Wednesday, July 1, 2015
New Study On Raw Food Dangers
It really does seem like pet nutrition is the focus of everything lately! I think I may have to take a break from the topic for a while before this blog changes to "A Vet's Guide To Pet Food".
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently published information about salmonella in dogs and cats and the link to raw pet foods. Here are some key points from the study.
Of the nearly 3,000 dogs and cats tested, fewer than 100 tested positive. Those that did were more likely to have eaten raw meat, reported the National Institutes of Health (NIH) / U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedLinePlus.
The FDA also noted that dogs can transfer the bacteria into their environments without pet owners being aware of it. (Half of the dogs that tested positive showed no physical signs of the bacteria.) (original article here)
A dog may show no signs of illness yet still carry the bacteria, which can potentially spread to other members of the household. Moreover, for young children, older adults, or individuals with compromised immune systems, bacterial illnesses can be especially serious.
Additionally, the dogs that tested positive for Salmonella were more likely to have eaten raw pet food, study results show. Scientific literature indicates that raw foods are more likely than processed foods to test positive for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, another common cause of disease, in part because they have not gone through a “kill step,” such as heat processing. (original article here)
Raw foods are more likely to carry Salmonella than processed foods. That bacteria can make it through a dog or cat's gastrointestinal tract and come out the other end. Pets that eat raw food are more likely to have Salmonella in their feces than pets on processed foods. And these animals can shed the bacteria without showing any clinical signs. The Salmonella in the feces can lead to serious infection in their human family members.
So here's the bottom line, and something sure to draw the ire of raw food proponents. And I can guarantee that I'll get at least one person who reads this who says "Well, I've been feeding raw foods to my dogs for decades and I'm fine!" But the data is pretty solid. Raw food diets fed to pets increase the risk of Salmonella infection in the humans around them.
Think about this carefully if you are considering using such diets.