Reason #2 to Fire Your Vet: Raw Food Attitude

Party Line on Raw Food? Bye.

I’m still amazed by the reports I hear of Dr. WhiteCoat’s reaction to your real world Vital Animals. He’s not alone, of course. You’ve also told me people in the dog park are first amazed and then scared off when they hear you are feeding a raw food diet, no longer vaccinating, not using pesticides for fleas, ticks or heartworms.

Here’s a recent example from Jeri, who regularly inspires me with how much she’s learned about the Natural Path, and how adamant she is to see that her animals are kept from medical harm.

…our vet knew we fed raw. Occasionally a “relief vet” would be in the clinic taking that day’s work. I remember a time we went in for blood work and checkup, this vet ooohed and aaaahed about his teeth — how clean.

Did he just have a dental? No. She kept on asking questions, and I knew I would have to “go there”, so I laughed and said lightly “He’s raw fed.”

She looked at me in shock. Just ‘Oh….Oh…Oh…um…Well, there’s been a recall recently.’

Me: ‘Yes, I know. It doesn’t affect us.’

That was it. Education for her? No idea.
But clearly I had disturbed her world view. Later she saw my husband and wanted to give him the AVMA article resolution on raw….as if I weren’t already WELL acquainted with that little hypocritical ‘goose egg’ they laid. I told him about it and he laughed. Nothing like horse blinders on a vet.”

Raw Food Denial? Dangerous? Dismissed!!

Seeing the gorgeous outcome and then being taken aback about how this dog got to be so vital – what’s wrong with this picture?

I’ve seen many raw fed dogs and cats in my practice, and they are amazingly healthy. In fact, they rarely need my services! Shiny coats, gleaming white teeth, sweet breath, sound joints, and freedom from disease.

You’ve likely seen these guys, if you don’t already have one in your care.

But, if you have a preconceived notion (“Raw food is full of salmonella!”), and you haven’t seen the amazing results raw feeding brings, well, you might let your mind color what you are seeing and feeling right in front of you.

Denying your senses in favor of a fixed mindset? How’s that for living a life apart from reality?

Vets in The Box

The AVMA, with their strong ties to the pet food industry, passed a resolution against raw feeding of pets in 2012. To no one’s surprise, of course.

If you’re a vet who’s not thinking outside the box, here’s your fall back:

Raw food is edgy, weird, and crawling with salmonella.

The AVMA tells me so. So does main stream media.

And, when you’re busy making a living selling bags of kibble, [and repeatedly vaccinating animals (against all logic and science) and dispensing toxic pesticides against fleas and heartworm], your livelihood is at stake if you look at raw feeding as the true enhancement to health that it is.

“We don’t sell raw food here. We sell Science Diet! And Hill’s Prescription Diets!”

Hill’s. Same folks who donate their food to all the vet schools. Who actually “trained” us vets in nutrition. (Ha!)

Hill’s, who actually gives vet students free food for their pets while in vet school.

Now, lest you think dry kibble is somehow safer than raw food, you’ll want to know this next bit.

Kibble Quietly Recalled

Even though it’s apparent that the FDA is out to make life tough for the raw pet food manufacturers, don’t assume dry food-like particles (aka kibble) are somehow magically untainted.

Here’s a CDC final report on the damages from a salmonella outbreak associated with kibble, that involved multiple states. 49 cases, across 20 states.

Deaths? Zero.

How many dogs got sick? None were reported.

Here’s another kibble recall a year later, for widely recognized brands IAMS and Eukanuba.

Again: how many sickened? None reported.

How Many Die as a Result of These Horrible Pet Foods?

Great question, and Aspen Anderson, from Steve’s Real Food [a raw food I recommend] had a great analysis on relative risk recently, in Dogs Naturally Magazine.

You might assume with a monster government institution like the FDA seemingly very concerned with food borne illness in pet products, that people were dropping like flies across the country.

That assumption would actually be wildly wrong.

This CDC report revealed that, in 2009–10, in all the food borne illness in the U.S. (no pet foods listed) the following number of people died, from food borne bacteria that included salmonella, E. coli, and listeria:


Never mind the comparison with war casualties, automobile fatalities, or just plain deaths at the doorstep of conventional medicine, all of which are far, far greater.

This number was, coincidentally, the same number of deaths reported in 2013 from (drum roll, please)…

lightning strike.


Get On Board or Get Out of My Way!

So, if your vet isn’t yet understanding all this, or worse yet, actually has the clinic staff glove up to handle your raw fed animal (yes, this actually happens), your mission is clear:

Fire Your Vet!

Remember: vote with your pocketbook at every opportunity. How long do you want to financially support someone still living in the dark, by choice?

Tell us in the comments of your experiences of raw feeding and Dr. WhiteCoat’s response.

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  1. Starr on February 26, 2024 at 3:46 am

    We have had many dogs in our life. Currently we have 5 dogs, 2 labs and 3 Greyhounds. We have been feeding Raw for 5 years now. We grind and make our own food. Our dogs get a Raw chicken foot everyday. We also feed fresh Meaty beef bones strait from the butcher. (Femurs, Knuckles). The only vaccinations our dogs have ever received are when they were puppies. We keep them bathed and sprayed with only natural oils that keep them smelling good and not attractive to pest. And we do not have fleas or ticks on our dogs. The only reason we really ever see our vet is when the time has come for Euthanasia for our old dogs. And I pay extra for my Vet to come to our house to do this. Our dogs have all lived long healthy lives. But over the years I have had some unpleasant discussions with different Vets about Vaccinations and Raw Food. And what is funny the look on their faces when they witness our healthy dogs is priceless. Thank you, Dr Falconer or all your education, research, knowledge, advice etc etc. Knowledge is EVERYTHING. And having confidence to politely agree with, disagree with, and or fire Dr. Whitecoat is very important.

  2. Kim Lucci Elbualy on February 2, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Dr. Falkoner
    Any assistance for temp relief for dog, and homeopathic input.
    I have group of vets here in PA, one is trained in herbal acupuncture other two are traditional based, but know benefits of raw. They do not think my dog is hypothyroid, but I was worried and they took blood so I could send it to Dr. Dodd’s (homeopath). My vets here agreed to treat, but did not think it was an issue even though his results were off. Could this have been due to illness? His T4 (1.22, range 1.4-3.5) and Free T4 .84 (.85-2.3) were below range slightly and T3 (81.3, 30-70) and Free T3 (3.7, 1.6-3.5) were above range (which is not typical in Hypothyroidism). She thought T3 levels were off because of metabolic response. Tested negative for auto-immune (before rabies vaccine recently given), before, starting .5mg Thyroxin.
    My 1 yr/8 mon. Lab has been on raw since June. He has done much better w/digestion issues, growth, etc. No worms, usually no fleas and ticks, and then boom, ticks in fall from where I was exercising him. So that was not good on my part. We live in PA so I had to get his rabies booster a week after an Amoxicillin treatment, for possible infection of Lyme. He never had Lyme vaccines, but he was diagnosed with “Pano” in Aug/Sept. He tested positive for Lyme in Nov. We live in high Lyme area and I pulled a number of tick groups off in fall, which could explain that. He was not symptomatic Lyme, (I am sure he had fought off Lyme in summer/tested negative), but they treated him just in case. I brought him into vet early because he had some type of reaction/incident after scraping his tail on fence (he was holding it out funny, also gland issue. Dr. Dodd’s says that low thyroid dogs have sudden change over 3 months. I think we missed UTI or possible infection down there that caused gland issues too. IDK. Looking back that could have caused allot of anxiety, as he was peeing and struggling allot. This is what sent me to vet earlier than scheduled. But I didn’t associate it with urine issue, just gland (mild constipation) issues. He always has good poops, fed 2x/day and generally goes 2x. They think behavior issues was just male hormones kicking in and training. My husband didn’t think so either, and he too has seen behavior changes, especially after vaccine. His behavior got worse, then normalized after starting. I gave it one week and he still seemed off at full dose. IDK what to do here. Amoxi helped him, but do you think this may have caused secondary infections/possible thyroid levels off. This guy has never had that. I have dealt with that with another dog, not this guy. Vet said he was good bill of health before shot.
    Now, after one week into thyroid treatment, behavior is much better, but he has possibly original problem that I never thought of, UTI. His urine test had some protein, some sperm, normal spec. gravity and some bacteria, vet thought it was ok. I am at a loss. He does not associate anything with vaccine detox issues. His penis is now enlarged at time and has texted bumps. So he is crying a bit at night again. I think he had this all along, I mentioned he was licking, I said I was worried about kidney stress with high dose of antibiotic, but they assured me that is not typical. Looking back, he was straining and peeing allot when he had trauma thing. So Amox surely helped any infections there. Over the weekend I gave him Nux Vomica, diluted dose mentioned in
    There was no blood in urine a week ago, and vet thinks I am overreacting. He is not a homeopathic vet so does not know about treatments for that. It did seem better, than before than got worse. I realize this could happen with homeopathic remedies. My Lab is anxious again (milder version, but uncomfortable, mostly in evening). Should I try Mercurious? or be patient?
    Please, any imput to give this guy some relief. The Nux Vomica was (30c, 3 pellets crushed in 1/2C DI water and 1ml given 2-3x daily. It’s been 3 1/2 days. I did not move to Mercurious because I wasn’t sure. I also wanted to give Lyssin 200c and/or Thuja 200c, but I never did this before and wasn’t sure if this would make things worse. Shot was given last week with follow-up. These vets have never used homeopath stuff before, so they don’t know how to advise with that. Overall he looks really healthy, hair is a bit dry and flaky (as I think he is detoxing), couple annoying dry patches that won’t go away. I would say he has been susceptible to fungal ear infections and UTI irritation before. I was using milk thistle (for liver/kidney support), w/tiny amount of dandelion, fennel and licorice (stopped out 1 week ago for rest bit), plus probiotic while on Amoxicillin (750mg 2 X/day for 3 weeks). He gets all human grade raw meat (no saline) and I try to give him grass-fed organs w/raw prey diet.
    My push for thyroid is because he was shivering in cold weather, skin and behavior seemed to be getting worse. He is an intact male, so some hormonal changes would be normal. But he stopped listening, had trouble focusing, etc. since low dose medication he seems way calmer, normal heart rate. But after a week, full dose 0.5mg Thyroxine. All looked good till last evening, his heart rate seemed to go up last evening, but he did settle down. I decreased back to half dose, maybe it is too much IDK. Dr. Dodd’s said half dosing for initial day or two was fine, he didn’t have high and lows on half dose, but after one week in the full dose seemed to give him highs and lows. My vet is mad and thinks I can’t tell when his heart rate is elevated from normal. I am just so upset. I thought we were heading in the right direction. I have used herbal remedies for years, and have never not trusted my instincts with things. Am I totally wrong here? Can I use glandular supplementing? I know nothing about this; but I am Hypothyroid, myself.
    Any suggestions. Especially with homeopathic remedies and his general symptoms now?

