It's a debate all dog owners have been a part of at one time or another, a debate that many pet owner have a passionate opinion about- should you feed your dog raw meat?
Some dog owners swear by the healthful properties of raw meat, insisting dogs were born to consume raw meat just like their wolven ancestors, but many vets insist feeding them raw meat does more harm than good.
According to a recent study posted on VetRecord bacteria and parasites such as E. coli and Salmonella found in commercial frozen raw meat may hurt a dog's stomach, but the real danger comes from them spreading the bacteria to people:
The recent study in the Veterinary Record analysed 35 commercial frozen raw meat products from eight different brands. It found E. coli in 28 products, Listeria monocytogenes in 19 of them and Salmonella species in seven. Several products also contained parasites. Other studies have previously highlighted similar contamination of raw pet food in Canada, North America and New Zealand.
By comparison, unprocessed raw meat from the butcher is less likely to be an issue than the products in the study, in the same way it is safer to eat rare steak than raw mince.
For dogs, the bacteria and parasites found in food aren’t actually that much of a problem. Dogs are pretty resistant to many of the possible bugs that can be isolated from raw meat and they rarely become ill, though they can suffer gastric illness as a result of Salmonella.
What is especially significant is these food products’ level of contamination with bacteria that are resistant to treatment with antibiotics. This is a concern for both pet and human health. Infections with these bacteria are increasingly difficult to treat, and the spread of antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue.