If you feed raw, you're going to want to consider that a holistic veterinarian might be the best option for your pets' medical care needs. A holistic veterinarian is trained in both conventional medicine and alternative modalities, of which there are several. Alternatives may include chiropractic, acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, holistic nutrition, and more. Each holistic veterinarian will incorporate their own unique range of preventative and alternative therapies but most of them will be on the same page when it comes to one thing: healthy nutrition comes first.
Holistic veterinarians take healthcare to the next level by understanding the importance of feeding fresh, whole, species-appropriate foods to your dog or cat. Most holistic vets view feeding commercial foods as an obstacle to cure disease.
If you've chosen to feed raw to your pet, it is much easier when your vet is on board with what you're doing. A veterinarian that has continued his or her education on the subject of nutrition beyond the basics is a valuable asset to your pets' well-being. Some of them may have practiced conventionally for years and noticed health problems in their own clients that seemed to be related to nutrition. A holistic veterinarian is usually intuitive and will come to these conclusions based on their own observations and can make educated choices to add alternative protocols to their practice. They will also be able to help you adjust the raw diet if they see any potential problems.
If you feed raw and you take your pet to a veterinarian that does not agree with raw feeding, it can cause problems. A raw diet is often falsely blamed for health problems. Veterinarians are trained in school, that raw meat diets cause bacterial contamination and therefore are unsafe to feed. What isn't mentioned is that there are far more pet food recalls each year on commercially made pet food diets than raw diets. These recalls are not just done due to bacterial contamination but can also be due to dangerous fungal or drug contamination, fat-soluble vitamin overdose, or vitamin-mineral deficiencies. You can see for yourself on the Food and Drug Administration Animal & Veterinary Recall website:
In our own experience of manufacturing raw pet foods for nearly 20 years, we have had a handful of cases where pet owners contacted us with concerns about their sick pets. The pets had been diagnosed with bacterial infections by a veterinarian and the raw diet had been blamed. In all of these cases, we took the exact food in question for independent laboratory testing to confirm or dismiss that food contamination was the cause of the illness. In all cases, the food was found not to be the culprit.
It's much easier to get down to business with the best options for your pets' care when the raw diet isn't automatically viewed as a negative. It is important to feed a high-quality, correctly prepared, and balanced diet to eliminate any risks of bacterial contamination or nutritional deficiency. If this is done correctly, it will enhance your pet's health, not hinder it. Not all animal healthcare professionals would agree with this statement. So, if you choose to feed raw, you'll need to choose a complementary route for medical care for your pet. There are lots of options and, ultimately, it's your pet that will benefit from a wider choice of treatment options.