A 2019 study tested raw meat dog foods from 10 manufacturers and found that 100% contained bacteria species indicating fecal contamination and poor hygiene standards.
Raw meat diets have recently become popular due to the assumption that they are more "natural" than other dog food options. However, the bacterial contamination present poses risks to both animals and people, especially infants, the elderly, and those with poor immunity.
All products analyzed in the study originated from Europe and were tested for Enterobacteriaceae, Clostridium perfringens, Salmonella and Campylobacter species.
52% of the 60 samples contained levels that exceeded the threshold set by the EU of 5000 bacteria per gram. One third contained E coli, and 30% contained C perfringens.
Salmonella, which the EU doesn't permit in any animal feed, was found in 7% of the samples.
The researchers warn that bacteria in the juices from raw meat can splash and spread to other food and surfaces. "This research offers further compelling evidence to support vets' concerns about the potential animal and public health risks associated with feeding pets a raw meat-based diet," says British Veterinary Association Junior Vice President Daniella Dos Santos.
Is it more "natural" to feed your dog a raw meat diet, or a plant-based diet? Looking at the evolutionary history of the domestic dog, you might be surprised. Learn more.
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