Can I Get Salmonella from Feeding a Raw Diet?

Salmonella with a Raw Diet

 

Many peoples first reaction when mentioning a raw diet for their pet is “what about Salmonella? It’s natural to be afraid or concerned about something when you don’t have the facts.  Of course salmonella is out there, but as with meat you would prepare for yourself, following safe handling practices minimizes the risk. Washing hands, any surfaces used for preparation and your pets bowl are just routine safeguards. Additionally you should always buy meats for your pets from reputable sources. Keep in mind that dogs and cats are very resistant to bacteria such as salmonella, which makes sense for an animal that evolved to exclusively eat raw meat. Their stomachs are much more acidic than a human’s. They have very short digestive tracts; shorter than any other comparably sized mammal. Food normally passes through their systems in about 12 hours. This doesn’t give bacteria enough time to proliferate and make them sick. Compare that to humans, where food takes 36-48 hours to pass through which is why humans are much more susceptible to bacterial pathogens. Raw diets purchased through your pet supplier are almost always frozen and parasites are killed by freezing the food. Keep in mind almost all recalls due to salmonella or other contamination in pet food involved canned or dry foods. A recall in 2007 and another in 2012 that sickened over 100 people with salmonella was traced to dry pet food. The very few pets believed to be affected were pets with compromised immune systems

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