Author Topic: Is raw feeding a risk to humans? (previously raw feeding with toddler)  (Read 16196 times)

Meg

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Is raw feeding a risk to humans?

Yes, indeed there is a risk which needs thoughtful addressing and assessing whilst taking into account others (including other pets) who may be affected by our decision on whether or not to feed raw food to a dog.

However, clearly there is the likelihood of human contact with potentially harmful pathogens increasing when feeding raw food to dogs, compared with feeding food that has been through a production process to eliminate pathogens, such as heating, high pressure processing or freezing.

Might I comment on the question of how low or high this risk is, should certainly, first and foremost, be an individual decision to make, reliant on a whole host of personal variables.

There also should be a consideration of the current health of the dog before feeding raw meat. If there is any delay of food in the digestive system then a dog has longer exposure (with increased risk) to bacteria present in raw meat, which then incubate and multiply. So for example gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhoea, or constipation are all conditions when a dog should not be fed raw meat.





Dottie

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Hello Coaster - the fact that he didn't hyperlink the references  made me think it was a bit of lazy journalism. I didn't cut and paste them because I was a bit pushed for time so I am sorry, but I didn't read them.    :-[     Maybe I will look at them later. Your post is useful and provides a balanced argument for anyone who is thinking of raw feeding and is concerned about infection.

I agree with Meg's comment on people doing their own research and making a decision based on their personal situation.

As you say, following company guidelines on safe use will minimize any risk.  I just think that the circumstances of people should be taken into account.  The risk for a healthy young person with good hygiene standards is going to be less than a vulnerable person who maybe forgets, or finds it difficult to maintain good hygiene. 

This thread was started by someone who was asking about the risk of raw feeding their dog because she had young children.  I am not sure it is worth risking the health of certain groups of people e.g. babies/children/pregnant women/elderly/ill people/immunocompromised/those who have medical implants but it is for each individual to make up their own mind.  If anyone is in one of these categories and is unsure they can always discuss the matter with their own general practitioner and/or veterinary surgeon.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

Meg

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Perhaps it may be helpful to mention there is a different degree of risk if feeding a pre-packaged raw meat complete meal to feeding fresh raw meat to a dog.

As there is also a different degree of risk to consider if a dog would be content to eat raw food entirely in a bowl to a dog that drags it's raw meat from place to place....

I've experienced a commonplace reaction from dogs who enjoy dragging a hunk of raw into their place of choice, which is really no less than I'd expect. Just where that area is would need to be carefully thought through  as I'd not want to risk anyone (particularly the more vulnerable) to exposure of raw meat entrails.

[Please don't think I'm anti-raw feeding, not at all, as I happily feed raw as one of many dog diets]

Dottie

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Some useful points there. I too would just like to say that I am not anti raw feeding; it is just about weighing up pros and cons beforehand, based on the owner's situation.
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

Tinyplanets

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I had to think long and hard about the bacteria issue. I personally think that as long as basic food hygiene guidelines are used, which should apply to handling raw meat for humans too. The risk is significantly reduced.

I agree there are many variables. I have seen people post to facebook groups with pictures of dogs dragging bones along on the carpet and tucking in to them on their beds. A cross contamination nightmare!  I can't help thinking that a lack of knowledge about food hygiene is a big contributing factor in incidents of infection.

COASTER

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Thanks for the further replies.....

We never feed the dogs in the kitchen - only in rear porch or outdoors.  If we had young kids in here I would feed outdoors only......Plenty of humans need to take care with raw human food too. Arguably raw complete minces in trays can need less human contact than needed if preparing a family roast.

If risk to small children could not be managed appropriately I would probably feed cold pressed or if later more cost effective, air or freeze dried.

I am mindful my post was somewhat defensive but I wanted to add some balance whilst commenting from my perspective.....thanks to members for clarifying stance on responsible raw feeding.





Meg

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Just to explain further......

 I felt it was important to raise awareness of the differing degrees of risks inherent with the differing interpretations of what feeding raw meat to dogs means to different people.

It is crucial to stress that feeding raw meat to a dog covers the spectrum of feeding from a plastic tub with little, if any, (human) contact with its raw contents, through to (human) handling of raw dripping offal, hearts, cutting into, chopping up, etc.

The risks vary absolutely,  and are naturally influenced greatly by whereabouts on the spectrum of these 'extremes' of feeding raw meat the feeder falls.



Quote
thanks to members for clarifying stance on responsible raw feeding

Might it be useful to start a thread on responsible raw feeding? 
 

Dottie

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Coaster - your post wasn't defensive, you were just putting another point of view across and that is part of a healthy debate.  The problem with raw feeding safety is that there are conflicting views. 

Meg - having a thread about raw feeding safety is a good idea. I hardly know where to start though - it is a huge subject and there is a lot of information out there on the Internet already.  Arguably, it needs to be divided into two areas, the first being food preparation, kitchen and utensil hygiene and second shedding of bacteria by the dog following a raw meat meal. 

Following the BBC2 programme Natures Menu were quick to respond by putting  this  on their Facebook page.  Perhaps predictably, it had a high number of responses, all praising their products. Interestingly, one of the posts was from a veterinary practice who criticized the piece but did not offer a scientific appraisal of the points raised, which was shedding of bacteria by the dog. 
Your post and comments may be helpful to others. Please remember to update your thread. Feedback to the forum is appreciated.

Tinyplanets

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As a member has pointed out it may be useful to move this discussion to this thread

So I will lock the topic.


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