Thursday, November 17, 2011

Check Out The Newest TPD Column - "Ask The Vet" With Dr. Cliff Redford....His First Post On Avoiding Raw Foods Should Wet Your Appetite For Debate!

Considering I am new to Toronto Pet Daily I thought I would start my “Ask The Vet” blog off with a bang. Lets talk about feeding your dog RAW food. Many very loving and well meaning pet owners have started down this dangerous path and I constantly have to beg them to stop. Now please don't accuse me of being in the pockets of the pet food industry because I would make way more money treating all the food related disorders these pets will develop then I ever will promoting commercial dog food and frankly almost anything is better then home made and especially RAW dog food.

Here are a summary of the concerns, well proven in hidden laboratories run by mad scientists eating meat from bovine spongiform encephalopathy cases (get it? mad scientists eating mad cow disease infected meat? I am such a nerd!).

1. Dogs and cats that eat RAW meat carry nasty germs. It is true that the pets are safe from the e. coli. and salmonella etc. that is in these meats but they all end up shedding it in their fur and saliva and it becomes a HUGE risk for their pet owners. Especially the ones with young children. Now I dont really care much about people, only pets so...

2. RAW food is usually too high in protein. This will increase the risk of aggression but more importantly increases the risk for kidney disease later on down the line.

3. RAW food is usually too high in phosphorus and/or the phosphorus to calcium ratio is out of whack. All the supplementation in the world wont help, you need commercially prepared and feeding trial tested foods. These specific imbalances greatly increase the risk for orthopedic growth abnormalities such as hip dysplasia and osteoporosis.

4. Dont tell me it is more natural and is what wolves eat. The average wolf lives 3 years...because it eats garbage food. It dies of disease and hunger and malnutrition and we never get to see what the long term consequences of these foods are. I am planning for my 3 dogs to live 15+ years, how about you?

5. Overall it is nutritionally unbalanced! Maybe the salt is too high, perhaps the calcium is too high, often the micronutrients are too low. This is where vets can make a ton of money...we let people keep feeding their pet this stuff and then eventually we are performing surgery removing bladder stones, or hospitalizing the animal for cases of pancreatitis. I would rather be busy with annual exams and never see a sick pet again.

So please speak with your veterinarian and listen to what they have to say with an open mind. Who would you believe more regarding your own diet? Your own family doctor or the kid who works at the local grocery store?
Email me any pet health questions or comments about the above to
Dr. Cliff Redford
Owner of 3 hospitals in the GTA ( and co-host of

Editor's note : Feel free to post a comment below or have your say on The Toronto Pet Daily Facebook page.


  1. I would believe the kid who works at the grocery store over my family doctor for my own diet as the kid the grocery store is smart enough to do research on diet and nutrition whereas my family doctor only has about 5 hours of "education" on the topic. Most veterinarians don't know squat about it either.

  2. What stupid comment, I hope you don't shop at NoFrills!

    What the Dr. (who is offering free information) says makes a whole lot of sense. My dogs eat all the same foods as I do, well the things they like anyway and they have Caesar's Dry food out 24/7 for nibbling. They are healthy and happy.

    I'm with the Doc. I want my best friends to live to 15 - 20 years!

  3. Problem is that I have far far too many examples of dogs riddled with illness that cleared up within months of being on RAW; including a huge variety of allergies etc. So no - sorry Doc. No dice.

    I will not be giving my pet his allergies back just because you think that over processed food is better. Plus, I DO add all the other elements not just protein. RAW takes work, knowledge and an ability to create the perfect balanced meal from scratch. Kind of like home cooking versus ... TV dinners.

  4. Montecristo I think you might be one of the few who is really diligent about adding the other elements, where as some people don't monitor that much....I'k going to ask Dr. Cliff what his response is to you, and many others, who go that extra mile.

  5. I would like to see evidence to support 1 and 2.
    And regarding point 3, that is simply just a function of whether the meal is nutritionally balanced, not whether it is cooked or raw. Same with point 5. You are confused because you equate raw = unbalanced diet, when in fact, unbalanced diet = bad diet, regardless of whether it is raw or cooked.

    So please, let's see some peer reviewed evidence to support 1 and 2, please.

  6. If you're feeding your dogs all the same foods that you do, I'd be willing to be that they will not live to be 15-20 years. You'd be best to educate yourself about feeding animals before judging raw food diets based on one persons opinion; just because they are a doctor doesn't mean they've educated themselves about this topic.

  7. There's a fair amount of evidence to support number 1. Easy to find in PubMed, or even just through Google.

    Number 2, not so much.

  8. For those interested, you can see my response to Dr. Redford's article above, here:

    Gord was kind enough to post it as a blog entry.