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Raw Dog Food: The RAW truth about bacteria in raw food!

The RAW truth about bacteria in raw dog food!

Raw Dog Food? No way! The reason most people are wary of feeding their pet a raw diet is the fear of bacteria. The presence of this unwanted guest in raw meats has long been a bone of contention between advocates and opponents of raw diets. And like most things, the fear comes from a lack of knowledge on the subject of raw feeding.

Why do people feed raw dog food?

Let’s start with understanding the reasons for feeding a pet a raw dog food diet. Most people who have migrated to a raw dog food diet might have done so when they read about it online or heard it through their doggy grapevine. Either way, very quickly they would have seen its incredible benefits for their pets: a healthy digestive system, a noticeable decrease in the occurrence of complications such as allergies, hot spots, pancreatitis and arthritis, shinier coats, stronger teeth and a renewed energy and vigour, rivaling that of young dogs, even in senior pets. So, if raw is so great then why are people still reluctant to feed it? Does the fear of harmful bacteria far outweigh the benefits of raw diets? Let’s read a bit more on it.

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Don't be afraid of bacteria in raw meat.

All our life we have been taught about the dangers of harmful bacteria in raw foods, especially meat. Kibble and dog biscuits took from fresh food until the side-effects started to show up. Smaller ailments such as digestive disorders, skin conditions and allergies to serious issues like autoimmune disease, cancer, and kidney, pancreatic and liver disease. It took years, but people caught on to the problems with kibble and processed foods and started reconsidering a natural, wild diet. Raw diets started coming back into the mainstream, but the fear of harmful bacteria remained. It is only by understanding the biology of the canine's body, specifically the digestive tract, and the difference of it from our system, can we truly comprehend why dogs can handle a raw diet without any complications. Why are dogs well equipped to handle bacteria? Let's look at the start of your dog’s digestive tract, the mouth. Your dog’s saliva has an enzyme, lysozyme, which can destroy harmful bacteria before they can even get any further in the digestive tract. The digestive tract of a dog is much shorter than that in a human, so if any bacteria do get through, it doesn't have enough time to propagate and colonize in the body before being expelled as waste. Then there’s the acidity level in a dog’s gut. The high levels make it extremely difficult for bacteria to colonize. Kibble, being mostly sugars and starch, stays in the body longer as it takes much effort to digest it. And it is this delay which encourages bacterial growth and leads to complications such as inflammatory bowel disease and other degenerative problems. So, in reality, kibble-fed dogs have a higher risk of bacterial complications than raw fed ones. And did you know that dogs are normally carriers of salmonella? Tests have revealed that 36% of healthy dogs – irrespective of whether they are raw fed or on a kibble diet – contain salmonella as their natural flora. And they continually shed this organism through saliva and feces. This is why it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling dog feces.

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Are dogs built to tackle raw dog food?

Dogs are built to tackle raw foods and the associated bacteria, but what about human exposure? Bringing raw dog food into the house could pose serious issues, right? Not if you take precautions that you would take when bringing in raw meat and preparing it for human consumption. Wash the area where you prepare the raw dog food and also clean the bowl thoroughly after finishing the meal. Till date, there hasn’t been a single documented case of human salmonella from raw fed pets. Cases with pet parents, if any, are through handling and ingestion of dry dog food or treats.

Let your dog benefit from raw meat.

Will people stop eating chicken because of the fear of salmonella? Unlikely. What they will do is wash their hands thoroughly and sanitize the area. Do the same for your dog and give him the most natural and best diet on earth...raw dog food.

Choosing BARF India

At Barf India, we have put in the effort and time to create the perfect balanced raw meal for your dog. What’s more, the raw dog food is delivered frozen to your front door. Reach out to us today if you still have any queries regarding raw food, bacteria or any other issue with your dog’s diet. We promise to answer these for you. Make the switch to raw, and watch your dog make a beautiful transformation.