Do you wish there was more clear-cut information about raw feeding?

Do you rack your brain trying to figure out why there are no scientific studies on raw diets for dogs? Or at the very least, have you wondered why there isn’t any data-driven research on the topic.

Me too.

rhodesian ridgeback mia long living pets

If I had a dollar for every time a concerned dog owner asked for this kind of information, Ronnie and I would be living large.

We all want proof.

And for dog owners intrigued by the thought of feeding a raw diet, it makes sense to review this kind of information.

Wouldn’t you agree?

You won’t find anyone that preaches the “educated-consumer” mantra more. I always recommend dog owners take an active role in their dog’s health. It’s essential that you perform your own research, due diligence, and diet experimentation.

But… the harsh reality is that finding this information is a real crapshoot.

I know better than anyone. As a proponent of raw diets, it’s a huge disappointment when I’m unable to providing budding raw feeders with scientific research to support raw feeding claims.

That is, until today.

In this article, you’ll learn why raw feeding studies are rare and where you can go today to find trusted and unbiased raw feeding research.

Testimonials Tell a Convincing Story

great danes long living pets

Despite the information gap, the raw feeding movement has continued to thrive, why?

Real-life stories. Glowing accounts of health transformations are found in support of raw diets everywhere.

Whether it’s a friend or family member that first turned you on to the idea or that elusive girl you met in the supermarket with a shopping cart overflowing with meat – having a genuine conversation with a passionate individual speaks louder than words.

Positive recommendations from other dog owners who have been in your shoes spread like wildfire.

These confirmations are the reason raw feeding has gotten so much traction today and has quite possibly fueled the growth of the practice. Personally, I think they’re worth their weight in gold.

It’s proof the diet works. Testimonials are real stories from real people with nothing to gain.

Sure, testimonials are immensely helpful but some of you might still be wondering, “Why don’t studies on raw diets exist?”

That’s a greats question; let’s have an honest look.

NOTE: Aside from research, if you’re looking to understand why you should consider feeding your dog a raw diet, click here.

The Absence of Raw Feeding Data is Due to a Lack of Funding

Most of us that feed raw diets for our dogs do so at home.

Of the commercial raw dog food companies, vast majorities are independently owned. They’re smaller operations and they don’t have multi-million dollar marketing budgets that the pet food giants have at their disposal.

Neither do consumers.

For the thousands of dog owners providing a homemade raw diet – we’re alone. We don’t have a company, an organization, or even an industry backing home-based feeding practices.

So where would this funding come from, other than our own pocketbooks?

Scientific studies and ongoing research can be quite expensive. Funding typically comes from:

  • Government grants
  • Non-profit organizations (usually large ones with big budgets)
  • Companies and corporations (for marketing or research and development)
  • Private investors.

Now, let’s look at this objectively.

Our government has bigger fish to fry so they won’t be funding any pet nutrition projects anytime soon.

We’d also be hard pressed to find a pet-related non-profit that can throw this kind of money at nutrition, an already multi-billion dollar industry, run by some very powerful corporations.

This leaves companies, corporations and wealthy, private investors among the groups that can afford this type of research. Not coincidentally, it’s these companies, employees, and shareholders that have a vested interest in seeing this research carried out.

Which brings me to my next point.

Raw Feeding Research Is Not In the Best Interest of Pet Food Companies

If irrefutable data existed illustrating the health benefits of feeding dogs a raw diet, pet food companies would be in a sticky situation.

In order to maintain the status quo, the pet food industry needs to support their best practices. This can include the use of lower quality ingredients, the heavy processing of foods, the inclusion of chemicals and other additives, and the practice of feeding foods that are not biologically appropriate.

How do they do this? With scientific studies of course.

They fund studies (biased from the get go) to refute raw feeding claims, despite the thousands, if not millions of dogs thriving on raw diets. Let alone all the other animals in the wild that do so as well.

Like this study claiming dogs thrive on a starch-rich diet (see here for a fantastic rebuttal) or this study suggesting homemade dog food is nutritionally deficient.

It looks pretty grim, doesn’t it?

Get ready for some good news.

Raw Feeding Research is Underway

mixed breed long living pets

Times are changing and we’re being ushered into a new era of dog lovers who are determined to sort through the muck and uncover real answers.

Through the efforts of some extremely selfless and dedicated dog lovers, we’re slowly but surely uncovering more information about pet food, raw diets, and canine health and longevity.