  3. Merry Goodger on January 30, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I got my cat 2 months ago. I have no idea what her history is. Her previous owner brought her to the shelter to be put down because she had uncontrolled diarrhea. But when they looked at her they couldn’t put her down. Poor cat had a load of coccidia. That wasn’t hard to treat, but 2 antibiotics. They gave my poor sick girl a vaccination at the shelter, about 6 letters long. About a month later she presented with a UTI. Any connection, doctor? 3 antibiotics this time. I had put her on Stella & Chewy’s from the first. The vet gave me no grief over it. But when they did the 3rd blood panel, they started talking about. chronic renal failure and wanted her to eat a kidney diet. So I gave her commercial canned food for over a week. But she was down a whole pound from 6.4 pounds and terribly bony. So I started adding the raw food, too. I added probiotics, PDF and DentaTreat as soon as I could afford them. She is getting a nice covering on her ribs and her spine is nowhere near as prominent, so I think I’m doing her good. She looks lovely too, dark red-brown tabby with green eyes. Her coat is so soft and lush.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on February 2, 2016 at 5:57 am

      Nice work, Merry! And don’t sweat the kidney diagnosis when you make your food choices. I wrote about this mistaken thinking here.
      Keep up the great work, it sounds like you’ve made a huge difference in this gal’s life.
      p.s. a month after a vaccination is a very common interval for illness to crop up. Quite predictable, in fact.

  4. Vee on December 26, 2015 at 9:29 am

    We do feed our two toy poodles a raw diet and have since they were about 2 years old. Our vet is a holistic vet and when we took them to her to see why they were *itching*, first thing she asked was what we fed them. So we switched to a raw food diet at that point. Itching disappeared, and we had already stopped vaccinating them at the end of their first year – we weren’t real sure what we were *doing* but it just didn’t seem right to be getting those injections all the time, and we’re glad we did that. We do have a question we hope you can help us with though. Our dogs are now almost 15 years old and they have been having tooth problems for the last 3 years or so. We have had their teeth cleaned once, but will never put them through that again. That vet/DDS also pulled quite a few teeth in both dogs, one half of them and the other not quite half but still a lot. Because they are so small, we had never tried giving them raw bones. We started that apx 5 years ago, but only one of them will chew on them (his teeth are the best). We were using the smallest beef soup bones we could get. Our other dog just looks at the bone like what is this?? We want to give them raw chicken bones, thinking maybe whole chicken wings? But we worry that they might choke on them. Do you have suggestions? Or perhaps we should just brush their teeth because of the few they have left plus their age? We will appreciate any advice/ideas that you can give. Thank you. Must say, we were very happy to find your extremely informative website!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on December 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Thanks, Vee. Those animals who have weak teeth, a constitutional problem usually, can do raw poultry bones. The ideal size is “larger than a gulp or two.” Whole wings usually work for the tiny-mouthed, chicken necks or turkey necks are a bit bigger, and an entire turkey drumstick works for the bigger breeds.
      If you haven’t already read it, my page on bones speaks to the slow start and gives some tricks to transitioning to them for dogs new to the prospect.
      Bottom line: be there the first few feedings, supervising. Over time and repeated opportunities to eat such goodies, they’ll become less likely to “inhale” them, and will eat them more mindfully.
      Another thought: offer them after a meal, so the voracious appetite has been slaked.

