Welcome to “Raw Dog Food Makes Humans Sick”!
It’s part 2 of my Raw Feeding Myth Buster Mini Series ~ it consists of 5 myths around the raw feeding world that I am going to rebut.
So far, I busted the myth that raw fed dogs are aggressive. Missed it? Check it out in the Related Reading section at the end of this blog post!
Today I’ll be showing that feeding your dogs a raw diet will not get you and your family sick!
Opponents of the raw diet have actually managed to spread this fear of getting sick by handling the raw meat we feed our dogs. They argue that this is the case because the raw meat could harbor salmonella, e.coli, and other bacteria.
5 Myths About Raw Feeding 2/5: Raw Dog Food Makes Humans Sick
Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2022. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you.
Tip #1: Hygiene In The Kitchen
Hygiene in the kitchen is my #1 tip in ensuring that no bacteria from fresh meat is going to wreak havoc in your human body.
This includes washing:
- Your hands with warm, soapy water
- All surfaces and utensils used in preparing the raw meals (counters, cutting boards, mixing bowls, knives, spoons, etc.)
- Your dog’s bowl after meal time
I always dispose of empty meat packaging right away.
I’ll have a plastic bag sitting right on the counter whenever I pull meat out that’s still wrapped. The packaging goes right into the plastic bag. Once I’m done handling the meat, I’ll tie a knot into the bag and then throw it out into the trash.
I also like to use towels.
For example, you can line your meal prep surfaces with towels to minimize clean up. You can also line your dog’s eating area with towels and then throw them into the wash once they’re done eating.
I place a large doggie towel under Missy’s & Buzz’s bowls whenever I add a raw meaty bone because they will pull it out of their dish and eat it on the floor next to it. Once they’re done eating, I simply toss the towel straight into the washing machine.
Optional: Gloves For Extra Protection
I’ve seen videos of raw feeders who wear disposable gloves while they handle and prepare their dog’s raw dog food. I personally don’t do that because I also don’t wear gloves when I handle and prepare raw meat for myself.
As mentioned above, I wash my hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water after I’m done handling my pups’ raw meals. The same goes for raw meat I handle when I prepare it for myself – to me, that’s just common sense.
Side Note: I came across a video of Health & Wellness Couch Beth Carpenter from Austin, TX, where she’s making her very own raw dog food from scratch.
She has an extra set of dishwashing gloves that she only uses for mixing pureed fruit & veggies with raw meat. Fast forward to minute 19 to see her gloves!
She explains that she washes them with hot, soapy water after each usage and then sterilizes them.
I thought that was such a clever idea, and one that is gentler on the environment than using disposable gloves.
Tip #2: Only Buy High-Quality Meat From A Trusted Source
You should, of course, stay clear of rancid, bad meat, and make sure to only buy high quality meat from a trusted source. This could be your local butcher who doesn’t use growth-hormones and/or antibiotics in raising their animals.
This could also be an online retailer for raw dog food such as Raw Paws Pet Food or Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. Both use high-quality protein for their meals.
Fun fact: I started my raw dog food journey with Darwin’s Natural Pet and Raw Paws Pet Food.
There are several other retailers in the raw dog (& cat) food market. For example, Raw Feeding Miami, Reel Raw Dog, Soul’y Raw, and many others. That’s great news as it indicates a trend towards feeding our dogs a more species-appropriate diet!
5 Myths About Raw Feeding 2/5: Raw Dog Food Makes Humans Sick: Bottom Line
I began feeding Missy & Buzz a raw diet in 2015. Over the years, I’ve become very confident in feeding this healthy, minimally processed food.
Neither my family nor myself have become sick at any point in time throughout the years.
That’s although we handle raw dog food twice per day. That’s 730 raw meals each year without any incidents because we apply common sense when handling raw meat:
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water
- Clean all surfaces and utensils used in preparing the raw meals (counters, cutting boards, mixing bowls, knives, spoons, etc.)
- Wash your dog’s bowl after meal time
Has the myth of potentially getting sick from feeding your dog (or cat!) a raw diet kept you from giving it a try? As always, I’d love to hear from you in our comment section!
- Raw Dog Food Myths 1/5: Raw Fed Dogs Are Aggressive
- Raw Dog Food Myths 3/5: Your Dog Will Get Sick From His Raw Diet
- Raw Dog Food Myths 4/5: Does Raw Feeding Cause Bad Breath?
- Raw Dog Food Myths 5/5: Your Dog Is Going To Die From Eating Raw Meat
My Human started to try raw, but because of my allergies the vet finally found something I can eat without a rash.
Y’all come on by,
Hawk aka BrownDog
Raw food is a wonderful ally against allergies – are you back to kibble now?
I don’t feed raw, so I can’t comment on it’s effectiveness, but these sound likes valid myth busters!
…and there’s 3 more to come 😉
I’ve never heard of this myth at all! I’ve only heard good things about a raw diet.
That’s pawsome! There are so many myths & rumors out there…it’s crazy!
Since reading your blog I have actually thought it might be an option for Cocoa. I am exploring but your posts have really helped me. It seems kind of overwhelming in a way but I know that is all in my head.
That is so awesome to read, Julie! Let me assure you that it was in my head, too…I actually put the topic of raw feeding off for quite some time because it seemed so complex & I wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Then Dr. Harvey’s sent us some grain-free Veg-toBowl, which are dehydrated veggies/fruit that you add to your own protein for a homemade doggie meal. From there on, I just kept reading up on the topic. You kind of learn as you go by trial & error 😉
Check out my resources page where I mentioned all the sources that helped me transition the pups from kibble to raw, you might find them helpful 🙂
Frankly, handling human food is risky if you use bad hygiene. I clean my hands, cutting boards, and utensils carefully when I’m cooking meat for myself. I’d certainly do no less if I was feeding Honey.
Absolutely, good hygiene is definitely not debatable when preparing raw meat for either species!
I’ll admit this is one of my concerns that has stopped me from going raw. We have started feeding Honest Kitchen, so one step in that direction I guess.
Yes, definitely, and good for you guys (& pups) for taking that step! We have used the Honest Kitchen’s Preference Dehydrated Dog Food quite a bit; it’s perfect to mix in with a raw (or cooked) diet.
We took a slow approach to raw feeding as well, and began with cooking organic meat for the pups (didn’t want to take any chances with low-quality meat), adding freeze-dried veggies and/or fruits (“Dr. Harvey’s” Veg-to-Bowl, “The Honest Kitchen”, and “Sojos” all make high-quality dehydrated mixes for a homemade diet – just recently learned of “Grandma Lucy’s” as well!).
As long as you clean up right away when preparing a raw meal, you should be just fine 🙂 Also remember that meat that has been frozen for about a week won’t have any bacteria left in it (if it had any to begin with).
This is great to learn more about raw!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Thanks! It has been an enjoyable & interesting learning curve for sure!
Great series..so many dogs would be healthier if they weren’t fed kibble. However, freezing won’t kill bacteria it just temporarily stops them from growing. In fact, a -80c freezer was used for long term storage of bacteria where I used to work.
Hi Kris, thanks so much, and I totally agree.
That’s very interesting information about bacteria. Huh, I will have to look into this further! Thank you!