Pets' Raw Food Diets Cause Concern

A trend that's starting to catch on among pet owners is worrying many veterinarians.

More and more dogs and cats are finding raw food in their bowls, says The Early Show's resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner.


to co-anchor Julie Chen that the raw food diets consist mainly of beef, chicken and lamb. Most are commercially prepared. They also contain vegetables, fruits and grains.

A twist on them is known as "Barf," which stands for biologically appropriate raw food. It used to be known as bones and raw food.

The meats generally come in little patties, or bricks, which are frozen.

But because this is raw meat, you have to treat it as raw meat, Turner cautions.

There's also a freeze-dried version, which you don't have to refrigerate. And organic chicken is available.

Turner says proponents of raw food diets "sing their praises high to the heavens and back. They say that it keeps the animal healthier and they'll live longer. They'll go to the vet less. Their coat will be shinier. They'll perform better, they'll have a better immune system, their teeth will be cleaner. They have enzymes that help their immune system. They tout it to the rooftop and back, saying wild canines and felines eat raw foods. So our pets are made to eat these type of diets."