Conventional wisdom cautions against feeding “immune compromised” pets raw food. Why? Is it fear? Or common sense?
My local vet has no personal experience with raw feeding – but she understands that dogs and cats are carnivores and need animal-tissue based protein – not “just” “high protein.” She also understands thatin cats “high protein” is actually a species-appropriate amount of protein, and should not be labeled “high.”
Given she isn't anti-raw and understands the nutritional needs of cats, when considering our transition to raw, I asked her about the risks to my immune compromised cats. We determined the primary concern with the caution regarding raw feeding and health status was potential infection due to contamination. I had questions:
Yes, there are symptoms associated with infection.
Yes salmonella is treatable – though it is usually self-resolving (in both people and pets). In our immune-compromised pets, if there are symptoms, get to the vet and get treatment.
Yes, studies have shown that probiotics (including lactic acid bacteria like L acidophilus and Saccharomyces boulardii) help protect us (and our pets) from food poisoning.
Yes, the primary reason for recalls of non-raw pet food is salmonella.
No, we don’t know why vets who caution against raw feeding immune compromised pets do not caution against feeding kibble to those same animals. In fact, this makes no sense based on the recall analysis:
In this chart, bright yellow indicates salmonella. Mustard yellow indicates aflatoxins or mold.
At Food Fur Life, we suspect many people feeding kibble would be surprised to learn of precautions The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) suggest when feeding kibble. The CDC may caution against raw feeding our pets: but even when feeding kibble the CDC cautions:
Yes, that is the list of recommendations the CDC provides for feeding kibble.
Why the disconnect between concerns with feeding raw food versus feeding kibble to our pets if the risk of salmonella contamination is present in both?
I don’t know. Do you?