Raw Dog Diets and Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
It is no surprise that raw pet foods contain bacteria, it is inevitable given that they are uncooked meat, and this is why, if you feed them to your pets, you must be extremely careful with respect to hygiene and cleaning.
However, an increasing number of studies are showing that the bacteria they contain are the type that are resistant to many antibiotics and therefore represent a big risk to human health.
It has also been proven that these bacteria are shed in the faeces. Although it is true that ALL dogs, regardless of their diet, have bacteria in their poo, raw fed ones are more likely to have strains more dangerous to human health.
All this means that if you choose to feed your dogs raw meals, you must be EXTREMELY careful as to how you handle their food, their bowls and their poo. You also need to be careful when they lick you or you handle them and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. (Possibly something you are doing already anyway at the moment!)
If there is anyone in your family who has a weak immune system or you have children, you need to think very carefully about whether these risks are worth it. It would also be very unwise for therapy dogs who visit care homes and hospices to be raw fed.
Although some dogs do very well on raw food, it is important to remember that overall there is no evidence that they have any advantage over good quality dry diets but, as these studies show, there are clear risks to feeding them.
And yes, bacteria are also found in dry foods (something raw diet proponents will always bring up!) but not in the same numbers or the level of seriousness!
Here is a report on the latest study;
Here is a study showing raw fed dogs are more likely to have drug-resistant E.coli in their faeces than dogs fed dry food;
Here is a study showing that raw fed dogs are more likely than dry food fed dogs to have both anti-biotic resistant bacteria and pathogenic (infectious) bacteria in their faeces;
If you enjoyed this blog, you might like ‘What’s In the Bowl? A Guide To The Confusing World of Pet Food Choices!’