Ezine Head
July 26th, 2012     Volume 3, Issue 30 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 Editor's Note

It's a sad day in the animal kingdom as the AVMA, a leading authority on animal healthcare, announced their plan to adopt a policy on raw pet foods that will discourage veterinarians and pet owners from feeding dogs and cats raw food diets. (Read more about this in the “Raw Knowledge” section below. )

It appears that the AVMA has failed to recognize that dogs have thrived on raw foods for centuries...WAY before the introduction of commercially prepared pet foods came along in the mid-1800s.

Before the kibbles and canned foods of the world, dogs would go out, catch, and kill their prey or feast on scavenged foods found in the wild. They did not fear risk of bacteria or illness. The high acid environment of their digestive system and the presence of live, active enzymes found in the raw food they ate helped to expedite the digestive process and minimize risk of illness from bacteria. So we know that dogs can handle the normal amounts of bacteria that may be present in raw foods.
Cooked foods - on the other hand - are a different story.

Dry and canned pet foods are heat-treated and therefore lack the enzyme levels necessary for optimal digestion. That is why dry and canned dog food diets stay in your dog's digestive tract an average of 4-6 hours longer than raw foods do. So when you hear that salmonella-tainted dry dog food has sickened pets, it's because the food has stayed in their system much longer than intended so the risk for illness is monumentally higher.
The AVMA has cited the risk of illness in both animal and humans as their reasoning behind adopting this policy on raw diets. While we've already addressed the concerns over animals getting sick from contaminated foods, what about the risk to humans?

As the recent dry dog food recalls from Diamond, Solid Gold, Natural Balance, Wellness, and numerous other pet food manufacturers proves, cooked pet foods are not exempt from the risk of salmonella infection and other bacterial contaminants. Yet according to number of pet food recalls over the last few years, dry and canned pet foods are much more likely to cause cross contamination and illness in humans.

Why?

Because most pet owners believe that kibble and canned food diets are free of bacteria. These foods are supposedly "safe" to leave out all day for our dogs and cats to graze on. They're "safe" enough to be kept in the pantry unrefrigerated for months on end without spoiling.
So unlike raw diets, which people know must be handled in the same manner that raw meat for humans is handled (washing hands, utensils, working surfaces, and feeding bowls with hot, soapy water), dry dog food diets are handled more casually - like a bowl of peanuts at the local dive bar. Yet we should really keep in mind that all pet food - both raw and cooked alike - should be handled with the same sanitary protocols to avoid illness.

The AVMA has until August to make their decision. In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to help spread the word and support the rights of pet owners to feed their pets what they feel is best. The first step is to forward this newsletter to your pet-loving friends and family. The second is to read this week's article below.
Sincerely,
Amber_sign

Amber Keiper & the rest of the BARF World team

P.S. There is still much to say about this subject of raw food policy. We invite you to share your comments and concerns on the BARF World blog: www.barfworld.com/blog.

 Pet Alert!
sweet potatoe
7/20/2012 - Sweet Potato Treats Added To FDA Watch List.
Update
Wolf 3/9/2012 - FDA continues to caution consumers about feeding dogs chicken jerky products.
Wolf
6/30/2012 - Pedigree Brand Wet Dog Food (Mars)
Wolf
5/20/2012 - Diamond Expands Recall! [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
Wolf
5/10/2012 - Purina Veterinary Diets Overweight Management Feline Formula (Nestle Purina)
solid recall
5/8/2012 - Solid Gold WolfKing Large Breed (Solid Gold Health Products for Pets, Inc. )
4health
5/5/2012 - 4Health [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
Wolf
5/5/2012 - Canidae [Various Flavors] (Canidae Pet Foods)
Wolf5/5/2012 - Chicken Soup For The Pet Lover's Soul [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
4health
5/5/2012 - Country Value [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
Wolf 5/5/2012 - Premium Edge [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods) 4health
5/5/2012 - Professional [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
Wolf
5/5/2012 - Taste of the Wild [Various Flavors] (Diamond Pet Foods)
Wolf5/4/2012 - Apex Chicken & Rice (Apex Pet Foods)
NB
5/4/2012 - Natural Balance - Various Flavors (Natural Balance Pet Foods)
Wolf
5/4/2012 - Wellness Complete Health Super5Mix Large Breed Puppy (Wellpet LLC)

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 Raw Knowledge

The Beginning of the End for Raw Pet Food?

