Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
The Facts and Myths Behind Raw Food Diets for Pets
May 24, 2019
We all have the best intentions in our desire to feed our pets a good quality diet. However, it can be very confusing when trying to make the right choice when we are overwhelmed by so much online information and media hype. The raw food diet has become very popular over the past ten years. If you are considering this diet for your pet, there are some important facts to be aware of when feeding raw food diets to pets.
We often hear that people think a raw food diet would provide similar nutrition to what a pet would receive in the wild. However, our pets are domesticated animals, and they typically live longer, healthier lives than their wild ancestors due to modern medicine and good quality nutrition. Animals foraging in the wild did not necessarily eat a balanced diet, and they were exposed to all sorts of parasites from these food sources. Here are some important facts to review when considering feeding a raw food diet.
Raw food diets require careful handling and can be more easily contaminated with bacteria such as salmonella.
Feeding raw meat could potentially expose your pets to harmful bacteria, parasites and protozoa.
Raw food meals cannot be left out to defrost or in a pet food bowl for extended periods of time. It is especially true in the summer months as bacteria will multiply rapidly at these temperatures.
Family members handling raw food could also be exposed to these same organisms, and safe handling techniques and safe food storage are essential skills when dealing with raw meat. Immune compromised people, young children and elderly people are at greater risk when exposed to these microorganisms.
Salmonella contamination in raw food diets is frequently found when tested.
Bone fragments in raw food diets can cause serious injury to pets. Sharp pieces of bone can damage the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Raw and cooked bones can fracture teeth. We often see dogs with fractured teeth after being given bones to chew. Bone fragments can also become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract.
Typically, raw food diets are not nutritionally balanced. Diets composed primarily of meat and bones are most certainly lacking in essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium deficiency is a common issue with raw food diets. Diets containing large quantities of the liver can lead to vitamin A toxicity.
In conclusion, a raw food diet may not be the best choice for your pet. Please consider all the facts and risks to pets and family members before choosing a raw food diet. We encourage everyone to use their veterinarian as an educated source of information about pet nutrition rather than attempting to sift through the myriad of misinformation online.
From August 31st to October 3rd, we are running a special promotion for the well-being of our feline patients. We understand that bringing your cat to see the vet can be a bit stressful for some pets and their people too. If you find this process challenging, give us a call at 416.537.3128 to speak with one of our Registered Veterinary Technicians for helpful tips on fear-free vet visits for cats.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE
If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
4. OPERATING HOURS
We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Tuesday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Wednesday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Thursday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Friday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Saturday: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm Sunday: Closed
NEW PET OWNERS
Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!