Pets

Studies suggest feeding raw diet to pets is BAD - not recommended by various veterinary association and FDA

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 11th, 2018 10:54 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 13, 2018
1192 posts
557 upvotes

Studies suggest feeding raw diet to pets is BAD - not recommended by various veterinary association and FDA

I was reading and researching raw food diet for my cat and found these sources to discourage raw food diets and I find that raw food is advocated by advocates more than any empirical research

I get that in nature, it's raw food for cats, but the animals they kill aren't from the dirty contaminated human grade factory farms which carries things like salmonella, listeria etc

I get this is from Gizmodo but they have a lot of reputable sources linked as well from various studies and medical association

https://gizmodo.com/stop-feeding-your-p ... 1822036766
A research team led by Paul Overgaauw at Utrecht University sought to learn if zoonotic bacteria and parasites, that is, bacteria and parasites that can leap between species, might be found in commercial RMBD products, and to what extent. To that end, they analyzed 35 commercial frozen RMBDs from eight different brands, all from the Netherlands.

What they found was a bit disturbing. The bacterium E. coli was found in nearly a quarter of the products, and Salmonella in 20 percent of products. Both of these pathogens are dangerous to humans and pets. In addition, the researchers found various Listeria species in 43 percent of the products—bacteria that’s particularly dangerous to pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Four of the products had the Sarcocystis cruzi and Sarcocystis tenella parasites (the former of which is transmissible to humans). And finally, two of the products had Toxoplasma gondii—a brain parasite that’s known to alter the behavior of animals, possibly even humans.

The researchers only tested products available in the Netherlands, which is a limitation to the study. These products will vary from country to country, each of which enforces different standards for meat, quality control, and so on. But studies done in other countries have reached similar conclusions (examples here, here, here, and here).

People could come into contact with these pathogens by touching the infected pet, handling contaminated pet food and surfaces, or consuming human food that has been cross-contaminated. In addition to having owners educate themselves about the risks and engaging in good personal hygiene practices, the researchers advise that manufacturers include warnings and handling instructions on their products.

“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,” write the researchers in their study. “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.”

Jennifer Larsen, a clinical nutritionist at the University of California Veterinary School in Davis who wasn’t involved in the new study, agrees with the authors.

“We do not recommend the feeding of raw animal products (meat, egg, bone, etc), and these types of diets are not allowed in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital per our Infectious Disease Control Policy,” she told Gizmodo. “There are risks to both animal and human health as a result of this practice, with no proven benefits. This is backed by previous research that has found similar types of contamination in commercial raw pet diets, so the risks are well documented.”

Larsen pointed to policies and position statements regarding this issue from the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California VMA, the Canadian VMA, and the FDA (here, here and here).

Larsen is unconvinced by arguments stating that dogs and cats should be given foods that they’re more likely to eat in the wild.

“The goals we want for our pets include longevity, usually not reproducing, ideal nutrition and good body condition, and avoidance of trauma and disease,” she said. “We do lots of things to protect them from what would happen in nature, such as starvation, disease, early and often reproduction, trauma from accidents and fights, and very short lifespan. We have the ability to do this thanks to scientific advancements in nutrition, medical therapy, and preventative veterinary care (neutering, vaccines), as well as the use of leashes and fences and moving them indoors.”

Importantly—and as Larsen points out—dogs and cats are not “natural.” We created them for our own purposes, using them for hunting partners, companionship, farm work, and so on.

“Since they essentially evolved on human garbage and have excelled at this scavenger lifestyle—and most dogs worldwide still live this way—it is not realistic to imagine them as wolves,” said Larsen. “Cats are closer to their undomesticated state, but we still want them to live long lives and not transmit diseases to us when they sleep in our beds and walk on our kitchen countertops!”
8 replies
Deal Guru
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Feb 24, 2007
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At the same time "modern type of food" fed to say..dogs is being replaced with too much grain replacement at the expense of high-quality animal protein. I have a Yorkie and noticed that she was developing certain food sensitivity towards corn/what based type of dry food. Tried many brands and found one which agrees with her digestive system.
Deal Expert
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May 22, 2005
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Thornhill
Dunno, I've had great results with feeding raw. Started almost 10 months ago and never looked back.