By Amber Keiper
dog_sign

It has been reported all over the World Wide Web that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is proposing to put through a policy discouraging pet owners from feeding their dogs and cats a raw food diet. So the question is, who is the AVMA and why are they so against us feeding our pets raw food?

Read on, intelligent pet parent, as we uncover truth. . .
Who is the AVMA?
The AVMA is a non-profit association that represents veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services. The AVMA “acts as a collective voice for its membership and profession. ”

Their funding comes from their charity foundation, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). For details on who their major donors are, see “Just The Facts” section below.
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What is the proposed policy about?

The proposed policy that the AVMA is planning to vote in states:

“The AVMA discourages the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs as well as humans. . . To mitigate public health risks associated with feeding inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs, the AVMA recommends the following:
  • Never feed inadequately treated animal-source protein to cats and dogs.
  • Restrict cats' and dogs' access to carrion and animal carcasses (eg, while hunting).
  • Provide fresh, clean, nutritionally balanced and complete commercially prepared or home-cooked food to cats and dogs, and dispose of uneaten food at least daily.
  • Practice personal hygiene (eg. handwashing) before and after feeding cats and dogs, providing treats, cleaning pet dishes, and disposing of uneaten food. ”

(Click Here to read the full document. )

According to the AVMA, their concern is that raw, uncooked animal protein diets may possibly pose risks of infection with Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. They go on to say that these infections can sicken pets as well as people and recommend that foods be treated with high levels of heat or irradiated to destroy any pathogens.

How safe is raw meat for dogs?
The reality is, our pets are designed by nature to thrive on raw, uncooked foods. Their bodies can handle the normal levels of bacteria found in raw diets and rely on the live enzymes from raw foods for proper digestion and utilization of nutrients.
By feeding our pets heat-processed or irradiated pet foods, we put unnecessary stress on their digestive and immune systems. Over time, this stressful environment puts our dogs and cats in jeopardy of nutrient deficiencies and a compromised immune system, which can cause various health problems such as allergies, digestive problems, musculoskeletal issues and even cancer.
Pet owners that may be skeptical about the safety of raw pet food should take into consideration that all pet foods - whether raw or cooked - have the possibility of spreading infection. Take for example the recent salmonella outbreaks from May 2012 where 12 separate dry and canned pet food manufacturers had to recall thousands of pounds of pet food because of Salmonella contamination.

As you can see, raw pet food isn't the only one that carries the risk of illness. Nevertheless, it always seems to be the scapegoat in these situations.

Safety First When Feeding Fido
Pet foods and treats (both raw and cooked) may contain bacteria that could cause illness if mishandled. Keep pet food items separate from other foods. To reduce risk of contamination, wash working surfaces, utensils and hands with hot soapy water after each feeding.

Why is this policy causing such uproar among raw diet advocates?
While the AVMA does not have any direct regulatory power, they are seen as an authority on veterinary care and therefore could have some clout with state and federal policymakers.

Just the Facts:
(Taken directly from the AVMF website)
donors

The fear is that the AVMA's actions are the beginning of a larger-scaled attack on raw pet food.

There are also some veterinarians that are worried that the passage of this policy will cause them to be ousted if they continue to recommend raw food diets to their clients.

How Can I Help?
  1. Sign the petition and announce to the AVMA that you support a pet owner's right to feed their pets what they feel is best for them.
  2. Contact the AVMA directly and voice your concerns about their proposed policy on raw food:
Phone:
1-800-248-2862

Fax:
1-847-925-1329

Email:
avmainfo@avma.org
Mail:
American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
        3. Spread the word to your fellow pro-raw friends             and family!

Please forward this article and repost on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking outlets. It's time for us to stand up and fight for our right to feed raw!



Amber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. . She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud "BARF brats" - a terrier mix named Chewbacca ("Chewy") and a tabby mix named Chiquita ("Chiqui"). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

 Tail Us What You Think

Got something to say? Well we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to send your comments about our articles to ezine@barfworld.com. You can also share pictures, stories, jokes or whatever dog-related content you'd like. Hey, we may even post it on the next issue of The Intelligent Pet!

