Raw vs. Kibble

What veterinarians who specialize in canine nutrition are saying about the commercial kibble industry


Alfred Plechner, D.V.M

“The most common and most visible symptoms of nutritionally caused deficiencies are allergies of one kind or another. Because many commercial foods are woefully deficient in key nutrients, the long-term effect of these foods makes the dog hypersensitive to its environment. . . . It’s a dinosaur effect. Animals are being programmed for disaster, for extinction. Many of them are biochemical cripples with defective adrenal glands unable to manufacture adequate Cortisol, a hormone vital for health and resistance to disease.” Allergies can be, and often are, unrecognized deficiency diseases.

Roger S Meacock BVSc, MRCVS

Published in United Kingdom Veterinary Times January 11, 2010

Why profession `risks’ losing all credibility

Dear editor,

Thank God for David Coffey (Letters; November 30 issue). The truth will always get out somehow, regardless of how others would suppress it. In referencing the relevant studies by J P Scott indicating the domestic dog is a wolf in fancy dress, David Coffey has, in my view, provided proof to justify the imperative that we should be feeding our domestic carnivores (dogs and cats) on a species-appropriate diet. In the absence of whole prey, this is best approximated to the raw meaty bones diet as described by Tom Lonsdale.

It is shameful to see how many dentistry articles have been published of late, following the British Veterinary Dental Association’s (BVDA) acceptance of the continued sponsorship by Hill’s, where supposedly specialist authors recommend commercial diets, dental chews and tooth brushing for our pets as an efficacious way of keeping our pets’ teeth clean, when human dentistry research indicates how useless this is. We only need to go as far as watching television advertisements to discover research indicates that mouth washes are as fundamental to oral hygiene as tooth brushing. Are we going to recommend adding mouth washing too, with instructions to owners to get pets to spit it out? The use of a toothbrush within the BVDA logo further demonstrates how low the profession has sunk.

If any vets honestly think that tooth brushing is practical, I suggest they allow someone else to wield their own toothbrush for a few minutes a day and monitor the increase in their own “dog breath”. Now imagine this practice with a low-belt ninja cat, with an owner who struggles to groom it, or an elderly owner who has trouble gripping his or her own toothbrush through arthritis trying to restrain and clean the teeth of a wriggling terrier? If some gullible owner tries this on the aforementioned cat, I wonder who is legally liable for any injuries caused? If the disease implications of poor oral hygiene weren’t so serious it would be laughable.

The solution has been known and written about in human dentistry journals as far back as 1947, when Sir Frank Colyer commented about periodontal disease. “Cats and dogs which lead a freer life and obtain a diet more nearly approaching their natural food, are practically free from the disease.” It is criminal that the veterinary profession has largely ignored the evidence in favour of commercialism, instead preferring to shoot down subsequent messengers for daring to suggest there is a problem. These early observations were reinforced by Colin Harvey in 1993, when he stated: “In a healthy dog or cat, fed a `natural’ diet that requires tearing and separation of swallowable pieces, the teeth and gingival tissues are largely self-cleaning; that is, plaque is wiped off before it has time to mature to a pathogenic thickness and bacterial mix.” When the proper diet is capable of doing the job, there is no justification for recommending sub-optimal practices, especially when they become a source of revenue when inadequately cleaned teeth lead to subsequent diseases.

Matthew Watkinson (letters; November 30 issue) seems to believe the majority opinion will prevail. I hope he is wrong. Regardless of what we do as a profession, those members of the public who can see the truth for what it is are a growing band who are fast learning that the profession would appear to very much have lost its way. At some point, I feel that realisation will reach a critical mass and we risk losing our social standing and all credibility, too.

Yours faithfully,

Roger S Meacock BVSc, MRCVS
Natural Healing Solutions

Dr. Ian Billinghurst, B.V.Sc.(Hons), BSc.Agr., Dip.Ed.

“The sad truth is that prepared pet foods help provide patients for vets.”

“Raw chicken does of course carry bacteria, e.g., Salmonella. These are of absolutely no consequence to a healthy dog.”

“As a veterinary student in the early seventies, I found it hard to understand why Aussie vets had fewer and simpler dog and cat diseases to deal with than the Americans. It seemed to make the Aussie vet somehow inferior. We did not need to be trained to the same high degree of complexity and sophistication. There was a simple explanation. At that time, more than seventy percent of Aussie dogs were still fed raw bones and scrapes. They were still pretty healthy. American dogs had been eating processed food and no bones for decades. They had developed a wide range of problems. Their vets had been forced to develop a complex set of diagnostic and therapeutic tools to deal with them. I need not have worried. Our dogs’ disease problems are increasing on a par with their increasing consumption of processed and cooked foods. We Aussie vets now have to be as good as our American counterparts to deal with them. There are many reasons why the commercial pet foods have never been close to a dog’s natural diet. Those reasons include the fact that they are based on grain, and that they are cooked.”

Dr. Richard Pitcairn, DVM

“…When I began to suggest the feeding of raw meat I found animals becoming more healthy even without other treatment. Indeed, I have frequently had the report that people find their animals become healthy when they make this change and diseases for which they were hoping to have treatment (on a waiting list) have disappeared. Since that time, other veterinarians have told me similar things about the use of raw meat. I do not have numbers but I think the veterinarians recommending raw meat in the US are in the hundreds. My experience, albeit clinical and not based on studies, is that my patients have improved health on a raw diet. Furthermore, I have not seen significant parasite problems. Dogs and cats, being carnivores by nature, are meant to eat raw meat and do not have a problem doing so.”

