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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?



Jeff G

Thank You :-)


"Apologize every night to your dog every night" if you can't afford a raw food diet? I'm sorry, that's melodramatic and ridiculous. People like you, whether we're talking chicken backs, ground beef and carrots for Fido or colloidal silver and raw milk for their kids, always cry "symptom suppression" when the fact comes up that there are chronic illnesses we don't have the cure to yet an an excuse for the placebo effect taking months to kick in (you're told you're curing the disease); or cry "big evil ____ industry" and ignore the multibillion dollar natural remedies industry for stuff that is unproven, untested, and not at all necessarily safe and then accuse a who don't swallow it as "uneducated".


I feed 4 dogs and 2 cats raw food consisting of raw bone meats and organs. It so ridiculous to say raw food is dangerous for dogs and cats. I think feeding commercial dog food is dangerous. It's the reason so many pets have health issues today! This article needs more facts.


Thank you Brittany..We have six dogs and they were all on commercial food; one specifically has a problem with IBD and the amount of the money spent on commercial food was enormous; until we switched to raw. All of our dogs eat raw food including bone, meat and organs without an issue. We have no regrets on the switch.


I too am switching to raw meat diets for my two small dogs. a male fox terrier and a female rat terrier, Major and Bella. Major was diganosed with diabetes a month ago and he is not taking the two shots of insulin twice a day very well, too stressful for both of us. He has lost weight and lost his energy for awhile and is becoming very aggressive with me. I have been giving them some meat on and off, not totally raw but rare and they love it. He is getting his energy back but still aggressive everytime he sees me approaching him with the syringe. I have done some research and so I am trying the raw meats and hopefully it will regulate his blood sugar so I won't have to give him two shots a day for the rest of his life.


We just started our Doxie Terrier mix on a Raw Food Diet. Stella and Chewy's brand and so far she eats it and is doing good. She is so finicky about canned and dry anymore that we had to try something. There is a Pet food store close to where my son works and it is all Raw for all kinds of Pets. They also have it frozen or freeze dried and every thing is tested out for everything. We will continue as long as it makes her happy.


The article links to other articles that do indeed contain facts and scientific research. Your post however is nothing more than anecdotal evidence and assumption. “It's the reason so many pets have health issues today!” - have you verified this with a double blind experiment?


have you?


You need to understand that much of the "research" being done is by corporations funded by the conglomerates pushing out crap processed dog foods. MANY veterinarian schools are funded bu Hill's Science Diet...which is why Vet schools have little to no focus on diet, and so many vets recommend that brand even though it's complete garbage. Before you believe "scientific facts" spewed by large corporations, think about our own stupid government and their CRAP food pyramid, which has been one of the major causes of obesity rates in the US!!! Grains were NEVER meant to be the base of the human diet, are you kidding me??? Countries that have a diet based on VEGETABLES with little to no grain consumption are completely FREE of diseases like Crohn's disease and Celiac Disease, yet our government refuses to tell the truth about what we should be eating. Do we need more research done before we can completely say that raw diets are good for our pets? Absolutely. But it's hard to accomplish this when the "big money" is only funding research that spreads lies and keeps them in business. Food for thought.


Since to date to the best of my knowledge, no one has experienced any issues with diseases picked up from this raw food, and at least 119 people have been hospitalized from salmonella from kibble. How do you and the vets answer this question. Most of the information vets receive today on nutrition in vet schools comes from the big dog food companies. Do you think those companies are going to say that raw food is better?