My veterinarian is anti-raw. What do I do?
Not everyone has yet made the transition to raw diets for their pets, or patients, in the case of a veterinarian. And it is alright. Since this is still a relatively new concept, it will take time for people to understand and accept it. However, you need to keep in mind certain points when you’re interacting with your vet, the tech or the administrative staff.
Be respectful when interacting with your veterinarian and the staff at the clinic. Yes, you are possibly anxious because your pet is sick but staying calm and respectful is important in your interaction.
Remember, your vet is a qualified medical practitioner who has the expertise and knowledge to treat any injury or illness in your pet. They also possess nutritional knowledge and may make supplemental recommendations to treat your pet. You will also need to engage with the vet’s support team, whether it’s the technicians, administrators or other staff. Consider them as extensions of your vet and maintain the right respect to allow the clinic to operate smoothly.
Yes, you are the primary caregiver and your decision is final when it comes to your pet’s diet, but listen respectfully to your vet’s suggestions as well.
Do not keep any diet-related secrets from your vet even if they are anti-raw. This is important when it comes to assessing your pet’s health and providing the right treatment. Provide detailed dietary information instead of being vague and evasive with your responses to diet related questions.
If your pet is on a home diet, inform the vet about whether it’s all raw, or cooked or a combination of the two. Specify the intake, the ingredients and since when your pet has been on this diet. You are more likely to find less acceptance of raw diets over cooked. But listen to the vet’s concerns over imbalanced homemade diets as well. Disclose the supplements that you are feeding your pet. Some supplements may interfere with medications and your vet needs all the information in order to provide the best care and treatment for your furry family member.
Your vet might be anti-raw but that does not diminish their health concerns for your pet. Talk to them openly and address their issues with truthful answers. Do your research thoroughly and be willing to demonstrate to the vet that the homemade diet is nutritionally balanced, manages deficiencies, and is free from bacteria and parasites. List all ingredients in the diet and communicate what each contributes to your pet’s health. Many homemade diets also lack certain nutrition. Your vet will appreciate if you acknowledge those and demonstrate how you address those issues.
Many anti-raw vets are concerned about the presence of bacteria and parasites in the food, which could cause harm to the pet and the pet’s human family. However, there have been several tests conducted to show that if proper precautions are taken, this is not a health hazard. Lastly, the presence of parasites in your pet’s food can be cause for concern. Since the raw food is usually human grade, it does not contain parasites and freezing it for a few days before feeding it kills parasites.
Establish boundaries if you encounter an exceptionally pushy anti-raw veterinarian. Communicate your choice to feed fresh food only even while considering the cases that vets see almost on a day-to-day basis. Explain to the vet that is it possible to feed a balanced diet with fresh food, raw or cooked, and there is no justifiable reason to transition the pet to packaged processed food.
If your pet is required to stay at the clinic your pet might not have access to homemade food and you might not be comfortable with your pet eating processed food. Be willing to compromise and look for alternatives such as commercial freeze dried raw.
Your veterinarian might made suggestions and recommend changes your pet’s diet. These are born out of their professional experience and you might gain a new perspective by listening to them. For instance, your vet could have an opinion about feeding whole raw meaty bones, and could recommend calcium supplements instead. There have been instances when pets have been rushed
to the vet with bone-related emergencies, so your vet’s concerns are understandable. But if you take care to feed safe raw meaty bones, your pet will be fine. Some vets might ask you to visit a canine or feline nutritionist to ensure the homemade diet is nutritionally balanced.
Finally, what to implement and what not to is your decision, but you could see yourself making improvements upon your pet’s homemade diet.
If you’re feeding your pet a nutritionally balanced diet, the results will speak for themselves. Your vet might bring up the topic a few times but be patient and eventually it will be seen that your dog’s health and energy levels are good, and it is safe to feed a raw diet.
Despite all your efforts, your vet might not show any inclination to change the anti-raw stance. Do not be disappointed, and accept that not everyone needs to think the same way as you. If your relationship with your vet is good on all other counts, you might wish to continue working with them for your pet’s sake. Remember, finding a pre-raw vet might not be easy.
Whether or not your vet is pro-raw, it is important to not worry about their opinion about your dietary decisions. Do not withhold any information from them and do not be afraid of their opinion. Develop and maintain a good working relationship, and hold your ground.