I have two indoor cats, both are common shorthair strays, and since I started feeding raw, I've experienced more benefits.

Pros:
-No need for bathes, their fur is super soft, everyone who has visited have asked me about how often I bathe and groom them. I've never bathed them and I groom once a month.
-No hairballs
-Their poop does not smell, no more poop smears, also resulted in much less poop
-No more blood/mucus in stools
Sr. Member
Apr 25, 2011
850 posts
383 upvotes
British Columbia
There's pros and cons to it. Anecdotally I know some pets it helps, some it hinders and some it has no real difference on either way.

If you want to try it my main concern is making sure it is a properly balanced diet for the animal and that you use safe food handling practices with raw meat.

Personally, my dogs lick my face too much for me to try it on them. Face With Stuck-out Tongue And Winking Eye One of my cats hates raw (despite happily dismembering rats), another developed pancreatitis almost directly after changing over to raw (hello 2 thousand dollar vet bill! So much for raw helping with IBD!), and haven't bothered trying it on my third cat... Don't know if it's worth it as he has bizarre unexplainable autoimmune issues.
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Aug 29, 2001
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ThunderBay
My inlaw feed her dog raw food, and the biggest benefit was his teeth and backyard poop that dissolved rapidly compared to her previous dogs that ate processed dog food.
Newbie
Aug 14, 2016
6 posts
I can look up the study later - but commercially processed food also has a high amount of E. Coli. Also there really is no onus on huge commercial pet food companies to do any studies on raw food.

When I started feeding my dog raw his allergies went away + his poops are super small and not smelly now! I'm honestly 100% aboard the raw train, my other dog (not raw fed) is 9 and already has pretty much no teeth despite brushing etc. Most pets develop dental disease by their 3rd year of life!
Member
Jan 18, 2017
340 posts
104 upvotes
coriolis wrote:
Oct 27th, 2018 11:57 pm
Dunno, I've had great results with feeding raw. Started almost 10 months ago and never looked back.

I have two indoor cats, both are common shorthair strays, and since I started feeding raw, I've experienced more benefits.

Pros:
-No need for bathes, their fur is super soft, everyone who has visited have asked me about how often I bathe and groom them. I've never bathed them and I groom once a month.
-No hairballs
-Their poop does not smell, no more poop smears, also resulted in much less poop
-No more blood/mucus in stools
+1. I've transitioned my cat to raw 5+ years ago and I've seen all these benefits (compared to cats on dry food).

E. Coli and Listeria does scare me though. How well are these pathogens controlled in Canadian raw meats?
Member
User avatar
Jul 7, 2005
489 posts
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I've been feeding raw 5+ years and handle raw meats (and some treats!) for my dog the same way I handle them when I cook and never had a problem!

https://www.truecarnivores.com/raw-food ... -pet-sick/

To me the OPs article only focuses on more "risks" to the "human" from a raw diet, because the "human" is susceptible to all these nasty pathogens...but nothing BAD to the pet?
Jr. Member
Jul 24, 2018
111 posts
57 upvotes
I've been adhering to the raw food recipe found on Feline-Nutrition.org for a few months now, replacing Kiwi Peak and Tiki Cat-After Dark canned food. He won't touch the higher-quality canned food now that he used to enjoy, so I believe I've made the right choice. He's due for an annual in the spring, and I'll be paying for bloodwork to verify his health. CatLadyFitness.com (YT channel) also feeds her cat raw, and her vet gave him a clean bill of health with the same diet that I'm feeding mine. In the beginning, I was incredibly nervous about making the switch—but it's logical to me, and my cat appears happy and healthy.

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