      • Vee on December 27, 2015 at 8:33 am

        Why thank you Dr. Falconer! Yes, I did read that article and of course then felt very guilty for not have been giving them bones for years. I will start with the chicken wings and supervise them daily when I give them, as well as following your other advice. I was just mainly concerned because they are missing so many teeth. The one with the most teeth IS a gulper, so I will definitely make sure that he isn’t actually truly *hungry* when I give him one! Thank you again. ~~ Vee

  5. Tina on October 29, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    I have a 11 pound intact male Miki who is 2 years old. I finally made the move (I was scared at first) to raw, it is a raw food that is a complete raw meal in comes in medallion’s (have rabbit, beef ,lamb, chicken, turkey,salmon and they also have organic beef, lamb and chicken. The organic is a different texture like small noodles, my dog just seems to like the organic lamb the best. I was wondering is it harmful for him to just eat the lamb? he’s not I rotate it but are there other food items that I can add to the chicken, beef, etc. to get him to eat it without throwing of the balance. The food is called Pets4life and a few veterinarians sell it as it’s a raw food that is formulated to meet the requirements. Also I bought some dehydrated chicken feet from a company that’s called Nothing Added, at first I was scared he would choke on them but he loved them with me watching scared ,( and he did choke a bit near the end with three toes in his mouth )I also give him the small beef marrow bones which he loves again scared he will chip or crack his teeth since he has an overbite on the lower teeth, but so far no problem. Like I said I was scared going raw but as time goes on I will feel better. Any advice would be appreciated. I live in Tillsonburg Ontario Canada and pet stores with raw food is increasing which is good to see.
    Thanks for all your advice and column.

  6. Laura Blanz on October 22, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    My conventional vet is actually good with raw food! What a good guy, and we’re lucky to have found him! Now to nudge him gently down the rest of “The Path”… 😉

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm

      Gotta start somewhere, Laura, and he’s ahead of a lot of his peers. Take your time and let him see what a healthy example or three look like, and he’ll come around further.
      One real watershed for me after I left conventional practice was joining the AHVMA and reading their journal. When I saw what my holistic colleagues were pulling off, there was no turning back!

      • Salli James on December 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        Wow… I just read a “cry for help” on a list. Her small dog on raw food, was outside chasing a squirrel (normal no catch type of thing) The squirrel turned and attacked the dog, bitting him on the thigh.
        When she took her little one to the vet, they wanted to put the dog down for a squirrel bite. The dog still has a lame rear leg. How can this be? Why no cure outside of “death”? Vet said because it was fed raw and had only two Rabies vaccines, none in the past 4 years, and on raw food that he didn’t have a chance!!
        What say you? Can a squirrel cause paralysis? Infection? Clearly not rabies as the dog shows no signs. I want to help her but feel confused. What the hell was the vet thinking of blaming no vaccine and on raw equals Euthanasia?
        Am I missing something?
        Thanks Doc…

        • Will Falconer, DVM on December 9, 2015 at 2:15 pm

          No, I don’t think you’re missing anything, Salli. You’ve just viewed ignorance at its finest. Have her seek homeopathic vet help and this should resolve rather quickly, I’d be willing to bet. My Resources page has the AVH list page linked there.

  7. Juliana Pavelka-Johnston on October 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    We feed raw. Artemus likes his raw, except when I whip up a batch of goulash. Than I have my husband and Artemus salivating in the kitchen! LOL
    Raw food, lots of fresh herbs, fresh water, and no vaccines. You guessed it, we walk a lonely road. I explain that we’re not followers, we question and educate ourselves as we consider ourselves to be good pet guardians… “and your dog has allergies, upset stomach, diarrhea?” “You should perhaps give it a try, your dog might get better soon”. The proof is in the pudding – raw works and seeing is the ultimate truth… P.S. people don’t bother arguing with me.
    In fact, Artemus’ Irish Wolfhound clansmen are all on raw, and they are CKC Champs like he is. Cool way to put the punctuation at the end of the sentence to vets and the so called pseudo-experts who push harmful chemicals and poor nutrition.
    We love your articles Dr. Will:)

    • Lizzy Meyer on October 22, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Hi Juliana.
      I am curious what kind of herbs you feed. Are you using fresh or dried?
      I love Wolfhounds! So happy you are rearing yours naturally!

  8. Daphne Wilcox on October 21, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Lizzy, how wonderful that you are providing your senior a quality life! I loved reading your story. May he enjoy many more good years and teach others about vital health.

