By John Mikesell
Owners of raw-fed and minimally-vaccinated dogs may face frustrating obstacles.
Many owners of raw-fed therapy dogs are being told they can no longer volunteer in hospital settings, and many choose to stop volunteering rather than feed kibble.
Raw pet food is not the only vector that could potentially transmit Salmonella to a dog and then patient; many dry dog foods have been recalled during the past year due to possible Salmonella contamination. Proper precautions can protect patients from becoming infected with Salmonella from a therapy dog visit.
There are some emergency clinics that will not accept a raw-fed dog. Some clinics may only admit a raw-fed dog on the condition that his owner consent to feeding the dog whatever the hospital feeds while hospitalized, likely a commercial kibble, which from a holistic point of view is often the least healing diet a dog might have during such a stressful time.
It would be prudent, therefore, for the owners of raw-fed dogs to check with any local emergency and specialty veterinary clinics that are likely to treat their dogs so they will not be surprised in an emergency situation.
Vaccinations can be another area where the holistic minded find themselves battling rules. Boarding kennels, obedience schools, groomers and other canine businesses that require vaccinations just can’t dismiss their rules. But, often they will accept documentation that shows that the dog is otherwise protected. I have papers to show that my dog is protected.
It is ultimately up to the owner and his or her veterinarian to decide what is best for their pet. Check with your vet, and your health food professional, on the benefits of a raw-fed diet, and you decide.
It is that time of year again. Do not leave your dog or cat (or child) in a hot car! Use common sense. Only a few minutes can be deadly in some cases.