To minimize health risks for humans and pets, people feeding raw meat-based diets to their dogs should follow good hygiene practices when storing, handling, and feeding the raw meat, researchers warn.
“The practice of feeding raw meat-based diets to dogs has increased in popularity in recent years,” Ingrid Hansson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden tells Reuters Health. “There are different opinions about the advantages and disadvantages.”
Supporters say the diet is a healthier, more natural alternative to commercial feeds. Critics say there are risks involved, especially regarding the microbiological load in the raw foods.
As reported March 4 online in Veterinary Record, Hansson and colleagues tested frozen raw dog food samples from 60 packs produced by 10 pet food manufacturers. The packs contained uncooked meat, edible bones, or organs and originated from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, and the U.K.
Many of the samples contained levels of bacteria that exceeded official hygiene limits.
“Exceeding the limit does not mean that the feed is harmful for animals,” but it does imply that harm is a possibility, the researchers write in their report.| | | Next → | Single Page