There’s a growing and controversial trend in pet care – the raw food diet.
It’s not just cutting up raw meat, though.
Sales of commercially prepared raw pet food have soared, more than tripling in the last seven years.
Proponents claim better health and more energy in their pets, but Consumer Reports says raw food can be dangerous for both the animal and their families.
Consumer Reports says an exclusive diet of raw meat may not contain everything your pet needs, and that goes for produce from the meat aisle or a commercial formulation found in the pet section.
And there are safety concerns, too. Public health agencies and many veterinarians say that 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.
If you do choose to feed your pet raw food, Consumer Reports says take these important precautions:
- Use hot soapy water to clean everything the raw food has touched.
- Then disinfect either with a commercial product or a solution of one tablespoon bleach and 4 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 her.
- 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.