I have covered the raw diet debate since the beginning of this blog, and the evidence has been remarkably consistent:
- There is no evidence to support claims that raw diets are healthier than cooked commercial foods.
- There is consistent evidence that raw diets are contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria.
- It is not yet clear what the likelihood of infections in people or pets from these bacteria.
- Raw bones, often included in raw diets, may reduce calculus and periodontal disease risk, though this isn’t clearly demonstrated. However, they also present a real danger of injury, including broken teeth.
- Most homemade raw diets, and some commercial raw diets, may have significant nutritional deficiencies.
The bottom line so far is that there are not convincingly demonstrated benefits to feeding raw, and some potential risks, though it isn’t clear how serious these risks are. Most of the claims made for why raw diets are better are myths and nonsense or based entirely on anecdote. Overall, there seems little reason to feed raw when there is more evidence of risk than benefit.
Raw Diet Posts