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Current knowledge about the risks and benefits of raw meat–based diets for dogs and cats

Lisa M. Freeman DVM, PhD, DACVN1, Marjorie L. Chandler DVM, MS, DACVN, DACVIM2, Beth A. Hamper DVM, PhD, DACVN3, and Lisa P. Weeth DVM, DACVN4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536
  • | 2 Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH25 9RG, Scotland
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • | 4 Red Bank Veterinary Hospital, 197 Hance Ave, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724

The feeding of RMBDs to dogs and cats has received increasing attention in recent years. The American Animal Hospital Association,1 AVMA,2 and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association3 have adopted statements discouraging the inclusion of raw or undercooked animal-source protein in dog and cat diets. The Delta Society's Pet Partners Program expressed concern that pets in a therapy animal program could be shedding pathogens in the presence of immunocompromised humans and other at-risk human populations. Therefore, they adopted in 2010 a policy that precludes animals that eat RMBDs from participating in their therapy animal program.4

Contributor Notes

The authors thank Drs. Dottie Laflamme, Nicholas Cave, and David Dzanis for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Freeman (lisa.freeman@tufts.edu).