Raw diets have become more popular because consumers believe that by eating them, pets will have shinier coats, cleaner teeth, and a longer life. Yet veterinarians and public health officials continue to warn consumers about the health dangers of raw food.
Some pet foods contain raw meats, vegetables, eggs, and unpasteurized milk. These products are a source of bacteria and other pathogens that can cause foodborne diseases to dogs, cats, and their owners.
If you are considering feeding your pet raw food, below is some information that you need to know. If you have any further questions, please contact Normandale Veterinary Hospital.
Bacteria and Germ Exposure
Public health organizations including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as veterinarians against feeding raw food to your pet.
Raw food exposes your pet and you to harmful bacteria and germs such as:
● E. coli
● Listeria monocytogenes
How Are These Germs Harmful to You and Your Pet?
E. coli, salmonella, and listeria are three of the most common bacteria found in raw pet food. They have the potential to cause short and long-term medical conditions. Some are even fatal.
What are the dangers?
● Bloody diarrhea
● Severe abdominal pain
● Kidney failure
Food Poisoning Outbreaks
Pets are social creatures. They often engage in physical contact with both humans and other animals. Therefore, they can spread diseases and bacteria quickly. In some cases, an outbreak can occur throughout a neighborhood or a city within hours of contact.
Raw pet food manufacturers must follow strict safety regulations including sourcing safe ingredients, maintaining clean facilities, and treating and testing pet food before distributing it to retailers or other buyers. Yet, even the strictest adherence to an industry protocol cannot account for human error or what bacteria or germs the raw food gathers during delivery or storage before you purchase it in the store.
But, Isn’t it Natural for Pets to Eat Raw Food?
Yes, it is natural for pets to eat raw food. In fact, it is natural for all animals to eat raw food. In many cases, humans eat raw food.
Yet, an animal’s predisposition to eating raw food does not mitigate the risk of it succumbing to an illness or spreading the illness to other animals or humans. In other words, they can still get sick or become contagious.
Is Raw Food Healthier for Your Pet?
Advocates for raw food diets claim that there are benefits to eating raw food such as fresh breath, higher energy levels, and a healthier, active life. Yet numerous studies have indicated that there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Although raw food may seem like a healthier route to take for an animal, raw products do not offer a healthy, balanced diet. Cats and dogs can lose 60 percent of the nutrients they require for strong growth and overall good health.
Veterinary Care for Your Dog and Cat
Normandale Veterinary Hospital offers complete care for your pet including disease treatment, dentistry, grooming, heartworm treatment, surgical procedures, and vaccinations. We also provide pharmaceuticals for your pets medical needs.
If you need emergency care or would like to schedule an appointment for medical treatment, call us at 952-831-8272 or send a message to on our contact page