Raw University Learning Center
Unbiased Expert Opinions About Nutrition
The Truth About Raw Feeding
... Beware the veterinarian that warns you against feeding raw, and then has some bagged kibble to sell you! We hear this from pet parents all of the time. Unfortunately, we must dig into the myths vs the truth when deciding what is the best diet to feed our pets because the medical professionals have a financial incentive to steer us one way or the other. At Inland Empire Raw, we don't want to be the ones to convince you of the benefits of feeding a balanced raw diet to your pet, and then sell you our products.
Our ideal customer comes to us already educated on the benefits, but that is not always the case. There is so much noise on the internet (where most of us do our research) that distinguishing fact from fiction seems a very daunting task. In order to help you in making the right decision, we have linked to three videos that Dr. Karen Becker produced for Mercola Healthy Pets in which she sits down to discuss the issues, the myths and gives very sound advice on how to proceed. Dr. Becker is a world renown Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and was prominently featured in the Netflix special documentary: Pet Fooled. Watch the Trailer below!
Pet Fooled Video Trailer
Dr. Becker Discusses Raw Food Diet (Part 1)
Dr. Becker Discusses Raw Food Diet (Part 2)
Dr. Becker Discusses Raw Food Diet (Part 3)
Safe Handling for from the USDA
By now, we truly hope that you have watched Dr. Karen Becker's videos that we have most cleverly linked for your viewing enjoyment. If you are reading this then we are going to assume that you are serious about feeding raw and are trying to absorb every tidbit of knowledge that you possibly can before placing your first order. If you retain absolutely nothing from these pages except one thing, please let it be this:
Wash and Clean EVERYTHING that comes into contact with your raw food immediately after feeding. As Dr. Becker mentioned in her video, people who vehemently oppose raw usually do so based on the risk to HUMANS, not your pets. Unless you are a Vegetarian or Vegan yourself, you probably already practice safe food handling procedures in your home, and we beg you to continue to do that when dealing with your pet's meals. When you cook hamburgers, steaks, poultry or pork, you already practice these safe habits in your home. A few simple precautionary measures will ensure that you do not create an environment that can be potentially dangerous to your family:
- Disinfect Every Surface, after every meal, that is used to prepare pet's meals.
- Wash Every Dish, that is used to prepare or serve your pet's meal, after EVERY meal.
- Unusual odors are a definite sign that the uncooked meat you are feeding has been thawed too long. Discard it.
We encourage every single person that feeds our products to follow the USDA Safe Food Handling procedures that are linked on the backs of each of the cards above. If you are viewing on a mobile device, please touch the cards to view the back of them, and then click on the hyperlinks on each of them. Putting these practices into your normal routine of feeding will ensure that minimize any risk of contamination or infection to you and your family.
High Pressure Processing (HPP)
What's the story with High Pressure Processing (HPP)?
The short answer is this... There are mixed and very vocal opinions about HPP, and Inland Empire Raw does not sell any product that has been subjected to HPP.
Ok great, but what is it? We will reprint an article presented on Dog Food Advisor for the answer.
HPP is a non-thermal pasteurization process commonly utilized in the food industry.
The practice removes disease-causing bacteria with only minimal effect on the nutritional qualities, taste, sight or smell of the food. HPP achieves this result through the application of extremely high pressure on the product. The following video produced by one of the companies that make HPP equipment does a respectable job of explaining the process.
High Pressure Processing
What Are the Benefits of HPP?
Supporters of HPP claim the process leads to…
A safer product. It’s been shown that the HPP process is effective at eliminating most food-borne germs such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria with little change in the nutritional value of the end product.2 A fresher product. HPP destroys the microorganisms that cause spoilage which, in turn, increases the shelf life of the product.
So, What’s the Catch?
Those opposed to HPP argue…
Proteins are denatured. High levels of pressure, such as those used in the HPP process, have been shown to result in the denaturation of proteins. Beneficial bacteria are destroyed. Unfortunately, the HPP process doesn’t differentiate between disease-causing and beneficial bacteria. Risk of recontamination remains. Most (if not all) pet food recalls are due to recontamination — meaning the bacterial contamination occurs sometime after processing. HPP will destroy bacteria present in the food prior to processing but cannot protect the food against recontamination after processing. HPP is yet another “process.” Many raw food purists view HPP as a form of processing and argue that the end product is adulterated and no longer in raw form.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of which side of the fence you find yourself on…
With the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act and the American Veterinary Medical Association’s recent policy discouraging raw feeding due to bacterial risks, it’s likely more commercial raw food manufacturers will be implementing this controversial process in the near future.
