Raw Food: The Hottest Trend in Pet Nutrition May Be the Riskiest

| May 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Dog owners are becoming more and more educated about the negative effects of processed kibble and canned food. They are looking to natural and minimally processed options for their best friends. While raw food has been a growing trend in the last decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it may not be the safest option for your pet or for the humans living in your home. “Feeding raw foods to pets increases the risk that both the pet and the people around the pet will encounter bacteria that cause foodborne illness, particularly if the products are not carefully handled and fed,” William J. Burkholder, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Medical Officer in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Division of Animal Feeds says.

While we all want the best for our pets, there are some risks that come with feeding your dog a raw diet. The Farmer’s Dog is a fresh food company that customizes meal plans for your dog and delivers gently-cooked, balanced food directly to your door. The co-founders, Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev, say the first step is to start with high ingredients. They work with veterinarians to ensure all recipes are complete and balanced, gently cook them to kill any dangerous bacteria while still preserving all of the good nutritional content. This process gives our pets real food without the risk. While some raw foods like vegetables are safe for your pets, there are a few things to watch out for.

Bacteria: By not cooking the meat, even if it is human-grade, there is a risk of transmitting harmful bacteria to you and your dog including e-coli, salmonella and other parasites. Not only could your dog become sick after ingesting this, but if a bacteria like Listeria were to be found, it could grow and spread in your refrigerator and affect you and your family.  “We gently cook our food so it’s safe for human consumption,” Regev said. “The cooking process helps to eliminate any dangerous bacteria that could get your dog or your loved ones sick while preserving all the nutrients contained in our fresh meat and veggies”

Unbalanced:  It’s essential to a dog’s wellbeing that they eat a complete and balanced diet containing carbs, proteins and vitamins and minerals in the right proportions. “Ensuring your dog has a complete and balanced meal is essential to their well-being. It can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to get it just right,” Podolsky said. If you aren’t directly working with a vet to ensure your dog is getting all of the nutrients it needs over a period of time, your dog’s health could be damaged.

Bones:  With a raw diet you can run into a lot of bones in the meat. “It feels like second nature to give your dog a bone, but the bones have splinters and can easily break in your dog’s mouth,” Regev said.  These bones have the potential to cause your dog to choke, break its teeth or even cause an internal puncture.

Portion Control: Just like humans, dogs have to watch the number of calories they intake on a daily basis. When eating a raw diet, it’s very difficult to calculate how many calories your pet is ingesting. “At The Farmer’s Dog, we work with certified veterinary nutritionists to calculate exactly how many calories your dog has to eat in a day,” Podolsky said. If you are not counting your dog’s calories, it can quickly cause your dog to be underweight or overweight, which can result in a range of health issues and more visits to the vet in the future.

Dogs rely on their human companions to provide them with safe and healthy food choices.

Category: Animals, Life Style, Local News

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