Here are some responses from last week's article on “Pit Bulls Get The Wrong End Of The Stick”:

“I'm a fairly new subscriber, but love the articles and news info you guys provide!

Friends of mine adopted a pit bull a few years ago. They weren't sure about her temperament or how she would react to strangers. They asked a male friend of theirs to "break" into their home to see the dogs' reaction (not the best idea, I'll admit). To their surprise and joy, the dog brought the fake intruder a toy of hers.

When I first met her, I made the mistake of sitting in her favorite chair. This fearsome black brindled pit bull proceeded to jump on my lap and lick my face clean. Truly dangerous! ;)

There are no bad dogs, but sadly there are plenty of bad owners. Thank you for loving all pets, the same way I love mine! I have 2 dogs and 3 cats, they all love their raw diet!”

-Brianne Vander Neut, loyal TIP ezine reader

“I cannot thank you enough for bringing attention to Pit Bull discrimination in your article entitled "Pit Bulls Get the Wrong End of the Stick". I could not agree with you more! I am the owner of an 80 lb. blue nosed Pit Bull named Maggie. Maggie is a rescue. When my fiance and I decided to rescue Maggie, she was a six month old, painfully frail waif of a thing, riddled with obvious infections to both her skin and ears. We feared (and still suspect) that Maggie was a former bait dog and victim in dog fighting. Despite my reservations (as I too had fed into the pit bull stereotype) it was my fiance, who first saw Maggie and fell in love.
Maggie_pit Nadia's sweet, affectionate pit bull, Maggie loves to smile for the camera.

Despite the obvious abuse that she has endured, Maggie is by far one of the sweetest dogs that I have ever encountered. She is incredibly smart, obedient and a true clown! She truly is an inspiration, not only in our household, but to all abused Pit bulls worldwide. I cannot tell you the amount of times we walk Maggie and are asked if we fight her. It's horrifying! I even have a collection of business cards at home in which people have handed to us in regard to Maggie.

During our many animated discussions regarding Pit Bulls, my fiance and I share the same view in blaming the owners. Due to their incredible strength, in the wrong hands, pit bulls are almost used as weapons and are abused and trained as such. However, with tender loving care, they respond in kind, and make the best of friends. . .ours is a shining example! We cannot imagine our lives without her.

I am and will forever remain a huge fan of these dogs and try to pay it forward by consistently donating to the ASPCA and introducing Maggie to everyone. Even those who originally fear her fall in love.

Below is a link - Maggie was featured in a Prospect Park blog as the Greenmarket dog of the day:

http://ayearinthepark.typepad.com/prospect_a_year_in_the_pa/greenmarket/

Thank you again, from both Maggie and myself!”

-Nadia Nelson from Brooklyn, NY


“You hit the nail right on the head.  There are PLENTY of examples of these fabulous dogs doing great things.  I personally fostered several, fell in love with one, adopted her, and then adopted another male later.

My male is awesome enough to be a therapy dog. He's calm, sweet, loving, funny, and smart.  He'd never hurt his 2 legged sister and brother, both in the single digits in terms of age.  My female is super sweet, though a little high-strung and paranoid, but still, even when frightened she's never snappy.  The PB's I've fostered have just been WONDERFUL. Look at the Vick dogs. Most have rehabbed quite well despite what they've went through.  

Yes, there are bad PB's but there are also bad dogs in other breeds. My grandmother just had one of her Chihuahuas attack and kill another of her chi's.  So any dog can be dangerous and most can be quite sweet given the proper care. ”

-Blog reader, Momtra
 Bark Out Loud

Salmonella-Tainted Kibble Causes Illness in 49 People

bad kibble

"At least 49 people have fallen ill since October in a Salmonella Infantis outbreak linked to dog and cat food manufactured at a Diamond Pet Foods facility in Gaston, South Carolina, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its final outbreak update. That case count has risen from 22 since the CDC's previous update on June 13. "

(Click Here for full article)

Wags of Wisdom:

"It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. "
-
Henry David Thoreau

"Every boy who has a dog should also have a mother, so the dog can be fed regularly"
-
Anonymous

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