Raw Feeding is the practice of feeding
pets, especially dogs, what is believed to be a species-appropriate diet
largely consisting of uncooked meat. Practitioners often cite evidence
that domesticated dogs have very similar gastrointestinal systems to
wolves. Raw feeders are commonly opposed to commercial dog foods, which they believe to be harmful. There exist other moral,
health and cost reasons as well.
One popular raw diet is the "Bones and Raw Food" model which includes
non-meats and numerous
supplements along with careful preparation and measuring. Another model is a
"Whole Prey" diet which simulates the proportions of an actual prey animal in a
pet's diet. This includes organ meat, heads, fur (and feathers and scales),
skin, muscle, and bone, but no other
Proponents of raw feeding are often vehement in their belief of its
superiority to a commercial diet as it affects the health, disposition and
longevity of their pets. It is believed by many raw feeders that
veterinarians (the majority of whom are opposed to raw feeding) are influenced
by academic departments that rely upon funding from pet food
companies and by their own desire to profit from selling special dietary
commercial pet food.
Opponents of raw feeding cite the dangers of dental fractures, bacterial
contamination, parasites, GI obstruction, and dietary imbalances.
Most, if not all, specific evidence that raw feeding is beneficial is
anecdotal, limited to the experiences of a few authors and website maintainers.