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Raw Food Diets May Be Dangerous for Pets

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 11:45am

Just like fad diets for humans, popular diets for your pets come and go. However, there’s one particular pet diet trend that gives us pause: ASPCA experts say raw food diets for pets that include raw meat, eggs and milk may be dangerous for your furry friends. We typically recommend that pet parents opt for well-balanced, high-quality commercial and cooked foods instead.

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.

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.

For more information about pet-safe diets, consult your veterinarian and check out our complete list of people foods that are dangerous to pets.

Tell us in the comments below: Do you feed your pet raw foods or a homemade diet?

Comments

Comments

Avilla

Switched my dog over to raw diet, he out lived all his siblings who died from stomach cancer, several years before my dog. He died of old age and kidney failure. Will feed my new puppy raw diet to with proper vet supervision and care.

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Jin

This sounds about as ridiculous as advocating to ban sushi or rare cooked steak. If I had to make a lifelong food choice between highly processed mush from companies with confusing nutrition labels or fresh, human-grade meat and vegetable I would go for the latter. And so would my beloved pet.

Paul Martin

The simple fact that commercial pet food is made from meats & vegetables that are "unfit for human consumption" should make anyone sick to think that they fed their animal companions this vile waste material. (Why do you think you are repeatedly being told NOT to make your own food? The profits from this garbage as well as how the whole market saved the food industry, as it not only saved them from having to pay to dispose of it, ...it actually makes them money as a resource!)

I do NOT advocate unlearned people from feeding table scraps or meat to their pets without doing research, but those who want the right information will take the time to find it. Most of what you need is right here on the internet. But make sure you look around & not just jump at the first recipe you find.
Learn what the ingredients do & why your pet needs them. Then you will have to monitor your pet to see how their behavior, their coat, their health...including how their poop/pee is... as a gauge of how they are doing.
This is NOT for people who can't follow a recipe, and certainly not for people who don't have the time or wish to put in the effort.

Also, common sense & clean habits are essential. BUT it can be done! (Don't give in to the fear promoters who want to keep selling you unfit meat, fillers & unhealthy garbage, or who support that industry.) If people saw the raw ingredients (the REAL ingredients & what is done & how it is processed & disguised to make people buy it, there would be no question as to what the real risk is. We had to learn the hard way, as the cost of our pet's health & lives over the years, and we will NOT take that risk again. With proper cleaning & handling habits, raw feeding can be a near-risk-free way of feeding your pets BETTER than what you have been feeding them. This isn't for everyone, I don't claim it is. But it is NOT as risky as it is being made to be.
These animals normally eat birds & mice, insects, etc. They are built to deal with a fair amount of natural bacteria & such. Do you really think a company that uses the lowest quality ingredients, often based on grains, corn, & other plant based items & throws in unfit meat products/parts is really concerned about your animals health? Wake up!
Also keep in mind that these companies spend tons of money to support & send perks to different pet industries (Veterinary, schools, pet shows, etc.) in order to make "friends" & create supporters who will believe their B.S. about their pet food being good for your animal.
If you have doubts, try doing the work needed to research it all out, instead of just taking the word of the "professionals" who are already in bed with or supported by these industries. I did, and anyone can find the truth about all of this, if they care enough to keep searching. The truth IS out there!
(Our pets are cats, but dogs are similar, although not exactly the same & should be treated appropriately.)

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