Let’s learn more about the heroes, shall we?

Realistic Pet Food Research

Camelot the Great Dane Long Living Pets

Susan Thixton, the face behind Truth About Pet Food, along with the help of some determined dog lovers and consumers, recently organized a history-making project. It was the very first consumer-funded pet food testing project. You can read more about it and the shocking test results here.

Note: The pet food testing project did not include raw pet foods. Support the project and perhaps it can be expanded in the future!

Susan also maintains the Petsumer Report, a database available for subscribers with reviews of over 3,500 pet foods and treats, including raw dog food. Subscribers have  24/7 access to information on risky ingredients, country of origin, quality and grade of meat products, recall history, and much more. Just as valuable, the report also teaches subscribers how to be more discerning pet food consumers.

Finally, Raw Feeding Research!

Odin the Great Dane from Long Living Pets

Thomas Sandberg is another example of a devoted dog lover. He’s been on a life-long mission – 15 years to be exact – to help pets live longer and healthier lives and he needs your participation.

His current projects are:

  1. The Odin Project – Research on feeding a raw diet to extend the life and longevity of our pets.

This project has been in progress for 15 years and is about to enter Phase 2, where 1000 dogs will be added to the project and followed for the next 15 years. The conclusion: 30 years of real-life, documented cases and the most comprehensive raw feeding research that has ever taken place.

  1. Cancer Prevention – Research exploring cancer prevention through a raw

Statistically speaking, 1 in 4 dogs will contract cancer and this study attempts to see if the incidence of cancer is the same in raw fed dogs versus dogs fed commercial pet foods.

  1. Natural Cancer Remedies – Research into natural cancer cures.

He’s tracking and documenting pets on an alternative cancer treatment among other natural remedies to see if it’s effective in curing cancer.

Tom states his findings have been “no short of amazing” and he’s observed “longer, healthier lives and a dramatic reduction in cancer incidents.”

To learn more about his cause, visit Long Living Pets Research Projects and consider joining any of his current projects. Registering only takes a few minutes and there’s no cost involved.

I signed Ronnie, up and I’m looking forward to being part of the project and sharing Ronnie’s results with a raw diet over the course of his life.

If your dog is struggling with cancer then I strongly suggest you join his Cancer Help project. You’ll receive help and support and get to work with Tom one-on-one in a private forum. What do you have to lose? Give your dog a fighting chance and work with Tom to cure cancer naturally.

There’s only one thing left to do.

Support Dog Owners and Raw Feeders Trying to Make a Difference 

These projects exist because of the tremendous amount of love and support pouring in from dog lovers all over the world.

With your help, we can keep the research going and continue to uncover how to keep our dogs safe from unethical pet food companies and how to extend their lives through natural remedies and species appropriate diets.

If interested in supporting Susan’s advocacy efforts, I recommend subscribing to her Petsumer Report, an online pet food database that provides subscribers with information on over 3,500 pet foods and treats (with new products added each month) including raw pet foods. Gain access to the vital information that’s not disclosed on pet food labels.

If interested in supporting Tom’s research efforts, register to join any of his current three studies, donate to the project, contribute to the 2015 Long Living Pets Road Tour, or purchase his raw feeding book.

Long Living Pets RV

With your support comes knowledge and with knowledge we’re able to provide our pets with a healthier diet and the precious gift of more time here on earth.

To Wrap Things Up

Raw feeding research was once a distant hope for the future.

We understood the odds working against raw feeders: a real lack of funding and the pet industry protecting their backsides and current product offerings.

Luckily, times are changing and pet owners are stepping up to fill in that gap. Research is underway and available!

What do you hope to gain from raw feeding research currently being carried out? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Maybe this will inspire some of you to conduct your own study. Or, perhaps you’ll raise money to fund unbiased research. Kickstarter campaign anyone?

Lat but not least, if you know of any other raw feeding research or scientific studies, email me so I can include them in this list.


Share Your Thoughts

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Comments (22)

  • Debbie Bernfeld

    This is great news!!!

    Reply to Debbie
  • Patty Jones

    I have 7 dogs. I’m a raw food feeding trial every day! I am currently weening my second litter of GSD puppies on raw diet.

