Stainless steel bowl with raw dog food

What to tell your vet

I’m not going to sugar coat this: unless you get very lucky and have an understanding vet who is on board with the raw food train, your vet is probably not going to like what you feed your dog.  They’re going to push back, very hard, and try to convince you that you’re going to give your dog malnutrition, or a food-bourne illness.

They’re not wrong for doing this.  Don’t be surprised that I’m saying that!  A lot of people have serious misconceptions about raw food, and feed very unbalanced diets to their dogs.  Other people are very cavalier about food safety, and while it’s rare for a dog to become ill from salmonella, it’s also not impossible for it to happen!  Your own vet probably has very little idea what a raw diet should consist of, and they probably have their own misconceptions to overcome as well.

My recommendation is that you handle the question of “what are you feeding your dog” with a very confident “I feed a raw diet, and I prepared this page for you of how much I feed, and what I feed, because it’s easier to write it down than recite it all at length.”  Then hand your vet a page with details on exactly what you feed your dog. I’ve made three handouts for my vet, one for each dog.

Your page doesn’t have to look as graphically fancy as mine — I just thought it would be fun to dress it up a little.  Even a hand written page with a list of all the different foods you feed, and in what amounts, goes a long way towards demonstrating to your vet that you’re not just throwing your dog a boneless chicken breast every night.

Loki’s Raw Feeding Handout (PDF)
Jackson’s Raw Feeding Handout
Clover’s Raw Feeding Handout

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4 thoughts on “What to tell your vet”

  1. That handout is fabulous! Never would have thought about something like that. You are so organized. My vet is pro raw but he doesn’t quite understand how to feed it. He is very paranoid about pork, chicken and turkey and doesn’t recommend feeding any of those, and recommends searing the outside of meat before feeding it. So I don’t go exactly by his recommendations but it is nice not to get a lecture on what I feed 😉

    1. It’s always funny to talk to other raw feeders because everyone does it differently! I made my first vet handout for Clover’s dermatologist, because I was taking her to Tufts, which is a teaching hospital. I didn’t want to go through her entire case history with the 4th year student and then again with the specialist, so I wrote down as much as I could, brought photos of the progression of the disease on her ear tips, etc. And part of that was writing down her diet.

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