Is raw pet food right for your dog?

Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin , CTV Vancouver

Published Friday, April 27, 2018 6:00AM PDT

Sales of commercially prepared raw pet food have soared, more than tripling in the last seven years. Many people who feed their pets raw meat claim it gives them better health and more energy. But Consumer Reports says raw food can be dangerous for both the animal and their families.

Whether it’s from the meat aisle or a commercial formulation, a raw meat diet may not contain everything your pet needs, and there are safety concerns.

Public health agencies and many veterinarians, say raw food can contain bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

“Even raw pet food that you buy commercially prepared in a pet store is still potentially dangerous because it can still contain harmful bacteria,” explained Julia Calderone, Consumer Reports health editor.

Veterinarian Dr. Daniela Goldman says symptoms to look out for in animals include vomiting and diarrhea.

If you do choose to feed your pet raw food, Consumer Reports says to take these important precautions:

  • Use hot soapy water to clean everything the raw food has touched
  • Disinfect with a commercial product or a bleach solution of one tablespoon bleach, mixed with four cups of water
  • Also, wash your hands vigorously for 20 seconds with warm water and soap after handling raw food, playing with your pet or cleaning up after it.
  • Kisses from your pet can also transmit bacteria. So avoid that as well.

Consumer Reports says before making any big changes to your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to ensure your pet will be getting all the nutrition it needs and to discuss any safety issues.

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