Most of us aren’t going to get veterinarians to change their opinions about raw dog food, but there are still ways to get them to work with us.
Hopefully many of you have found wonderful veterinarians who support raw and encourage raw dog food diets.
Let me know your experience in the comments section (good or bad). I might even feature some of your stories in an upcoming post.
In general, raw dog food diets are becoming more popular. There are probably hundreds of raw dog food companies these days, making it much easier for dog owners to safely feed a balanced raw diet without much effort.
As more people begin feeding raw dog food, vets will not be able to shrug raw diets off as a “fad” any longer.
Still, it seems like the majority of veterinarians continue to promote standard dry dog food as a perfectly acceptable, healthy option. I see where they’re coming from, because that is what the majority of dog owners can afford. Only a small percentage of dog owners are even interested in feeding raw.
How to talk to a traditional vet about raw dog food
For those of us who would like to feed raw food, it would be nice if more veterinarians would be at least open to discussing the options, correct?
I’d really love to hear your ideas on this, but first I’ll share some of my ideas on how to bring up raw diets with traditional veterinarians. Please let me know your experience in the comments.
First, don’t give the vet an opportunity to say no.
This means it’s best to avoid questions such as, “Do you recommend raw diets?” Or, “What do you think of raw diets?”
These types of questions make it too easy for the vet to dismiss raw and recommend Science Diet.
Instead, the discussion needs to start with something like, “I am feeding my dog a homemade raw diet, and I really like how it’s going. Do you have any suggestions?”
Or, “I’m feeding my dog Stella & Chewy’s, and it’s going really well. What do you think of this brand?”
In my experience, vets are more open to the idea of raw food once they realize you have already done your research and are either feeding raw already or are seriously thinking about doing so.
Vets truly do care about their clients, and they are generally willing to talk about raw food if they’re approached the right way.
Schedule an appointment to specifically talk about diet
Diet is usually a three-second conversation during the average wellness exam, right?
“What are you feeding him?”
“OK.” (Then moves on to the next question.) “Is he on any flea prevention?”
You can make a point to bring the attention back to your dog’s diet, but I’ve found it works best to set up a 15-minute phone consultation or an actual appointment to specifically talk about raw food.
This forces the vet to be prepared to discuss raw and to be more open to the idea. It also shows how important it is to you and that you care about the vet’s feedback.
When I originally started feeding my dog Ace a commercial raw diet a few years ago, I set up a phone call with his vet to talk for 10 minute or so about the idea. While she is the type of vet to recommend and sell Science Diet, she was very open to talking about raw food and gave me some valuable ideas.
[quote_center]”Because I took the time to explain my thoughts and she took the time to listen, we were able to find common ground …”[/quote_center]
For example, she thought I should start with chicken since that is what Ace’s dry food was made from. She also thought I should try the “slow transition” route of mixing the dry food with raw food and gradually weeding out the dry. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for Ace. She went on to say that some of her clients were feeding a homemade raw diet and had shown her some of the recipes for feedback.
Had I simply asked her, “Do you think I should be feeding raw?” she probably would’ve said no. But because I took the time to explain my thoughts and she took the time to listen, we were able to find common ground and work together for Ace’s sake.
Sure, you can feed your dog raw without a vet to back you up, but it is nice to have a vet on your side.
You could always find a different vet
If your dog’s vet doesn’t support raw food, perhaps it’s better to just move on and find a different vet. I realize some people don’t have that option. If you’re in a small town there may only be one vet.
You could search online for someone in the region who markets themselves as a “holistic vet,” but holistic vets are not the only vets that support raw diets.
The best way to find a vet who supports raw may be to find other dog owners who feed raw and ask them which vet they use. Most will probably say they haven’t found one, but eventually you may come across someone who has.
If your area has a natural pet food store, the workers there may also be able to recommend a good vet. Obedience clubs and breeders are other good resources.
What it comes down to is vets should not be ignoring the benefits of raw diets anymore. As dog owners become more and more informed about the importance of real food in their dogs’ diets, more vets are going to be on board as well because that’s what their clients want.
It may seem difficult at times, but we are heading in the right direction.
What is your experience as far as talking to vets about raw food?
Want to sign up for my exclusive raw dog food newsletter?
This is a separate email I send out about once a week for people interested in raw feeding. Just enter your email to get my tips & recipes.