Every day I wake up and there is some new fad diet going on for both people and pets. Carbs, no carbs, red meat, no red meat.. and the list goes on and on.
This happens with pets also. One of the diets that has been making news the last couple of years is a raw diet for pets.
I decided to get some facts on whether it is safe to feed pets a raw diet.
So here goes:
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agrees. In studies published in AVMA’s journal, homemade and commercial raw food diets for dogs and cats were found to contain dangerous bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, just to name a few. Other tests showed that unprocessed food diets can lead to nutrient deficiencies or excess that can cause serious illnesses in pets. Also, pets chewing on raw bones can lead to obstruction or perforation of their gastrointestinal tracts, and fractured teeth.
Also, don't forget about Lysteria. You’ve probably heard of Salmonella and are familiar with the symptoms of salmonellosis, but you may not have heard much about the lesser known foodborne illness listeriosis. Listeriosis is caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and is a leading cause of hospitalization and death due to foodborne illness, especially in industrialized countries.
If you don’t want to feed your dog or cat a commercial diet, consider a homemade diet that will diminish the risks of foodborne illnesses. These meals should be thoroughly cooked and need to be formulated by a veterinary nutritionist or by your veterinarian to make sure they’re nutritionally sound.
If you are passionate about feeding your pet raw foods, please consider the following tips.
- Work with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s diet is nutritionally balanced.
- Avoid feeding raw foods in homes with babies and toddlers (who put lots of things in their mouths), the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
- Practice regular hand washing before and after feeding pets.
- Practice appropriate disposal methods when cleaning up pet feces.