“Although we have come to accept commercial foods as being normal or natural ways to feed animals (and indeed ourselves), in fact they are not. They are simply what we’ve gotten used to in the last few decades. But nothing we can produce commercially ever can rival those mysteriously complex foods manufactured for eons by nature itself.”

“All processed pet foods – whether sold in cans, bags, or frozen packages, in either giant supermarket chains or local health food stores – are missing something that seems to me to be one of the most important “nutrients” of all. This key ingredient is something nutritional scientists have practically ignored. But when it’s there, you and I can know it and feel it. It is a quality found only in freshly grown, uncooked whole foods. It’s life energy.”

“The many objections we can make about the nutritional quality of animal convenience foods boil down to two basic types: these foods don’t contain things we wish they did, and do contain things we wish they didn’t… The two basic problems are linked together as an unhappy pair because the presence of various toxins and pollutants actually increases the body’s needs for high quality nutrients necessary for combating or eliminating these contaminants. When the overall nutrition is already lower that it should be, we are inviting trouble.”

William Pollak, DVM

Poor nutrition is one of the major contributors to our pet’s lower life expectancy. By feeding our pets most commercially available pet foods, we are unintentionally depriving these animals of important nutrients needed for sustaining the states of greater Wellness that their genetic material encodes. “The results of a clinical trial suggest that 74.7% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be eliminated without medical intervention over a period of one year with proper diet modifications and an understanding of the healing process as exhibited through healing episodes. Approaching disease from the perspective of health is the most powerful means of eliminating disease. Poor fuel makes for little momentum in life. The commercial food we are feeding is the disease we are treating – so treat on and on, curing one disease after another, again and again”.

“Health is an inevitable by-product of natural raw foods for our pets.”

“Survival is insured by commercial food; nothing more; not health, not the robustness for life.”

“In the wild, no one cooks for the coyote or wolf; no one brushes their teeth. Their foods are raw and unprocessed.”

“Eating supermarket pet foods is like eating cardboard. Our pets just get by on them…”

Christina Chambreau, DVM

 “Meat should be raw. Cooking destroys enzymes and denatures the proteins rendering them less digestible to cats and dogs.”

“Dogs and cats need raw meat to be really healthy and even the best processed foods cook their good ingredients, & most commercially available foods, even the expensive ones, use the cheapest ingredients (that means dead, diseased and decaying meat & by-products).”


Tom Lonsdale, DVM

“Raw meaty bones promote health.”

“Dingoes and feral cats keep themselves healthy by eating whole carcasses. The closer you come to this ideal for pet dogs and cats the better.”

“As the natural pet food industry increases, so the artificial industry, together with its harmful effects, should go into decline… No more slurping of canned stew, no more rattle of dry pellets; instead, the sounds of nature, the crunching of raw meaty bones.”

Dr. Wendell O. Belfield, DVM

“Their pets may have diarrhoea, increased flatulence, a dull hair coat, intermittent vomiting or prolonged scratching. These are common symptoms associated with commercial pet foods.” In 1981, as Martin Zucker and I wrote “How to Have a Healthier Dog”, we discovered the full extent of negative effects that commercial pet food has on animals. In February 1990, San Francisco Chronicle staff writer John Eckhouse went even further with an exposé entitled “How Dogs and Cats Get Recycled into Pet Food”.

Dr. Charles E. Loops, DVM

“The best diet is a raw food diet.”

“Science Diet & Hill’s dog & cat food products are not good diets. They use chemical preservatives that have been shown to cause problems in some animals & they use by-products, which are words on the ingredient label that need to be avoided at all costs. This generally means food not utilized for human consumption.”


Dr. Alicia McWatters, Ph.D.

“Fresh, raw foods contain the highest level of enzymes and these enzymes assist in digestion. Cooked foods and dry convenient diets have been denatured and are devoid of enzymes: life-promoting elements. While they may maintain life they do not promote optimum health or longevity!”

Did you know that your veterinarian gets almost no education on feeding your canine companion? Most universities provide their students with one day of propaganda hosted and sponsored by a commercial kibble company.


Is Commercial Kibble Right for Your Pet ?

A Look at the Dog Food Industry:

Why do some veterinarians misrepresent the benefits of feeding a raw natural diet and promote the practice of feeding an inferior commercial kibble diet?

For many it is ignorance, for others it is more calculated.

Science Diet (Hills Company) is a Platinum Corporate Sponsor of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). This is why Science Diet was able to pass off their products as pet food. The following list of ingredients is a sample of the shockingly inferior products that are designed to make Hill’s Company and the vets that sell their products very wealthy. I would submit that no dog could eat the following chemicals, grains and by-products and be healthy. I encourage all dog owners to read the ingredient list of their pet’s food.

Hill’s® Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach


Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Egg Product, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Flaxseed, Soybean Oil, Oat Fiber, Dried Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, preserved with mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Items that pass Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for dog food

AAFCO Approval

The Dog food industry is primarly self-regulating. AAFCO provides guidence, but the list of allowable food materials is shocking. The following is a example of some of the ingrediants AAFCO permints for use in pet foods:

  • Dehydrated garbage
  • Undried processed animal waste products
  • Polyethylene roughage replacement (plastic)
  • Hydrolyzed poultry feathers
  • Hydrolyzed hair
  • Hydrolyzed leather meal
  • Poultry hatchery by-product
  • Meat meal tankage
  • Peanut hulls
  • Ground almond shells

(Association of American Feed Control Officials, 1998 Official Publication)