Dog Food Comparison
Are you comparing kibble versus raw dog food? Dollar for dollar you won’t pay much more for a raw diet than you would for a premium kibble but, that is where the similarity ends. A raw diet dog food (fresh, frozen or freeze-dried) is the best you can buy to promote your dog’s health, stamina and longevity.
Kibble versus Raw Dog Food
Those innocent sounding words like “meat by-products” and “meat meal” are topping the ingredient list of many commercial dog foods. Sure, they have great marketing campaigns with pictures of plump chickens, salmon and healthy vegetables, but that is not reality. What is in the bag is a whole different story with more dollars being spent on the marketing than the actual ingredients.
Meat by-products and meat meal on ingredients labels are misleading because they contain little, if any meat. With few legal regulations, meat meal can (and does) contain the boiled down flesh of animals like zoo animals, road kill, and 4-D (dead, diseased, disabled, dying) livestock. Pet food producers that claim to be getting their ingredients from “USDA facilities” is also misleading to consumers. Chances are, they are getting the waste or rejected material from these facilities – the parts that are not fit for human consumption. The carcass is still deemed a suitable protein source and is commonly used by pet food manufacturers to produce dog food for your pet.
If the ingredients aren’t bad enough, consider the preservatives and harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, chemical preservatives and other artificial additives are the norm in commercial dog food. Commercial dog food is usually rendered using a high heat method that is designed to kill bacteria. This process also destroys many of the essential vitamins and nutrients. And, what’s worse is the chemicals used to euthanize zoo animals, disabled and dying livestock can and do survive this cooking process.
You can’t beat commercial dry or canned food when it comes to the convenience factor. Throw some kibble in a bowl and you are done. But, what is the cost to your pet’s health and longevity? Starch is used to form the kibble and even the varieties that claim to be “grain-free” are not “starch-free”. They simply substitute one starch for another. Most canines thrive on a low starch, high protein diet. Kibble changes this balance with too much starch.
What’s in your dog’s kibble?
It’s becoming increasingly popular for commercial pet food manufacturers to claim they use “all natural” or “human-grade ingredients”. We want to clarify a few things about these claims. First, they can make any claim they want but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Because of cost, pet food manufacturers will often utilize the cheapest sources of protein they can find – and, because pet food manufacturers are poorly regulated, how do you really know their claims are true?
Commercial Raw Dog Food versus Homemade Diets
Not every pet owner has the time or inclination to cook or prepare a special diet for their pet. If you do, we applaud you; however, beyond the time it takes to do this there are a few other things you should consider.
The acceptable level of bacteria in meats you buy at a grocery store is relatively high because it is meant to be cooked. The acceptable level of bacteria in produced raw foods for dogs is relatively low because it is meant to be fed raw. At K-9 Kraving, we utilize a special process of manufacturing, keeping ingredients stored at 8-degrees and the temperature consistently below 28 degrees at all times to safeguard against bacteria.
Also, if you are feeding a homemade diet (whether raw or cooked), it needs to be complete & balanced. Without the ingredients essential to the overall health of your pet, you could end up defeating the purpose with a diet that is deficient in one or more nutrients.
The K-9 Kraving raw diet was developed in conjunction with Dr. Richard Patton, PhD in Animal Nutrition. Our formulas supply all the vitamins, minerals and trace minerals your dog needs to thrive. It does not contain any preservatives or added chemicals.
The Bottom Line
Our ingredients are sourced fresh in the USA (with only our fresh whole Mackerel imported from Canada). We NEVER use artificial chemicals or preservatives. We DO NOT deal with rendering plants or slaughter houses, the source for most dog/cat foods. We DO NOT outsource any of our product manufacturing or re-sell other product made elsewhere. K-9 Kraving was the first dog food manufacturer in the USA to be USDA certified and have an inspector on site. We did this as a voluntary choice and we welcome and support changes in the pet food industry so that consumers can rely on the ingredient list in a commercial food and not the marketing language to select their dog’s food.