Please stop feeding your pets raw meat, scientists warn

Please stop feeding your pets raw meat, scientists warn

Contaminated raw meat, is a risk not only to the animal's health but also to the pet's owner, as bacteria and parasites can be passed between animals and humans easily. They found that 23% of the products contained a specific type of E coli that can cause renal failure in humans and 80% had antibiotic-resistant E coli.

Researchers said these raw meat foods should be labeled to reflect their potential risks, which include cross contamination with human foods or pathogen shedding by pets - both of which could be harmful to people.

Of course, there are reasons people look to raw pet food in the first place - they're concerned about what's in the processed food options available for cats and dogs, and what these ingredients could do. 'Which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health'.

"This can be through direct contact with the food; through contact with a contaminated pet, such as sharing the same bed and allowing licking of the face and hands; through contact with household surfaces; or by ingesting cross-contaminated human food", he added.

A trend which involves feeding cats or dogs raw meat and bones, RMBDs have become increasingly common in recent years as pet owners hail them as more natural, and void of additives or contamination. In an email, the study authors said that raw-meat pet foods for sale in the United States are "without a doubt similar" to those tested in the study.

The Dutch study, which analysed 35 products, found E coil in eight, listeria species present in 15 products and salmonella in seven.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health". "I think that in the US especially, owners are much more liking the convenience, and buy these products instead of preparing raw food on their own".

The study was published January 11 in the journal Vet Record.

But researchers have pushed back, saying there is no evidence of such health benefits and that raw meat diets can cause dental and gut injuries as well as growth problems in pets - the latter a result of a deficiency in certain nutrients, a particular issue with home-prepared raw meat diets.

Things are probably better if you only purchase meat intended for human consumption, as the hygiene requirements for producing that are usually stricter than for the giblets, entrails, and other byproducts deemed suitable for raw pet food.

Caroline Kisko, the organisation's secretary, said: "We would recommend that dog owners speak to their vet about which option might be best for their individual dog, particularly if they have concerns over a product".

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