Is my raw-fed pet a potential health risk for me?
Critics of the raw dog food diet have long deemed raw-feeding as unsanitary and a potential health risk for pet owners. Let’s address that longstanding criticism head-on.
Here are verifiable facts to take into consideration:
First, there are millions of bacterial species and strains on earth. Only an estimated 1% of them are harmful to humans. Most of the bacteria are either harmless or necessary for human survival. An example is the bacteria in our gut, which aid in our digestion and the assimilation of nutrients in food.
Second, when a dog licks you, you will not get the bacteria transferred via that route. Dog saliva contains lysozyme, a type of enzyme that completely destroys bacteria.
Third, raw-fed dogs do not have plaque. That means, there are no oral bacteria present to make you sick. In the case of kibble-fed dogs, it is different. Plaque is almost always present in the mouths of dogs that are fed with grain-based foods for many years. If you notice, bad breath is always present in dogs that are kibble-fed.
Fourth, all healthy dogs can carry salmonella without experiencing any symptoms of salmonella infection. Dog feces contain salmonella. It does not matter if the dog is being fed with kibble or raw dog food. The salmonella is still there. A raw-fed dog is not an exception and does not “suddenly become a salmonella carrier” by virtue of it being fed with raw meaty bones.
Finally, the easiest route for any dog owner to pick up the salmonella from the dog is when he handles the dog and forgets to wash his hands thoroughly before eating. The raw meat, offal, and bones that you feed to your dogs may have salmonella. That is why you need to wash your hands properly after handling the raw meat or carcass (if you are a proponent of the prey method). Moreover, mild white vinegar on your dog’s paws can easily kill the bacteria. So, dab some on your dog’s paws after mealtime.
Now, when you weigh all these facts, you can see that everything boils down to basic hygiene. Always wash your hands before you eat, especially if you have handled your dog or raw meat previously. Basic hand-washing takes care of the exaggerated dangers of salmonella in raw meat.
For more information on preventing dog disease and keeping your pet healthy for life, visit the excellent resource site, Dog Nutrition Naturally.