    Reply to Patty
  • ZaZa

    I learned about raw feeding in 1975 , while working at a dog kennel the owner fed her dogs on raw, the boarding dogs got one food , or the food they came in with same with the dogs in for training some days I cleaned up after and fed up to 120 dog.. she didnt tell me much at first I just knew what I was cleaning up and what was going in the dogs.. I saw the difference so I startd asking questions Thanks fir this it is wonderfull over the yrs in Grooming and as a Kennel manager and Vet Tech I have seen lots of changes in dogs with this diet

    Reply to ZaZa
  • Nina Wolf

    Terrific explanation, and nicely sums up what we try to tell people every day. One more little thing – please support small food and nutrition stores who do their homework, refuse to carry dangerous but profitable items, and who go out of their way to find and stock foods from tiny but terrific manufacturers. It is a mission of love when we have stores like this, and there is very little money to be made when running a store in this fashion. So say thanks by spending your dollars there. On behalf of all of us little guys out here, thank you!

    Reply to Nina
  • Peter

    I’m a raw food supplier is very interesting all my products are human grade top quality hi to us in a big transformation from when people come from feeding commercial brand diet dog food to raw

    Reply to Peter
  • Andrea Raimondi

    I have a magnificent looking 10 yr Doberman Pinscher who I have been feeding raw since 5 months of age. He doesn’t even have grey hair around his muzzle. He looks and acts like a young dog. People are shocked by his age. Raw is the only way to go…..

    Reply to Andrea
  • Debbie

    I have been feeding homemade diet to my seniors for about 3 yrs. fresh veggies, brown rice and fish/chicken or beef with occasional organ meats. Also mineral supplements and Cosequin. Would love more info. They are 10,12&14 plus 7yr old rescue Anatolian Shepherd.

    Reply to Debbie
  • Fiona

    I started my Miniature Schnauzers on raw May 2015. My concern at that time was my 9 year old, Jack, and his weight. Jack had a pot belly and it didn’t matter how much I reduced his “kibble” or exercised him…the belly was still prominent. I took him to the vet and asked for preliminary testing for Cushings Disease. Although many tests must be run in order to diagnose Cushings, there were no clear indicators for the ailment in Jack’s blood work. Feeling desperate, I told the vet that I had one of 2 choices; either surrender to “science” food sold by the vet (which I absolutely dislike), or start feeding him raw. That day, I came home and made a crock pot of tripe stew and gave it to all my dogs for their supper. My eyes opened! All of my dogs went bonkers for the culinary delight!

    Since that day, Jack has lost the pot belly, is more energetic – he bounces around like a puppy again! He has a little fatty tumor on the side of his body and it’s actually decreasing in size!

    I am a huge proponent of raw feeding! …almost to the point of being obnoxious to anyone I run into with a dog!

    And what about my vet? Well, we had a phone conversation a couple of weeks ago and I was given a huge lecture on salmonella, eColi and dangers of raw chicken bones. Here is a woman that I have entrusted with the lives of my dogs and I was being blasted for potentially harming them! I have since sought out a holistic vet for my dogs dietary concerns. Traditional vets do have their place…with broken bones and a majority of ailments. However, veterinary education is largely supported by commercial dog food companies…much like human drug companies support pharmacology education.

    I’ll stop there. As I’m sure you can decipher, I am passionate about my dogs and their health!

    Reply to Fiona
    • Bob

      Been feeding raw for a decade. We don’t have health problems around here! Love this site!! Please keep it up!!!

      Reply to Bob
    • Brigette

      I experience the same thing with my vet. I recently started going to a holistic vet and she had so much information to tell me. She LOVED that I started raw food and was super supportive. One of my dogs had been having skin issues for months and was on antibiotics for weeks trying to get rid of it (prescription from my non-holistic vet). Then when I went to my holistic vet she told me that my dog had been overdosed on flea/tick and heartworm medicine. His skin issues was him trying to detoxand get rid of all of the medicine that he had overdosed on. She said that dogs detox through their skin and ears. Now, 1 month later, no monthly flea/tick, or heartworm medicine and he’s so much better. It made me feel awful, my dog had been scratching, getting scabs, and losing tons of hair from it.

      Long story, but I think that some vets are “bribed” by commercial dog food companies and that creates a very biased opinion of raw feeding. Happy Raw Feeding!

      Reply to Brigette
  • Serena

    I fed a pre-made raw diet (Darwin’s) for about 6 months but gave it up due to frequent diarrhea. It’s very frustrating not being able to feed raw and I have a freezer full of expensive raw food that I don’t want to give them. I’ve got them back on The Honest Kitchen to which I add Primal freeze dried and offer occasional raw marrow bones.

