Yes, it is.
Feeding raw food to pets is not new, this is the original pet food. However, there seems to be safety concerns that are popping up in the media regarding feeding raw.
Pet owners have been feeding raw diets to dogs and cats for decades, and yet to date, not one documented case of raw pet food causing illness in humans has been reported. But it is the biggest concern our new customers have when we share the idea of switching their pet’s diet to raw.
We want to share some information on exactly why you should feel confident in feeding raw to your cat or dog.
The biology of your pet:
Raw is nature’s diet. The GI tracts of dogs and cats evolved to handle heavy bacterial loads from food found in the wild. Your pet’s body is well equipped to deal with heavy doses of familiar and strange bacteria because nature built him to catch, kill and immediately consume his prey.
Your dog or cat’s stomach is highly acidic, with a pH range of 1-2.5. Nothing much can survive that acidic environment – it exists to keep your pet safe from potentially contaminated raw meat and other consumables. And in addition to the acid, dogs and cats also naturally produce a tremendous amount of bile. Bile is both anti-parasitic and anti-pathogenic. So if something potentially harmful isn’t entirely neutralized by stomach acid, the bile is a secondary defense. And your pet’s powerful pancreatic enzymes also help break down and digest food.
Safety & Pathogens:
Handling raw meat does carry the potential for contact with the usual pathogens found in raw meat, which is why appropriate sanitary measures are important whether you’re handling your pet’s raw food or your own. These risks are no different than the risks of handling burgers prior to grilling them, or making fresh chicken soup for your family. Raw meat can carry bacteria that can affect humans.
Washing your hands:
I don’t know a single pet owner who picks up his dog’s or cat’s poop – or any other elimination product — with his bare hands. I also don’t know a single pet owner who, if she inadvertently touches poop with her bare hands, doesn’t immediately wash thoroughly with soap and water. The vast majority of responsible pet owners also do an excellent job cleaning up pet accidents.
As for the risk of contamination of environmental surface, again, any feces deposited anywhere, indoors or out, has the potential to cause illness if handled improperly or ingested. The poop of raw fed pets is no more or less hazardous than the poop of pets fed processed commercial diets.
What is making pets sick?
Commercial pet food diets, unfortunately, have thousands of proven cases of health issues. Mostly due to poor manufacturing conditions and low quality of ingredients. However, there are no documented cases of raw diets causes health concerns.
A study, published in 2006 and titled Human Health Implications of Salmonella-Contaminated Natural Pet Treats and Raw Pet Food1 states:
“The increasing popularity of raw food diets for companion animals is another potential pet-associated source of Salmonella organisms; however, no confirmed cases of human salmonellosis have been associated with these diets.”
There are many benefits to feeding raw. Including:
- Reduces allergy side effects
- Smaller, less smelly stools
- Less water consumption
- Reduces digestive upset and colitis
- Eliminate pet odors
- Cleans teeth naturally
- Provides weight control
- Promotes overall health
If you’re already successfully feeding your pet a raw diet, we hope you will continue to offer your dog or cat real, fresh, living foods. And if you are considering switching your pet to raw, no need to worry. Your pet is built to handle raw and regular hygiene practices will prevent any pathogen concerns.