Petfood Industry - March 2018 - 27
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source of gastroenteritis in adult dogs and of diarrhea in
Many of the risks from raw pet food diets extend
to the humans that share the animals' living spaces,
he said. Overgaauw recently published a paper in the
Veterinary Record that found bacteria and parasites
in raw meat dog and cat foods. These microorganisms
were zoonotic pathogens, meaning they could pass from
animals to humans and cause disease.
"Although both cats and dogs can become infected
with the found bacteria, illness rarely occurs, and most
of them are asymptomatic carriers that shed these
bacteria in their feces," he said.
When people let their pets lick their faces or sleep
in the same bed, pet owners put themselves at risk for
infection with the pathogens their pets silently carry,
In PLoS ONE, another group of Dutch scientists
published research results suggesting that raw cat food
may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could be
passed to humans either through the food itself or feces.
Raw pet food contradictions
Raw dog and cat food diets embody contradictions.
Pet owners now demand strict food safety procedures
and asssurances of security. Yet, scientific evidence
suggests that raw pet foods may harbor potentially
pathogenic bacteria at higher rates that cooked pet foods.
This hasn't stopped the raw pet food trend, though.
Likewise, some pet owners buy high-meat, raw
diets because they want to replicate what domesticated
pets' wild ancestors supposedly ate, wrote consultant
Ryan Yamka, PhD, in his Petfood Industry blog.
Watch a documentary and note that wolves don't
shy away from devouring intestines, hearts and
tongues. However, many of those same raw pet food
buyers don't want to feed organs or other body parts
vilified as byproducts to their fur babies, as Petfood
Industry editor-in-chief Debbie Phillips-Donaldson
wrote in her blog.
Risks and contradictions don't seem to be stopping
the raw pet food trend though. As Lange pointed out,
the segment still seems to have room to grow. ■
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