    Reply to Serena
    • Amy Marshall

      Hey Serena – have you tried any other brands of commercial raw? Or have you tried feeding a homemade raw diet? Perhaps your dog has a sensitivity to something in the Darwins formula you were feeding. Maybe he/she needs more bone. I wouldn’t give up just yet. Feel free to email me and we can talk more – [email protected]

      Reply to Amy
    • Dorna Brown

      I feed raw and go with the Primal diet. All meat and bones with a supplement. Serena, I bet Amy is right. They need the raw bones. It will clear up the diarrhea. I put my Maremma on raw at five months and my Aussie at 2 years and they are doing wonderfully. Coats are beautiful and shiny, they are full of energy, and never have diarrhea. Wolves in the wild eat lots of bone in the prey they kill. The only bones they leave are the major ones because they are too dense to eat through.

      I agree….don’t give up! You love your dog.

      Reply to Dorna
  • Brigette


    I recently came across your blog and was able to sit down this morning and read through your articles. I LOVE them! I have two Pomeranians. One who has had so many issues with throwing up dry food and skin infections. About a year ago I switched to raw and now I make my own raw. It’s been amazing! Both pups are now on all raw food and it’s made such a difference in their health. Their skin and coat is incredible now and they are both at a healthy weight. It’s been rewarding to know what exactly my dogs are consuming. I look forward to reading more about your experience!

    Reply to Brigette
  • Darlene

    I’ve been feeding my 5-year-old Lab/Border Collie mix since he was a year old. After a bout of scary seizures, I did research on alternatives to food and discovered raw feeding. I work the planning like I would for the human food and it’s become second nature. My dog Doctor is energetic and full of life. I can’t imagine turning back. Plus, he hasn’t had a seizure since.

    Reply to Darlene
    • Amy Marshall

      See, it’s these kind of stories that make me so happy! Thanks for sharing and I love that you named your dog, Doctor. :-)

      Reply to Amy
  • Carolyn Hall

    Just got back from vet visit and was scolded and strangely looked at for feeding the homemade raw diet to my year old beagle, Cooper. I began to second guess my sanity and have found the backing I need from this website to stay strong! I am paleo and so feeding a primal diet to my dog made sense and feels natural. I can’t decide if I should continue to go to same vet and prove to them the benefits of the raw diet or save myself having to explain each visit why I feed the raw diet and try a holistic vet.

    Reply to Carolyn
    • Amy Marshall

      orry to hear about your experience Carolyn! This is not uncommon though. Deciding which veterinarian to see is a personal decision, so I’m not sure I can be much help. If you can find a vet that’s on board with raw, that’s amazing! At the very least, any veterinarian should respect your decision to feed raw as long as your dog appears healthy and you’re doing so responsibly. It may be worth finding a vet that’s more respectful, and someone who is more educated or at least open to other feeding options other than processed pet food. But if you can’t, stick it out. You never know when you may need your veterinarian so it pays to have a good relationship despite differences of opinion. I actually see a traditional vet that’s not a big supporter of raw but they respect my decision and have always taken good care of my dog so I don’t let me affect me much.

      Reply to Amy
  • Karen nickels

    I have 2 small yo rkies and a Maltese who has allergies my vet put her on Apoquel and told me to put her on science diet food I did my research and decided to jump in on the raw food diet AGAINST my vets warning at first it was hard going my girls were used to cooked homeade food so the change was slow 80 20 using Primal diarrhea and stomach upsets at times but happy to say they are eager for their food now they love that stinky tripe and I am making my own dehydrated treats so glad I stayed with it and will be glad when and if our vets get on board as the raw diet rumble continues to grow

    Reply to Karen
  • Carol

    Longitudinal research is needed and glad to hear it is underway – I feel incensed every time someone characterizes raw as that “new fad feeding method” – there is nothing whatsoever new about feeding raw – working dogs and farm dogs alike have been fed and thrived on the bits and pieces of “killed” stuff for generations + human food leftovers – they didn’t seem to get cancer or IBD or diabetes like they do now in record numbers – this is a purely economical play by the big kibble companies (including those readily available at veterinarian clinics world wide) – it’s no different than the human pharmaceutical company – the “health” of the individual is not always the important piece but the $$ certainly is! I guess I’m naive I thought these health care professionals took some kind of oath to do no harm – ignorance isn’t an argument that washes for me!

    Reply to Carol

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