  9. Lizzy Meyer on October 20, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Well done article, Dr. Falconer!
    I’m here to tell y’all what a positive change I have seen in my recently adopted dog, a vaccinosis ravaged 10 year old lab. Before he came to live with me, he’d been on steroids, antibiotics, antifungals, vaccines, heart worm meds, flea meds (sometimes 2-3 doses per month), etc.
    His whole life was full of grocery store dog food and Whitecoat approaches. In the end, he lived with suppressed and palliated symptoms of chronic ear/skin, allergies and infections.
    Within three months on a very BASIC raw diet, I have a new dog. He detoxed, for sure. Yes, we’re working diligently with him constitutionally using homeopathy and some well-chosen supplements. That’s making a world of a difference.
    Considering that he started as a flea-ridden, poisoned, dull and smelly old dog who was about to be euthanized, I’d say he’s made tremendous leaps in the direction of cure.
    Now he’s quite bright, bounds all over the place, and keeps up with my young dogs. He’s a lovely and vibrant senior citizen who is also working on ridding himself of heart worms.
    You should see the SPRING in his step! There’s no more itching so hard that he inflicts damage to himself. And, the nights of excruciatingly painful ear infections, resulting in cries of desperation are gone. There are no more nights where I’d need to bathe him at 2 am because his skin was on fire.
    Raw, real food is his pleasure of the day. Basic ingredients on a budget have given this old pup the energy to heal his long-ravaged body. The energy to repair, to restore, and to rebuild comes through his food, not meds.
    Whitecoats who I’ve not invited to do anything more than diagnostics only remark about how gorgeous he is and how lovely his coat is. Then they find out he’s a raw fed dog, even at an advanced age (as if old=weak). Let’s just say we’ve turned some heads and done some educating. No resistance, just admiration has come our way!
    I appreciate the inspiration and the confidence Dr. Falconer has given so many, myself included, on this topic for so long. Great work, Doc.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 22, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Great work, and on a budget, Lizzie. He’s an inspiration as to what’s possible when you stop poisoning and vaccinating and instead, support the body, support the vital force’s attempt to get well, to heal and the previous mistakes.
      I hope you have some “before pictures” so people who see him now can see where you started.
      Bravo, young lady!

  10. Daphne Wilcox on October 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I have fed raw and given no vaccines since1996, when my first cocker had a seizure following his one year shots.
    The dog was treated homeopathically for fourteen years. His seizures were never cured, but he lived a healthy happy full life as a registered therapy dog.
    I just acquired a one year old cocker. She is loving her raw diet- chicken necks, tripe … And her tummy seems fine, too. She had puppy shots, but will have no more.
    Yes, I get weird and scared looks when I share that I feed raw, do not vaccinate and don’t use tick preventatives. I also have them adjusted every eight weeks by a veterinary chiropractor.
    BUT isn’t it interesting that the first thing everyone notices, is how soft my dogs’ coats are?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 20, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Very interesting, isn’t it? Maybe they just come from great genetics, as one vet said in a comment earlier.
      Keep up your good work, Daphne. You are part of the change we want to be widespread and obvious.

  11. Daphne Wilcox on October 20, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I am blessed to have a homeopath nearby and another, Dr. Jeff Feinman, an hour and a half away.

  12. Adriana Willard on October 19, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Hello Dr. Falconer,
    I have to laugh at the stories above because mine is alike. I just took my two dogs for their annual checkup a week ago to their vet and I got the same comment:
    -“Ohhh, what great teeth he has, perfect white! no plaque….” “Do you brush his teeth?”
    Me: No, I feed him raw.
    -“Well, that has nothing to do with it, he has good genetics, then.” (Same with my other dog) They both have great genetics for being over 6 years old! Ha ha ha
    Then, I got the whole demonizing spill about how the bones can destroy their insides and I tried to educate him but it was useless.
    Now, I have to say that this Dr. is very kind and knowledgeable in other subjects so I just decide how to proceed depending on the situation.
    Finally, I have heard a lot about Diatomaceous Earth and would very much like to know your opinion on it. Is it an effective parasite/worm killer and diet enhancer?
    Thank you so much. Best,

    • Liz Barningham on October 20, 2015 at 6:30 am

      FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth is good….. but note that it MUST be food grade!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 20, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Adrianna,
      Genetics. Yeah, anything but the amazing work you’re doing on diet, which they cannot accept and still hold their world view together.
      I don’t see DE as a diet enhancer at all (it’s inert), and I never prescribe it. Healthy animals just don’t allow worms to live in them. End of story. Won’t cause harm, but I just don’t see its usefulness, either.
      Thanks for stopping in.

  13. Christina on October 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    As soon as we heard one of your interviews we stopped all canned/processed food for our cats and we now only feed them raw food. They are loving it and thriving beautifully! I’m finding that they are eating a lot more of the raw food though then they were with the processed food. Both our cats have filled out beautifully and are looking very healthy. Their coats are so much thicker and shinier since we started the raw food diet. I have 2 questions, roughly how much raw meat should I be feeding them? At the moment they probably go through about 200grams per day each. Is this ok? One of our cats is eating everything (chicken wings, chicken liver, lamb & beef) but our other cat will only eat the lamb and the beef….how can I get him to eat the chicken wings and liver? Thank you heaps in advance for your advice 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Hey Christina,
      Sounds like some healthy cats. I’ve seen a great interest in raw diets by animals in transition, and it usually wanes, once they’ve really felt satiated. Amount is that amount that keeps them in good body weight and that is eaten in 30 minutes or less. Twice a day offerings, but no leaving the food out longer.
      And, I always get scared when someone says “raw meat” and I don’t hear “bone” in the same sentence. Be sure you’re balanced, as no lion would ever just eat the muscles off a kill and move on. Fussy cats will sometimes come around when you don’t offer too many options. A few unsatisfying missed meals usually does wonders for a cat’s appetite.

