(This is my female Lena getting her breakfast - all my dogs including my fosters get a raw organic diet)
I am a raw feeder since 2003 & feeding your pets a raw whole food diet is the best thing you can do for your beloved pet. There are so many wonderful benefits of raw feeding like pearly white teeth, no more bad breath, small stool, healthier & happier dogs, shiny coat, no doggy smell, less shedding, just to name a few but the NUMBER ONE is for the HEALTH & LIFE of your pet. Although I am a HUGE advocate of raw feeding I do not suggest just winging it or cooking for your dog unless you know how to properly balance your dogs (or cat) diet like the back of your hand. I cant tell you how many clients and friends I have spoke to that are cooking or raw feeding and is not balanced.. Without a balanced diet there can be some major health problems with your pet in the long run. It is actually very simple to raw or cook for your pets but you must do you due diligence in research. There are a lot of great books, websites, FB groups but remember its the more you know the better. I will write more on Raw feeding later. Remember your vet does not learn nutrition in veterinary school, the education they receive is from the pet food industry and have no business giving nutritional advice. Whole foods is ALWAYS better than processed food. Just read the ingredients on you bag of dog food if you can't pronounce it or don't know what it is you should NOT be feeding it.
"RAW DOG FOOD
10 Germs That Shouldn't Scare You Away From Raw Feeding Your Dog
Pet foods in cans, boxes and bags have their own share of germs, so don't let fear of bacteria stop you from considering raw.
BY JEAN HOFVE, DVM, AND CELESTE YARNALL, PHD Share on email Share on stumbleupon
Adapted from Paleo Dog by Jean Hofve, DVM, and Celeste Yarnall, PhD
Much is made of the issue of bacterial contamination in the meat likely to be used in homemade raw diets—for example, meat from the grocery store. And the naysayers have a point: There's no doubt that the U.S. meat supply is pretty dirty.
Meat safety falls under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system; unfortunately, it more or less leaves cleanliness up to the people who run the slaughterhouses. You can imagine how successful that method has been! A new system of irradiation is being introduced to kill the gazillions of pathogenic bacteria on all of those feces-smeared carcasses—because preventing feces from being smeared all over them in the first place would be too much trouble.
Perhaps the risk associated with zoonotic disease (disease that is passed from animal to human) was summarized best by Kahrs et al.: "The transmission of pet-borne zoonoses is complex and usually requires close contact between susceptible human beings and animals or their excretions. Such contact frequently involves lack of common sense and gross breach of sound hygienic practice." We believe our readers have good sense and will understand the importance of sound hygiene and meat handling procedures.
On the flip side, there are multiple studies showing that raw meat diets for pets are more digestible than heat-processed foods. A board-certified veterinary nutritionist who was previously a researcher at a major pet food company stated that she had studied raw diets and that animals did better on raw diets than processed ones.
Let's look specifically at all the nasty things in raw meat that veterinarians worry about.
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These notorious bacteria are a very common contaminant of raw meat, raw poultry, and raw eggs. They have been well studied by many researchers. According to one study, "Salmonella was isolated from 80 percent of the BARF [bones and raw food or biologically appropriate raw food] diet samples. Dogs fed raw chicken may therefore be a source of environmental contamination." However, no dog or human illness was reported, despite confirmed contamination of the food. This has consistently been the case with nearly every analysis of raw foods: They contain plenty of pathogens, but nobody is getting sick. The literature supports the fact that zoonotic transmission of Salmonella from pets to people is extremely rare.
The same cannot be said for commercial pet food. There have been dozens of recalls of dry dog food due to Salmonella contamination. In one 2012 outbreak, more than four dozen people became ill from merely handling dry dog food. That's pretty hefty contamination, if you ask us.
Dogs themselves appear to be quite resistant to illness due to this ubiquitous bacteria. The evidence clearly shows that Salmonella, the most common pathogen of raw-meat diets, is not a significant threat to human or animal health.
More from Rodale News: The 5 Worst Ingredients in Pet Food
This bacteria is also a very common contaminant of U.S. meat and poultry. However, no alarm was raised about it until someone developed a test for it—then, lo and behold, it was everywhere!
A study on Campylobacter states that "if a person and a pet have concurrent campylobacteriosis, the veterinarian must consider whether they both obtained it from some other common source (for example, food or water) or if the pet obtained it from the human being." The authors conclude that dogs and cats are unlikely to be the source of human infection.
This protozoal parasite may encyst in raw meat. Adult dogs are rarely infected, although puppies are more susceptible. The primary cause of human toxoplasmosis is humans themselves consuming raw or undercooked meat, milk, or shellfish.
In Canada and some other countries, Toxoplasma is a common contaminant of pork. However, raw diet proponents (ourselves included) do not recommend feeding uncooked pork, and no raw diet studied to date has contained pork.
These bacteria, commonly found in decaying vegetation, are common and contagious causes of gastroenteritis in dogs and cats. Infections are usually self-limiting. One study states, "No associations between C. difficile, MRSA, or VRE and consumption of raw meat were detected." So, not only is C. perfringens not a serious issue, but also neither is the more virulent C. difficile.
Long before Botox became a miracle anti-aging drug, the toxins produced by this organism were better known for causing a degenerative paralytic and usually fatal disease called botulism. It has been documented in hunting dogs, and in another case, two dogs from the same owner were referred for suspected botulism. Those dogs had been fed expired canned food (canned goods are a common source of botulism); they were also allowed to roam and may have eaten a contaminated carcass.
The U.S. meat supply, particularly beef, is highly contaminated with E. coli. The organism is also ubiquitous in the environment. People commonly carry it. In the vast majority of cases, E. coli is a harmless commensal (part of the normal bacterial population) of the gastrointestinal tract. A study that looked for a pathogenic strain, E. coli O157, in dogs fed raw meat and in their environment found none.
This is a very common cause of food poisoning in humans. Virtually all human listeria is due to consumption of contaminated foods such as meat, cheese, or milk. However, contamination occurs during the processing of these foods for cold cuts, hot dogs, and similar products. The literature reports listeriosis in one dog, source unknown. There is no evidence that any human or pet has ever contracted listeria from fresh, raw meats.
These enterprising, toxin-producing organisms can be found in raw meat as well as commercially prepared foods, among many other places. They may proliferate and produce toxins if the food is allowed to sit out. This is why we recommend that meals be left out for only a short period of time.
Many digestive upsets of dogs may be related to bacterial growth in moist food put out for dogs and left for many hours before being eaten. Moreover, many people mix water, broth, or other liquids with dry dog foods; this is clearly risky, given the level of bacteria known to inhabit the surface of dry food.
In the United States, Staph contamination of meat is thought to come from food animals themselves and not their processing. It's documented to occur in pigs in the United States and elsewhere, and to infect workers.18
The possibility of transmission of S. aureus between humans and dogs has been investigated. The organism was found in the nasal cavities of 24 percent of the people but less than 9 percent of the dogs, and there was a strong association between the person being in a health-care-related occupation and the presence of S. aureus. This bacteria is also a common cause of skin infections in dogs. However, there are no reported cases of dogs contracting S. aureus from raw meat.
One researcher conducted tests on more than 40 brands of dry dog food. Every food sample tested positive for B. cereus. The study's author attributes most cases of "garbage gut" to B. cereus, not to Staph.
This mild-mannered relative of Yersinia pestis (the infamous cause of bubonic plague) is considered a normal commensal in dogs and is widespread in the environment. Raw meat is not likely to be a significant source of infection."