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Raw Meat Diets Are Dangerous for Pets, Scientists Warn

Raw Meat Diets Are Dangerous for Pets, Scientists Warn

The bacteria in raw meat could be deadly

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Raw meat for dogs is really unsafe, no matter how 'natural' it is.

News flash: The meat you buy wrapped in plastic is not the same thing as meat your dog might find in the wild. And scientists want you to know that feeding Fido a raw hunk of store-bought steak could put his life at risk from hidden bacteria and pathogens lurking inside.

The raw food trend is the newest craze amongst pet owners. With similar sentiments as people who refuse to feed themselves anything but raw food, proponents brag that the raw pet foods are a “more natural” alternative to processed pellets and treats.

The raw foods are sold frozen, consisting of meat, bones, and organs that are then thawed and fed to dogs and cats. The idea is that by eliminating toxins and other problematic aspects of typical pet food, owners can combat their pets’ allergies and other medical dilemmas.

But researchers disagree, pushing back that there is no real evidence to suggest that pets’ health could benefit from eating raw foods. On the contrary, feeding pets the raw meats can cause dental problems, gut injuries (ouch), and growth problems from nutrient deficiencies. There’s a reason processed pet foods are fortified with micronutrients: Pets need them.

The newest evidence against raw food diets is even more disturbing. The raw food sold for pets’ consumption is infested with deadly pathogens.

A group of researchers from the Netherlands analyzed samples from 35 raw meat pet products from eight different brands. They found that 23 percent of these products were contaminated with a type of E. coli that can cause renal failure in humans. Even worse, 80 percent of products contained antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli.

The research revealed other concerning toxins, as well. More than half had listeria, 20 percent had salmonella, and 29 percent had other dangerous bacteria.

Just because you freeze the bacteria doesn’t mean that they go away — the Dutch researchers were horrified. Nearly half the pet owners in the Netherlands feed their animals raw foods.

If you care about your pet’s health at all, scientists advise you keep feeding them the dry stuff — or stick to meat that’s been cooked. Your pet does not need raw food to live its best life. We recommend you worry about your pet’s health by feeding it these safer superfoods instead.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.


Experts raise concerns over raw meat diets for cats and dogs

Experts are warning dog and cat owners to be aware of the risks associated with feeding their pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs), instead of the more conventional dry or canned pet foods.

In the Vet Record today, a team of researchers based in The Netherlands say these diets may be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, and as such may pose a risk to both animal and human health.

Feeding RMBDs to companion animals has become increasingly popular across the world, yet claims of health benefits are not backed by evidence, and several studies have reported possible risks.

Of most concern, however, is the risk to public or animal health due to contamination of RMBDs with zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that can pass between animals and humans.

So a team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University set out to determine the presence of four zoonotic bacteria and two parasite species in commercial RMBDs, available in most pet shops and supermarkets.

They analysed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, widely available in The Netherlands. Escherichia coli O157 was isolated from eight products (23%), Listeria species were present in 15 products (43%) and Salmonella species in seven products (20%). Both E coli O157 and Salmonella infections in humans have been linked with serious illnesses.

Four products (11%) contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and another four contained Sarcocystis tenella. In two products (6%) Toxoplasma gondii was found. The Sarcocystes species are not zoonotic but pose a risk to farm animals. T gondii is an important zoonosis with a high disease burden in humans.

"Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings," say the researchers.

"Cats and dogs that eat raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets, which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health," they add.

They outline several ways in which pet owners and other household members can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with an infected pet through contact with contaminated household surfaces or by eating cross-contaminated human food.

They therefore suggest that pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals RMBDs, and should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of RMBDs.

Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages, they advise.