New Study Outlines Hazards of Raw Meat Diet for Dogs and Cats

Thinking about switching your pet to a raw meat based diet (RMBD)?  A new study of commercial RMBDs available in pet stores and supermarkets found a significant number of harmful bacteria and parasites in these pet foods.

The results, published this month in the journal Veterinary Record, found the following rates of bacterial contamination in 35 commercial RMBDs from 8 different brands tested:

  • Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 : 23%
  • Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases-producing E coli : 80%
  • Listeria monocytogenes : 54%
  • Other Listeria species : 43%
  • Salmonella : 20%

Two parasites, Sarcocystis cruzi and Sarcocystis tenella were found 11% of the products. The parasite Toxoplasma gondii was found in 6% of the samples.

Researchers found that the large number of bacteria and parasites in these commercially prepared RMBDs pose a health threat to both pets that consume the food, and humans via handling and exposure to contaminated food.

They also note that dogs and cats on a RMBD are more likely to become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria than those that consume cooked food.

If you choose to feed your pet a RMBD, it’s important to be aware of the health risks of a raw diet, and how to handle these foods safely.

To learn more about the possible dangers, you can read the American Veterinary Medical Association’s position paper on feeding pets a raw food diet HERE.

 

12 thoughts on “New Study Outlines Hazards of Raw Meat Diet for Dogs and Cats

  1. With Elsa’s seizure condition, I briefly considered it but even the vet said that what we started her out on was a better choice. Thank you for sharing info about this topic which continues to keep the controversy very much alive and well as to its efficacy.

  2. I have recently put my dog, Styx on part raw diet with the support of my vet and a women who specializes in pet diets/healthy guts. It has been great for him so far although we also have him on a very high quality kibble as we travel often and can’t deal with raw meat on the road. When I learned about the connection between (many) large pet food companies and rendering facilities some of which are contracted through high kill shelters, I had to make some conscious changes. So far, so good but it’s always best to look into all sides of the coin. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Thank you for the info. Our girl, Lucy, is almost one year old and ready to switch to an adult dog food. We had considered a raw diet. I am glad we decided against it. Thanks again, this information is very helpful.

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