's another popular vet in the area that actively pushes raw diets for dogs. So there are many that are fine. The way I find them is to look for vets that are more progressive in other ways as well. Questions like do they recommend titers, do they advise late spay/neuter, do they offer alternative sterilization procedures... if you find a vet that is on board with these then they are much more likely to be fine with raw. If you can't find a good vet then you'll just have to commit to strongly advocating for your dog and not letting them sway you. Our family dog was raw fed and the vet disagreed. My mother didn't let it bother her. The dog was always very healthy. I know many raw feeders who have disagreeing vets will do regular bloodwork to prove their dogs' health for their vets. Over time a vet will stop arguing against raw since the results speak for themselves.

One thing I will say about puppies is if you're doing DIY you have to do it very carefully and try to include lots of variety. Misha has always required more than the standard amount of bone as well.
 

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Keep in mind that vets deal with "the average dog owner". Many of whom can't understand the science of dietary needs. I suspect if you are able to discuss knowledgeably the requirements for food safety and composition/nutrition of a good raw diet, measuring, etc, most vets will be ok so long as your dog looks healthy. They might not be thrilled, but they probably wont bug you too much and might have some good suggestions.

And then there is the average dog owner.... for example, a puppy I see a lot with a weird unhealthy coat whose owners feed it "the best" and "none of that kibble crap". ApparentLy that means steaks, and raw food and human dinner. I mentioned calcium, they were like "oh, we give him bones to chew on, but nothing he can swallow and he eats meat." This is a 60 lb 6 or 7 month old puppy, I am really concerned for its joints. Basically - don't be that owner, who is probably who vets immediately think of when they hear raw, or the crazy no-vaccine no preventatives no supplements or medications but organic wheatgrass juice owner, and most vets will be fine :)
 

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Keep in mind that vets deal with "the average dog owner". Many of whom can't understand the science of dietary needs. I suspect if you are able to discuss knowledgeably the requirements for food safety and composition/nutrition of a good raw diet, measuring, etc, most vets will be ok so long as your dog looks healthy. They might not be thrilled, but they probably wont bug you too much and might have some good suggestions.

And then there is the average dog owner.... for example, a puppy I see a lot with a weird unhealthy coat whose owners feed it "the best" and "none of that kibble crap". ApparentLy that means steaks, and raw food and human dinner. I mentioned calcium, they were like "oh, we give him bones to chew on, but nothing he can swallow and he eats meat." This is a 60 lb 6 or 7 month old puppy, I am really concerned for its joints. Basically - don't be that owner, who is probably who vets immediately think of when they hear raw, or the crazy no-vaccine no preventatives no supplements or medications but organic wheatgrass juice owner, and most vets will be fine :)
YES. :)
 

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I am going to chime in, even though I don't feed raw I do cook for my dogs. They eat only whole foods that I cook and I give supplements to make sure they get their calcium. I have been doing this for almost a year now. Before I was feeding a very good commercial dry food and my diy food as add in. We started to notice that once in a while one of the pups would start having tummy troubles and throwing up. Then another pup would have trouble a week or so later, we have all different breeds all mixed except for Lucy. We noticed that the dog food was coming back up whole, undigested. Since we started the diy food they are all so much healthier looking. Coats are better and they are not bloated. Our 9 yr old heeler who was having trouble with steps and couldn't jump onto the bed anymore suddenly jumped up on the bed one night. They have spunk again...even the older ones. I will never go back to commercial food.
 

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My experience has been although many vets in past have frowned on raw diets 1. if you are not a nutritionist your pup may not always get what it needs. However they don't really push you, or even speak up, to what you should feed your dog unless your dog is having problems then they will push that perhaps the diet is not the right one. I don't like raw, just the thought of raw makes me sick and then I'd have to clean up where the dog ate, his bowl really well and his face and paws. Too much work for me. I'd do it if I had too but thanks for conveniences.
 

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My vet did not like the very idea of feeding raw. I did it anyway. My border collie did very well on raw and lived to be 16.2 years old, a record in this area.

Just make sure you do your homework. Make a plan and stick with it. Liver the size of one front paw twice a week, other organ meats as you find them. The rest, raw meaty bones. Since most of the raw meaty bones were chicken legs, my dog had the advantage of getting the sweetmeat that is tucked under the pelvis.

As advised above, make sure you start out with variety. Raw eggs including the shell, canned mackerel, chicken, turkey, duck if you can get it. Sometimes you can get ox tail. Do your best. You do not need to include vegetables, but they really like it if you cook carrots with your own roasted meat.
 

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Keep in mind that vets deal with "the average dog owner". Many of whom can't understand the science of dietary needs. I suspect if you are able to discuss knowledgeably the requirements for food safety and composition/nutrition of a good raw diet, measuring, etc, most vets will be ok so long as your dog looks healthy. They might not be thrilled, but they probably wont bug you too much and might have some good suggestions.

And then there is the average dog owner.... for example, a puppy I see a lot with a weird unhealthy coat whose owners feed it "the best" and "none of that kibble crap". ApparentLy that means steaks, and raw food and human dinner. I mentioned calcium, they were like "oh, we give him bones to chew on, but nothing he can swallow and he eats meat." This is a 60 lb 6 or 7 month old puppy, I am really concerned for its joints. Basically - don't be that owner, who is probably who vets immediately think of when they hear raw, or the crazy no-vaccine no preventatives no supplements or medications but organic wheatgrass juice owner, and most vets will be fine :)
Lol this is so true 😂😂
Don't worry, vets are used to clients not listening to them half the time anyways lol.
If you otherwise show you are a conscientious pet owner and that you are being careful to provide a properly balanced diet, they will likely just advise against it but not give you a hard time.
Do be aware that if you need to leave your dog somewhere, a lot of vets and some kennels will not take raw due to concerns about other animals with weaker immune systems being exposed. Freeze-dried raw or home cooked are short term alternatives in this case.
 
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