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.

 

Advertisements

Here are the Top Dog Names for 2017!

If it’s January, it must be time for a little fun pet news from the folks at rover.com.  Yes, they announced the most popular male and female dog names for 2017!

Here are the names that Rover found to be most popular, after analyzing their client database:

Top Female Dog Names for 2017:

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Maggie
  • Bailey
  • Sophie

Top Male Dog Names for 2017:

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Oliver
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Tucker

A few fun dog name facts:

  • 44% of all dog names are also human names.
  • People are naming their dogs Barb and Eleven after characters from Stranger Things.
  • The latest Star Wars series is inspiring newly popular names like Finn and Rey.

Be sure to check out rover.com for the full lists of the 100 most popular female and male dog names!

 

British Veterinary Association Launches #BreedtoBreathe Awareness Campaign

With the growing popularity of brachycephalic (short-nosed) dog breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, veterinarians are increasingly concerned about the health and well-being of these dogs.

Many short-muzzled dogs suffer from a condition called BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome).  Symptoms include respiratory noise, narrowed nostrils, gastrointestinal problems, sleep apnea, heat intolerance, cyanosis (low oxygen), and collapse.

The British Veterinary Association has recently announced its new #BreedtoBreathe campaign, which seeks to raise awareness about the health problems of brachycephalic breeds.

You can read the BVA’s official policy statement on brachycephalic dogs HERE.  In it, they outline their concern about breeding practices (and advertising campaigns) that promote brachycephalic dogs, and provide guidance for vets on how to raise awareness about the health problems of short-muzzled dogs with clients.

The #BreedtoBreathe campaign provides a 10-point plan for veterinarians that emphasizes the need for vets to educate pet owners about the health and quality of life problems faced by many brachycephalic dog breeds.

Interested in learning more about the health issues of brachycephalic dogs and the #BreedtoBreathe campaign?  Watch this short video:

 

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

Why should New Year’s resolutions be all about us humans?  Pet owners can set goals to improve their pets’ health, happiness, and well-being in 2018, too!

Here are just a few of the best, and easiest, New Year’s resolutions for your dogs, cats, and other companion animals:

1. Start your dog’s day right (and yours, too) with a healthy early morning walk.  Don’t forget to get your cat moving with a little indoor play time as well.

2. Brush your pet’s teeth at least once a week if you’re not doing it already.  Use toothpaste made for pets and tooth brushes (or finger brushes) made for dogs or cats.

3. Schedule an annual checkup with your veterinarian for all the animals in your household.

4. Make the switch from table scraps to healthy treats like fruits, veggies, or homemade pet treats.

5. Start a pet health savings account to prepare for any future veterinary expenses or emergencies.  This is especially important as your pet ages.

6. Take a few minutes to make sure your pet’s tags and microchip information are up to date.  If you haven’t had your dog or cat microchipped yet, ask your vet to do it now.

7. Put down your mobile device and pay more attention to your pets…they will appreciate it!

8. Do a safety check of your house, garage, and yard to make sure that your pet’s environment is safe from toxic substances and other health hazards.

9. Make up or purchase a pet first aid kit and create a pet disaster preparedness plan so you are ready for any emergencies.

10. Consider adopting a shelter or rescue pet if you are thinking about adding another furry member to your family!