Rugby is fed a raw diet. He has been fed this diet since he was 6 months old. He will continue to eat a raw diet for as long as I am willing to prepare it. I like the teeth cleaning effects of his chewing, the increased coat growth, good smelling breath and smaller excrement size. I like that I have complete control over what he does and does not eat. I like that when I put down a bowl of food for Rugby, all the ingredients are identifiable, whole and of a quality that I approve of.
There is a down side to the diet too though. Remembering to take food out of the freezer, cleaning pans and dishes constantly and for the extra bloody meals, cleaning Rugby's face off too. It is an inconvenience. I completely understand why people feed kibble, and for the average dog, high quality kibble will give you some of these same effects. While kibble is much more convenient, it is in no way safer than raw food. Check out Tom Lonsdale's book, Raw Meaty Bones, or the extensive dog food recall list for proof.
I was informed by TruthaboutPetFood.com that the AVMA will be voting on a new policy concerning raw feeding next month. You can read the policy HERE. They don't want people feeding raw. Their logic seems a bit off, but I do understand that naturally fed dogs require less vet work (so less $$ spent, and less $$ earned by vets) and I understand that they face huge pressure from the pet food industry to support the product that they sell.
The AVMA has tried to console my fellow raw feeders with the fact that the new policy is just that - a policy, not capable of changing your dog's diet and not a law that will be enforced. I get that. However, as dog professionals, they are a source that legislators and animal control officers look for guidance. This policy is an open door for raw fed dogs being seized from their homes on the grounds that they are not being fed proper food. It won't be an immediate result, but it is a very real possibility.
My question to the AVMA is this. If they aid in the destruction of our rights to keep and raise dogs, how will they make a living when the animal rights people succeed?
This is the first step on a dangerous road. If this policy is approved, it won't be much longer until I will have to hide my dog's diet from insurance companies, therapy dog organizations, my veterinarian, animal control and the general public. If you have a moment, visit the AVMA site and post your comments on their proposed policy. I hope they can be convinced to vote no.