As is the case for domestic cats, there is a gradual trend towards feeding domestic dogs with raw food in the UK as it is more natural. Dog owners are sometimes sceptical about the quality of commercially prepared foods. But there are risks with raw foods.
Scientists have warned that feeding dogs with commercially prepared raw foods might expose them to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and salmonella.
Royal Society Open Science published a study in which 51 dog foods were looked at. The scientists discovered that 37 failed to meet EU hygiene standards.
Thirty-two of the products contained bacteria which is resistant to antibiotics.
“We expected to find a certain level of harmful bacteria but we are really concerned about the high number that are contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”– the leader of the research, Dr Magdalena Nuesch-Inderbinen of the University of Zurich.
The Times newspaper reports that the benefits of a raw diet for dogs are anecdotal and that they are becoming more popular. In 2017 The Times reports that four E.coli infections in people were caused by raw dog food. One person died.
Comment: As mentioned there is a similar trend among cat owners. This emanates from a dissatisfaction from commercial foods, often dry. Raw foods are more natural which it is believed enhances dog and cat health sometimes curing health issues concerning the stomach and digestive tract. We need to be cautious about reports such as this and of course how we handle raw foods.