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My vet says feeding raw caused his diarrhea! Is this true?

With Spring comes the spring thaw, and with the spring thaw, we love to take our dogs outside more and enjoy the great weather. One thing we often forget is with the warmer weather we also see an increase of bacteria and fungus growth in our environment.

Bacteria thrives in wet, humid, warm conditions. So there will be an increased amount of bacteria in our yards and outdoor spaces, especially with stools that were not picked up over the winter.

Since dogs love to have their nose to the ground and eat or lick inappropriate things, like, ALL THE TIME, we typically see an increase in diarrhea during this time of year. It doesn’t matter if your dog eats a dry kibble diet or a fresh a raw diet, when we spoke with our vets about this they said they see it with ALL dogs – regardless of what they are fed. However, some vets who are against feeding a natural, raw diet, come to the conclusion that raw feeding is the cause of your pets diarrhea, without considering the external environment or performing proper testing to back their diagnosis.

I worked in a medical laboratory for years, my first question to any vet is, ” have you done a fecal analysis to rule out salmonella or e coli?” the answer is almost always no. If they do a fecal test, they often tell me “we didn’t find salmonella or e coli in the stool”. If there is no salmonella or e coli in the stool, then the diarrhea is NOT from the food. In order for a dog or cat to become ill from “food poisoning” there would be a detectable amount of bacteria in the stool when they did the tests.

so no bacteria = no food poisoning.

I have great respect for our vets, especially the ones that can think outside of the box. And in their defence, they see people that feed their dogs what I consider “backyard raw.” “Backyard raw” is what I call raw companies that sell raw from their garage, with no proper refrigeration, and deliver to parking lots in the middle of summer, where it’s hot and bacteria can easily grow, but that is a blog post for another day! Not all raw is created equal, proper commercial companies work hard to ensure a safe product is made for consumers.

To properly diagnose a dog or cat you must have scientific based evidence. Your doctor wouldn’t diagnose YOU with an illness without first running tests, and if your tests come back negative, wouldn’t say you still have the disease. So why are vets, who are so FOR scientific data and research, giving out diagnosis with no scientific evidence to back it up? It’s because it’s easier to say “it’s probably your raw diet” instead of what they should say ” we aren’t sure why your dog has diarrhea” .  A vet saying its the diet even after the tests come back negative is the equivalent of your doctor telling you that you have lung cancer, and the x-rays coming back negative. It’s reckless. The other dangerous thing is the over prescription of antibiotics in the vet world, just like us humans, dogs can develop antibiotic resistant bugs where the traditional antibiotics wont work. We must be responsible when our dogs and cats are prescribed antibiotics, and make sure they are truly required.

So this spring, if your dog experiences diarrhea and you take them to the vet, ensure they run fecal analysis. If that analysis comes back negative and your vet says the cause is the food, ask them why they think it is the food, without scientific proof. It is most likely something ingested from the dog’s environment that is causing the upset tummy.

Keeping it real!

Caroline Bolduc

Founder and CEO of Bold Raw and Mega Dog Raw

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