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Why you shouldn’t feed your pets a raw meat diet

The biggest threat of such a diet may not be to your pet but to you.

‘According to the Washington Post, [raw-meat-based diets, RMBDs] [are] the fastest growing trend among pet owners them in the US and other developed nations. The market has responded and is offering such choices at boutique and chain pet stores across the nation. But is such a diet good for your dog or cat? The results of a new study state you should not feed your pet a raw meat diet because the products associated with it are likely to carry bacteria or parasites. These findings were published in the journal Vet Record

Escherichia coli (E. coli) was found on 80% of samples, and 23% had the type of E. coli that can cause kidney failure in humans. The researchers also found that 43% tested positive for listeria and 20% positive for salmonella. That’s not all. Two types of parasites were detected: 23% of samples tested positive for sarcocystis and 6% toxoplasma gondii. While the former mostly sickens farm animals, the latter can negatively affect human infants.

Toxoplasma gondii is also known to hurt cats and has been implicated in cases of mental illness among cat owners. Study authors told Time that the brands found in the Netherlands were “without a doubt similar” to those sold in the U.S. As a result, researchers say, such products should be labeled high risk.

Not only could these products get pets sick, they could affect their human owners through cross-contamination. Besides preparing food and food bowls on the counter or in the sink near dishes or utensils, a pet often licks its owner’s hands or face. What’s more, the owner has to handle the pet’s feces or things associated with it, so at many points throughout animal care, a person runs a risk of contracting a dangerous pathogen….’

Via Big Think