      • Christina on October 21, 2015 at 9:24 am

        Thank you heaps for your advise 🙂 Our cats are eating bones but only from the chicken wings that we give them. Should the other meats (lamp and beef) also contain bones? Thank you in advance 🙂

        • Will Falconer, DVM on October 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm

          The bones have to be “mouth sized” for the species eating them. Wings, necks, maybe lamb necks, but beef likely just going to be too darned big.

          • Christina on October 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

            Thank you 🙂

  14. Debra on October 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I’d like to know how to proceed to put our dogs on a raw diet & what that means? I.e. Help I need info ?
    Also does anyone know of a holistic vet in San Antonio, Tx? I do use pure / food grade essential oils on my pets with great luck! Many thanks :))

    • Karen Mitchell on October 19, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Hello Debra,
      I’d like to help you. I’m not a vet. To cut a long story short, I’ve now researched pet nutrition for almost 6 years.
      I run a Facebook group which I named As Nature Intended. This group is an advocate of 100% natural raw diet for pets. I invite holistic vets, researchers, trainers, breeders, whisperers, nutritionists and of course carers from all over the world (Have recently invited Will to the group, but I don’t think he’s asked to join yet 🙂
      If you are looking for advice, considering on making the transition, or looking for guidance, hints and tips on how to make the transition or when and what to feed. Wish to learn the benefits of alternative medicine, raw feeding and much more?
      Then this informative group is there for you, 24/7

    • Wendy on December 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      A good source for raw food in TX is Texas Tripe

    • Rachelle Bennett on July 12, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      I am on the same learning curve

  15. Destiny on October 19, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    My newest vet is great. He teaches raw feeding classes to pet owners and helps each build a diet (case by case basis) some PMR and some BARF style. He does not sell any kibble in his office.
    He also treats each patient on a case by case basis for parasite control and vaccines. If they want them – OK. If they dont, he doesnt pressure them.
    So far he is really great 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      Excellent, Destiny. But also: keep an eye on your dog, no “we’ll take him in the back” business.
      You might suggest he take the post graduate homeopathy training via the Pitcairn Institute. Every good homeopathic vet treats each patient as an individual.

      • Destiny on October 19, 2015 at 10:36 pm

        Oh yes. I am with my pets 100% of the time :). They never leave my site! If the need surgery I am in the room up to the moment they anesthetised and taken in the back. Immediately after surgery I am in the recovery room.
        He isn’t a homeopath – just my local vet in case of surgery, bloodwork etc. Dr Don Hamilton is my homeopath currently. 🙂

        • Will Falconer, DVM on October 20, 2015 at 4:23 am

          Very aware he’s not a homeopath, but suggesting he may want to join us 🙂 We are far too few, and anyone who’s interested in treating animals individually will love homeopathy. That’s all we do!

      • Carol on October 20, 2015 at 1:10 am

        Hi Dr Will,
        what happens “out the back”?????
        Couple of months ago I took my raw-fed, no-vaccines, no-pesticides dog to our vet for an annual check-up and heartworm blood test.
        She was sick for 24 hours after we returned home(vomitting ocassionally and huddled up on her bed like she was in pain).
        I thought it was unusual but didn’t believe that she would be given anything against my will – after all they can’t charge me for it? And the vet seems respectful of my position on health care and feeding.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on October 21, 2015 at 9:25 pm

          The commonest is the most worrisome: out back, someone “discovers” this dog is “out of date” on vaccinations, and does you the “service” of bringing her up to date. And, a month later, you’ve got allergies or seizures or ADD behavior.
          Not suggesting that happened to your dog, as you would most definitely have been billed for it. More likely “caught a bug,” and got over it.
          Just good to be aware, and act like Destiny does: never out of sight.

  16. Jane Jones on October 19, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    We have fed raw food to our cats and dogs for over 22 years. They are all rescues so we don’t know what their previous lives were like, but for some of them is was pretty awful. Between raw food, lots of love and exercise and no vaccinations for over 22 years we end up with really healthy critters. But toward the ends of their lives, we see some disease processes. And at that time our vets always suggest the “special diets” that they sell. I have gotten tired of it and my response is, “At this point, when their health is compromised why would I want to feed them that processed garbage instead of healthy human grade food?” End of story, they bother me no more about that critter’s diet.
    All the vets at that clinic know me and what my stances are on vaccination so they don’t bother me with that. But they do always notice how nice my critters smell and how gorgeous their coats are, and just can’t stop touching them, but they absolutely refuse to see the connections. Blinded by education….. in otherwise intelligent people!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Nice, Jane. You’ve made your needs known and they see what you’ve accomplished by sticking to the Natural Path. That speaks volumes.
      Them admitting it, even for a moment, well, that’s another matter.
      And at least they’re not gloving up when they touch them!
      Keep up your lovely work, Jane. It’s very inspirational that you can take rescues so far. Hard to argue with 22 years of seeing results.

