We all love our fur babies and want to do best by them. This means the best collars, training, and food, which is where we come to our issue. Raw pet food happens to have a huge debate behind it, many veterinarians are for it, while many are also against the idea of feeding your pet raw food. The risks of raw pet food is substantially high, for both pet and owner. 

What is raw pet food?

bacon, ham, pork, meat
Jocelyn Hsu

Well it is exactly what it sounds like, raw pet food is meat, bones and organs that have not been cooked. This food should be refrigerated or frozen at all times just like ground beef or chicken you would buy from your grocer. 

Risks for your pet

tea, coffee, water
Tarra Rotstein

So what really are all the risks of these raw pet foods? Ever heard of salmonella and listeria monocytogenes, these are two disease causing bacteria. The transfer of these bacteria is extremely easy with a raw pet food. This is because the lack of cooking at any step. Cooking raw meat up to 160F kills both of those types of bacteria, but since this step never happens, raw pet food is always at risk of having either salmonella or listeria monocytogenes.   A 2012 study by the FDA showed that many of these raw pet foods contained these bacteria before the customer was ever able to handle them correctly or incorrectly versus dry pet food which only once contained one of the bacteria. 

What could happen to your pet?

Tarra Rotstein

Let me break it down by each food borne illness. Salmonella in a pet could cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea can be bloody, loss of appetite, and decreased activity level. These symptoms could show up within 12 hours to three days. Listeria moncytogenes could cause symptoms such as: nausea, diarrhea, fever, and neurological diseases can happen in a small percentage of situations. Your pet isn't the only one at risks for contracting these disease. 

The bacteria can spread 

water, fish, shellfish
Jedd Marrero

I bet you have never thought what could happen to yourself if you feed your pet a certain food. Your pet can carry the bacteria on them without ever showing signs of the disease. This is an easy way for the bacteria to spread, and for you to become ill. If your dogs licks you after they eat or rubs their mouth on a nob you may touch in your kitchen or if you're not properly sanitizing your kitchen after your pet's feeding, all of these are easy ways for you to contract a food borne illness. 

What could happen to you? 

tea, coffee, cake
Kate Steiner

Salmonella in humans often appears 12 hours to three days after being infected by the food borne illness. Symptoms of this include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and very rarely salmonella enters the blood stream and can affect joints, arteries and your heart health. While if that wasn't scary enough listeria monocytogenes can have extreme symptoms including infecting multiple parts of the body such as the brain, membranes surrounding the brain and the spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and the blood stream. All of these risks are higher for those who are pregnant, under the age of 5 years old, elderly or have weak immune systems. 


cake, beer, pizza
Tarra Rotstein

The FDA does not recommend that pet owners feed their pets raw pet food. They believe the risk for a food borne illness is too high. If you do choose to feed your pet raw pet food please look over the list for safe handling of this raw pet food, this list also contains information on how to handle dry and wet pet food, but these food are definitely not fit for your pup. The decision of what you feed your pet is up to you, but make sure to know all the facts before making a big decision such as switching over to raw pet food.