Is the AVMA Trying to Ban Raw Diets for Dogs?

My dog Rocco eats his raw diets for dogsThe American Veterinary Medical Association passed a resolution in early August of 2012 to discourage the feeding of raw diets for dogs. Apart from causing uproar among proponents of natural pet nutritional practices the underlying suggestion is that the AVMA is showing signs of desperation at the growing numbers of dog owners, realizing that commercial pet foods are unsafe are trending towards a more suitable healthier natural based alternative. I will discuss what happened and what this means for you.

What is the AVMA Afraid of?

The AVMA stated in its July 18th 2012 press release that if approved this would be the association’s policy and would not become federal or state law. Instead, the association determined to introduce this policy in an attempt to “mitigate public health risks” frequently connected to food products that do not go through standard measures to eradicate possible pathogens.

Nevertheless, pet food industry critics counter that such a public policy by a major pet health organization could potentially arm large commercial pet food manufacturers with greater lobbying power to pressure future legislation to ban raw pet food.

This raises serious questions about our freedom as pet owners to choose the food we feel most comfortable with. And considering the alarming rate of commercial pet food recalls in recent years, consumers more than ever have decided to take the feeding of their pets into their own capable hands by choosing to feed a raw food dog diet.

Pet food retailers can’t help you

Pet food retailers sell pet food. They can recommend different varieties but usually have little or no nutritional understanding of the intricate process by which your dog processes food through its body and what actually are your dog’s biological and nutritional needs. Try asking about raw meat diets for dogs and see the response you get?

Vets… do they know any better?

While most pet food retailers know little about pet food and have no real detailed knowledge about canine nutrition, the same can be said of veterinarians believe it or not. However, the majority of dog owners are still under the impression that their dogs vet knows best when it comes to nutrition. Do you take your vets advice as gospel?

Vets generally are well intentioned and love animals so what’s the problem?

Veterinary academic institutions offer very little and only rudimentary education in the area of animal nutrition, which regular folks like you and me have little awareness of.

As stated by Dr Sergio Canello, internationally known Italian veterinarian and holistic nutritionist:

“I had the opportunity to discuss this matter with some U.S. colleagues, and I found out that nutrition is not taught enough in universities, “When nutrition is involved, some pet shops owners prefer to suggest a new kind of diet to pet owners; sometimes they know more about a new solution than vets.”

Vets on the whole have no nutritional adequacy as if by design from the top down which allows the influence and marketing tactics of the large pet food manufacturers to offer financial incentives to sell their pet food products through their practices. Furthermore, pet food companies regularly infiltrate veterinary campuses to sign up future vets for this intention. As veterinarians train and work just as long and hard as people doctors, yet make significantly less money, this tends to make it an attractive proposal

In general traditional vets are not familiar with alternative nutritional choices for pets and discourage, reject or get plain indignant when a dog owner having switched their dog over to  raw food diets for dogs starts extolling the virtues and health benefits of this new feeding regime.

The ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ Mentality-What it Means?

The result of all this is a disjointed system with the professionals on one side holding onto their prestige, power and ideology, alternative pet food advocates who have educated themselves through personal research with the help of raw nutritionists like myself and pet food retailers caught in the middle with no real direction at all.

Now more than ever, vets are at odds with each other about the efficacy of pet nutrition. The holistic approach to pet care has gained so much ground in recent years and now more than ever raw food diets for dogs is seen as the best approach as more and more dog owners are sharing their success with this way of feeding.

The reason the American Veterinary Medical Association took such measures is directly because they now feel threatened for the first time in their long reign as the supreme power over regular pet owner’s decisions on how they care for their pets. The misguided resolution against the feeding of a raw pet food diet has shown their hand as intractable closed minded elites whose ultimate goal is power and prestige, not the welfare of pets.

The backlash of such shortsightedness resulted in one such petition by Connecticut pet lover Susan Zevola through social activist platform with than 3,936 signatures. Many veterinarian names were added to the list as they had openly been feeding raw diets with success or were keen to explore this natural approach to pet feeding having witnessed the improvements in their customer’s pets.

The signal this sends is that the AVMA clearly stands behind the industrial pet food power houses with their financial interest dictating the AVMA’s role. As Dr. Laurie Coger of Albany, N.Y. stated, “Clearly, this policy is showing AVMA is the puppet of the pet food industry.” The fact that there have been so many health scares from contaminated re-called pet food, calls for certain additives in pet food to be banned, no actual mandated laws controlling pet food manufacturers along with a national age of death for dogs of just 12.5 years when they have the genetic potential to live into their twenties underlines the AVMA’s closed minded mentality.

What this means for you?

Young girl hugs her Golden LabradorThe AVMA have shown their hand and practically told the pet owning world they are tied to big business interests and not here to help advance better support for people and their pets. As I’ve stated many times before, this means you must take responsibility for your dog or cat. Learn about the alternatives in nutrition for your pet and become educated. Not surprisingly it’s no harder than feeding your children, can be learned and practiced within a few weeks and the benefits as expressed by the thousands of happy pet owners that have come before you is testament to pet owning people power and their super happy healthy dogs and cats.

Please share your comments below… how do you feel about what’s going on?

About Dan

Dan is an experienced dog nutrition and home remedy specialist, helping pet parents heal chronic dog health problems with healthier kibble, home cooked and raw food diets and using effective, safer natural home remedies for a healthier, happier and longer lived dog.


  1. The raw diet is seen by many as a ‘miracle cure’ and owners new to raw marvel at the improvements to their dog’s health once they have been swapped over to a raw method of feeding. But this diet is not a ‘miracle cure’ – it is simply the correct way to feed your dog and when you do this, diet related complaints, which have been caused by feeding your dog a commercial diet will almost always disappear.

  2. Hi Marcus, the miracle in todays fast food culture is that fresh food will cure 9/10 dog health complaints, but your right, it’s simply the correct way to feed. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I agree that a raw food diet is the way to go. But, that being said a lot of people just do not have the financial means to feed a raw diet. it is much more expensive to buy organic meat than to buy a kibble and most people will not look beyond that.
    I at times have had to resort to a high end kibble just because I couldn’t afford organic meat and there’s no use in feeding conventionally raised meat because it has more toxins in it than the organic kibble.
    So I can see both sides of the story and if I had plenty of money there is no question that I would be feeding a pure raw diet.

  4. Hi Barbara,

    The overall cost of keeping a dog for life with fresh food will always come out cheaper than the conventional route of feeding kibbles and having to fork out for veterinary costs particularly in the senior years. Vets cost a fortune and growing. Fresh food costs more than canned or kibble but even that can be reduced a lot with a few ideas I provide via my book and video membership portal.

    Conventional meats from grass fed animals (non organic) – there is no comparison to organic kibble. The meat is fresh and human quality standard while the organic kibble is cooked fast food therefor nutritionally useless.

    I understand your concern but never overlook the fact that your dog is your life equal in my book to another human member of the family and to be fed with respect for it’s nutritional needs. We must step away from the mass hypnosis that dogs eat commercial fast food 24/7.

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