  17. Monica on October 19, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Since moving to Las Vegas 2 years ago I have given up on finding a vet willing to work with me. My male pittie has been demonstrating clinical signs of hypothyroidism for the past couple years (wide spread hair loss w/o itch or inflammation, nails breaking off at the bed, severe lethargy, easy keeper) but nobody will do a full Thyroid panel, only total T4 which comes back WNL (obviously). Once they find out he’s on a raw diet, they tell me his hair loss is due to Vitamin K deficiency (even though the hair loss started when he was still on kibble!) or dilute colored alopecia (I highly doubt it), that I am slowly KILLING HIM due to a lack of carbohydrates and then try to use their scare tactics to get me to buy one of their ridiculous Hill’s Rx kibbles and do monthly benzoyl peroxide baths (eek!). Since I cannot afford to take him to a homeopathic vet yet (I’m saving up!) and the one vet I found willing to treat him (Dr. Plechner in Los Angeles) has a love for corticosteroids..I have been doing what I can to assist his body naturally with a raw diet (now organic & grass fed meat/bones), NO CHEMICALS in the house, and rotating organ detoxes with different herbs. After making these little adjustments, his energy level is up, nails miraculously hardened and his hair loss has been put on pause (hasn’t grown back though). I honestly believe he would not be alive right now if I had listened to the vets’ “advise”.
    Dr. Falconer- are you familiar with Dr. Alfred Plechner’s hormone replacement therapy and atypical estrogen imbalance syndrome (ACEIS/Plechner’s Syndrome)? I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I agreed with most everything he had to say (raw diet, no vaccines, enzyme supplements) except for the steroids. Also what is your take on IgA deficiency and how would a homeopath help counteract this issue? I think this topic would make a great article as it seems more and more of us have dogs with some form of hormone imbalance! 🙂

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Hey Monica,
      Yes, I’ve had this in the back of my mind for some time to write about. Stay tuned, maybe in 2016. I find Plechner’s theory, or really his treatment, to be very unsound.
      Steroid “supplementing” will make anybody feel better, but what’s the long term outcome of that? Can’t be curing anything in the true sense of the word, only palliating (which allows the chronic underlying disease to slowly grow).
      If there are hormone imbalances, just like any other imbalances, a good vet homeopath should be able to straighten that out on the way to cure. But we’d not be chasing numbers, again. Rather, we’d be treating the whole dog, and expecting the numbers to improve as the dog does.
      It sounds like you’re on your way in a nice direction. Keep up the good work!

      • Dede on October 19, 2015 at 9:26 pm

        More hormone imbalances….possibly due to large numbers of conventional breeders having their dogs injected with hormones to get them to conceive? What do you think, Doc? I know of many AKC breeders who breed animals with health problems and genetic defects but refuse to admit it…some are board members of their “clubs.” Unless you know about this, you have no idea so you pay the $2,000-$3,500 they require for one of their pure-bred (but not healthy) pups.

        • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm

          Hi Dede,
          Good question, but I think we’re seeing it in a larger population than just the purebreds. Hypothyroidism could be fairly called epidemic, IMO.
          And why is it hypo? The gland is under autoimmune attack! What could possibly cause such immune confusion that would allow one’s own immune system to attack one’s own critical gland?
          One main thing, in my mind: vaccinations.

  18. Brian on October 19, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    When discussing my dog with others, and the topic of raw diet comes up, I answer their bewilderment with “yep, she eats just like a wolf would eat in the wild.” Many people will reply, “Oh, that makes sense.”

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Great way to put it, Brian. People can relate, if they are at all thinking folks.

  19. Barb Emmett on October 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Love this article! I fully support all concepts here. I own a specialty canine business and continue to help folks on the better path to health and wellness for their dogs.
    Recently, my one of my beautiful, healthy, raw-fed golden retrievers tested positive for giardia. HE HAD NO SYMPTOMS AT ALL-the fecal testing was done as part of our regular annual checkup. Vet wanted to do the typical gut-destroying treatment of panacur and metronidazole. Remember, no symptoms! Really!!! I contacted three different holistic folks, including an integrative vet, and learned a lot more about this protozoa. Apparently it is widespread in lakes, rivers and streams in places in the Midwest, particularly around Boulder, CO, and healthy, immune strong dogs shed it off without any problems or issues. I then consulted with a very knowledgable and well-learned friend who has an organic farm and she directed me to a product called Para-B-Gone for natural parasite control. She has used it for her dogs, cats, goats, etc. as a natural dewormer and used it successfully for years for giardia if it occurred. After consulting with the company that makes it, I felt very comfortable pursing this natural protocol So, in the situation, we used the natural product for only 3 days. I will be testing in the future. My dogs are fed raw diets (Answers), drink raw goat’s milk and fish stock bone broth, coconut oil and a garlic bone for flea/tick prevention along with an occasional natural prevention spray. We titer test during the annual checkup. Amazingly healthy, gorgeous dogs!

