Saturday 10th November is a very important day for raw feeding, it’s the day of the 5th International Raw Feeding Veterinary Society Conference.
The Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS) was formed by our current President, Dr Nick Thompson in November 2014 with the support of a small band of vets (and a vet nurse, who rather rudely invited herself to the inaugural meeting – me !). All were keen to learn more about raw feeding and to educate other vets and nurses about doing so safely as well as encouraging them to support and educate clients who want to feed a species appropriate diet, instead of trying to scare them off the idea, in many cases.
The RFVS mission is “to promote the principles and practical aspects of species appropriate nutrition, through education of veterinary professionals and the pet owning public”. As an RVN who has been on the receiving end of vets’ disapproval of raw feeding my own dogs and also having seen the relief of clients who have “confessed” to me that they feed raw, I am all too aware of how very, very important it is to get good, sensible and safe information out to veterinary professionals who have often very little knowledge about raw feeding beyond all the rumoured reasons not to.
In the RFVS, we are very aware that as with most things in life, there can be risks to raw feeding, if you don’t take sensible and basic hygiene precautions, for example, but believe that the benefits by far outweigh the risk. The risks are manageable when buying from a responsible source and following good advice from a knowledgeable vet, especially if your pet has ongoing health issues. Those of us who support raw feeding can tell tale after tale of seemingly miraculous improvements resulting from a very simple change of diet away from highly processed foods to a quality species appropriate diet.
Each of our conferences so far has been attended by vets and nurses who are already supporting clients who are or want to feed raw (and also clients whose pets are sick and desperately need good nutrition appropriate to that individual to help them to recover) as well as some who are curious about raw feeding. These are our very favourites, as they have open enough minds to come and find out for themselves about a different way of feeding to that they have been taught at university and subsequently by big corporate owned manufacturers.
At this year’s conference, we welcome some very famous faces from the world of raw feeding to speak to us. Two speakers are real heroes of mine, I’m extremely lucky to have the chance to meet them in person and learn even more from them than I already have from their books and on line publications.
Many of you will know Dr Ian Billinghurst’s work, and that of Dr Conor Brady, Jonathan Self is also very well known. Professor Alex German might be less well known outside the veterinary profession, but is well known within for his work on nutrition and finally, Dr Mark Roberts, who as well as being a researcher also races his team of raw fed huskies. A fascinating group of speakers, and there will be lots to learn, discuss and think about, I have no doubt.
If you talk to your vet about nutrition and what you have chosen to feed your dog, please mention RFVS and encourage them to join and find out about raw feeding objectively – we are a very friendly bunch, and will welcome their questions and gladly answer them.
RFVS is very lucky to have the support of several manufacturers of quality raw foods, including Cotswold RAW – we couldn’t possibly entertain such great speakers just from our small membership fees, and we really are incredibly grateful to all of our supporters for making this conference possible.
If you are interested to learn more yourself, the conference talks will all be available after the event on the RFVS website www.rfvs.info
Morag from Gelert Behaviour.