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Messages - Darren-Willow Run

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Meg and Dottie,

VERY valid points, and that where sourcing and correct information is SO important.

Regulatory practices are different in every country. In Ireland, EVERY production run has to be tested and the produce cannot be released with Listeria or Salmonella. When we go to market we will do so with a published test result showing endobacterial counts and that it has no salmonella. E-Coli will be present in small amounts (in the one I have  attached 210 parts per million) which is very low.

E-Coli passes through dogs with no problem, but is present in stools...and that is the issue, most raw meats contain e-coli, as humans we cook meat to kill that bug.

We are going to put this in a Chubb (Big Sausage) so it can be boiled in the bag to seal in the goodness and not break down the protein quality too much. That way with information on the bacteria present, and the option being there the customer can then decide whether to feed raw or cooked.

Irish regulations are the only regulations I know of in Europe which require testing to this level. While time consuming we are very happy now as this will mean when we go to market we can offer this level of clear traceability to our customers.

On the issue of regurgitation and runny stools, there is something to think about on this. Sometimes dogs react when their diet is changed, and these symptoms will go away as the dog adjusts. I always recommend weaning on to a RAW or FRESH food as this is not as much of a shock to the dogs system.

Also if feeding RAW look for a very good seaweed supplement. We are putting Oceanfeed C-Pet seaweed into our food as it is a canine specific seaweed supplement, which promotes intestinal health. If you are deciding to home feed, you can get this seaweed online.

Good discussion here.

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There has been some really useful advice here.

For me and my tuppence worth, is a bit of a combination of whats been said already. And again, simply my opinion.

1: There are a lot of legitimate concerns surrounding E Coli, Listeria and Salmonella....however, even if this is in the meat and it passes through to the stool, it is only dangerous to humans if the have weakened auto immune systems, and even then if proper hygiene rules will diminish this. Also remember dogs lick and chew nearly everything they can get to that smells funny, so these pathogens might likely be in the stool in any event.

2: Ingredients will be a likely indicator of the likelihood of pathogens. I know this as we are developing and launching a Raw Food, and Irish regulations require testing on ALL production batches, and we have found problematic ingredients such as tripe for instance which have very high bacterial counts. Even washed tripe has issues, and while we are looking at ways of further cleaning tripe to meet the 5000 endobacterial counts required under EU legislation, we wont include it in our mixes until this is fixed.

3: You can always do it yourself. A cheap mincer for the bones, and some clever shopping means you have control over the freshness and quality of the meat your dog is eating. It is a simple enough process of (again in my opinion) 60-70% meat, 10-15 % bone 5-10% offal (Liver and kidney can be boughts in shops) and vegetables such as finely chopped carrots, broccoli and peas). All that companies like mine are doing is preparing for those who dont have the time or money. (we produce in bulk so it is cheaper)

4: You can always cook it. This kills most pathogens. Some dogs dont like raw,  There is also an argument that the bacteria in the gut that process raw meat diminish over time when kibble and cooked meat is digested. just DONT cook a product with tripe...it will stink your house. Top four feeds for your dog in mine and Dr Karen Beckers opinion 1: Home prepared Raw, 2: Commercial Raw 3: Fresh Home Cooked 4: Fresh Commercial cooked. While I am a producer of a raw dog food, my Rottweiler eats our food cookedand he is in superb condition, we are preparing a cook in the bag solution for people who want to do this. Its not as good as raw, but it is very very close if you dont overcook. You are now feeding Fresh...second only to Raw.

Finally, if this is something you still cant do, products such as Orijen and Acana are now producing freeze dried and traceable kibbles which are as close to the Raw or Fresh experience but they are pricey.

I hope this helps, and best wishes with the decision.

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I think this is  a matter of regulation possibly as I know in Ireland the regulations are much stricter. Very much a zero tolerance approach here for licensed manufacturers.

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