    • Louann Hansen on October 19, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      I think if I did fecals on my dogs they would all test positive for giardia. We live in the foothills of the Rockies and there are beaver & muskrats in our pond and a wide variety of wildlife in the forest and surrounding valley. My dogs hunt mice, play in the pond, eat deer poo, etc. I am sure they all have giardia, but it doesn’t affect them. The only time it might flare up is if they get stressed by something. I am beginning to believe that giardia is just part of the normal flora of the dog’s digestive system around here anyway…..

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Good for you for resisting the gut killing treatment, Barb. Can’t tell you how often “treating the lab results” happens. Glad you saw through that.
      Like Louann, I suspect many could show it on a fecal, yet not be sick from it, just like your guy.
      Same is true of Lymes. Many get treated because they found a high titer which only indicated exposure and immune responsiveness. A month of tetracycline to a dog showing no illness. Net result: immune system impairment, as the gut flora die off.

    • Karen Mitchell on October 19, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      Thank you for this information. I’m one who believes that, if our pets are healthy, stress free, happy animals, then diseases, parasites and alike are less likely to hinder them. They are far more likely to effect or attack the animals of a weaker immune system.
      I will also share this “Para-B-Gone” with the members of my group.

  20. SharonZee on October 19, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I cleaned out the freezer and uncovered quite a few chickens that we raised here and froze for future use. So because of the new crop of chickens, I decided to put the old ones in another freezer and feed them to my two dogs. It’s a bit of work to cut them up, but my chef skills needed sharpening anyway. I can get quite a few pieces out of a whole chicken.
    My vet was none to happy when she learned I feed raw. She went off on a ta gent about having to be careful about protein. I hardly listened. I never did tell her that at this juncture the dogs are getting human food all the time.
    Been hiding Golden Paste in between the skin and the meat. My guys don’t seem to like the GP. My horse does though!
    I also feed raw milk because that’s what I drink.
    Sprout, the huge Black Lab, had a tick on his neck the other day. Bigger tick, so not Lymes related. After we got it out I put some drops of Protective Blend essential oils on it. End of story there.

  21. Joanne Keenan on October 19, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I did a quick review the 2012 amendment.
    I absolutely love the following statement from the AVMA Raw Feeding Resolution (and we accuse them of not being open-minded! lol)
    “* The recommendation not to feed unpasteurized milk to animals does not preclude the feeding of unpasteurized same-species milk to unweaned juvenile animals.”

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Too funny, Joanne! Now I have pictures in my head of people milking the mothers and “feeding” it to the offspring!

    • Alison Tapp on October 19, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Love that one Joanne

  22. Denise on October 19, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Taking my dog to the vet for her one and only rabies shot, there was a poster in the waiting room about the dangers of raw food diet. When taken back to receive the shot, I was asked what I am feeding her, and they were shocked that I was feeding raw. Then I got to hear the dangers of raw food from the veterinary assistant even though it doesn’t appear to have injured her . . . yet. How come when people go to the doctor for an exam he doesn’t ask what they are eating and then reprimand them for all the junk?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on October 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Great question, Denise!
      Kudos to them for asking what you feed. But boo for upraiding you for endangering your animal!

    • Heather Smith on October 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      My guess … because he/she doesn’t care 🙁

    • Jennifer on November 18, 2019 at 1:28 pm

      My dog’s health improved 80% when I changed from dry food to raw food, I almost put it to sleep thanks God I didn’t do it.

      • Will Falconer, DVM on November 22, 2019 at 7:42 pm

        Wow, Jennifer! What a great story of a near mistake that turned out so well!

        • Jeff LaHuis on January 14, 2020 at 9:20 am

          Will: How are you dealing with the toxoplasmosis, salmonella infections, and decreased absorption of nutrients? Or foreign body obstruction from bone fragments?

          • Will Falconer, DVM on January 17, 2020 at 6:23 pm

            Great question, though it sounds fear-based. If one wasn’t in touch with a large cadre of raw feeders, one might think these things are common. In fact, as the decades roll by and thousands are feeding raw food, we’re not seeing or even hearing reports of these. Raw bones are highly digestible, for example. Otherwise, hundreds would be obstructed and in for surgery on a regular basis. Wouldn’t I be hearing about this on a regular basis from my thousands of readers?

            Probably time for you to cast a wider net and start listening to those who didn’t balk at feeding a diet far superior to anything in a bag or a can and are having the healthiest animals in their lives as a result. I know in my practice, the ones who made the switch to a balanced raw diet rarely needed my services. And if they went to a conventional vet, they were often met with “OMG, how did you get Sadie to shine like this?? She looks the best I’ve ever seen her!” The reveal that it was raw food induced has literally made the closed-minded vets back away and not believe what they just saw and felt in that amazingly soft luxurious coat. I’d suggest you not be one of those, especially if you’re a vet. You’ll be regularly losing patients from those who know better what’s possible by thinking outside the box you were trained in.

          • Aaron on February 21, 2020 at 6:20 pm

            Just feed human grade bone meal powder. Boom!!! Mind blown.