Welcome to 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. Last week I busted the myth that raw fed dogs are aggressive. Missed it? Check it out here:
Today I’ll be proving that feeding your dogs a raw diet will not get you 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.
# 1 Ally: Hygiene In The Kitchen
Hygiene in the kitchen is your #1 ally 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, as well as washing all surfaces & utensils used in preparing the raw meals (counters, cutting boards, mixing bowls, knives, spoons, etc.). Also don’t forget to wash out your dog’s bowl that contained his raw food after he’s done eating.
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, and place the packaging 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 can in the garage.
I also 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 & eat it on the floor next to it. Once they’re done eating, I simply toss the towel straight into the washer.
Side Note: Missy & Buzz get a raw meaty bone (lately duck necks) 2-3 times per week because it is great for dental care while having that satisfying “crunch” factor the pups love!
Gloves For Extra Protection
I’ve seen videos of raw feeders wearing disposable gloves while handling & preparing their dog’s raw food; I personally opt not to simply because I also don’t wear any when handling & preparing raw meat for myself.
As mentioned above, I do wash my hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water after having prepared the pups’ raw meals, and the same goes for raw meat I handled when preparing it for myself – that’s just common sense. #NoBrainer
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 that get discarded immediately after having been used once.
#2 Ally: 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 his animals.
This could also be an online retailer for raw dog food such as RawPaws Pet Food or Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, both of whom only use high-quality protein for their meals (we started with Darwin’s & now use RawPaws).
There are several other retailers in the raw dog (& cat) food market – I’ve heard of RawFeedingMiami, ReelRawdog, Soul’y Raw, and others – which is great news as it indicates a trend towards feeding our dogs a more species-appropriate diet!
Side Note: Raw meat that has been frozen for about a week won’t have any bacteria left in it.
Basics of Raw Feeding by Dr. Dee Blanco
The following video features Dr. Dee Blanco, DVM at Marty’s Meals in Santa Fe, NM, who has over 34 years of experience in animal medecine, and has fed her own pets a raw diet for close to 3 decades!
In this video, she covers the basics of raw feeding, and also points out that feeding our pets raw meat freaks some people out – and why it shouldn’t (fast-forward to minute 12 to watch that particular portion; I suggest bookmarking this 47 minute long video if you can’t watch it right now – it is SO informative, you’ll have all kinds of “AHA” moments while watching it!).
No Illness Caused By Bacteria In Our Pack After 5 Months of Feeding Raw
We began feeding Missy & Buzz a raw diet in mid-June of this year, and have become very confident in feeding this healthy, minimally processed food.
Neither my husband Ian nor myself have become sick at any point in time throughout these last 5 months, and we handle the pups’ raw food twice every day – that’s 306 raw meals on 153 days, without any incidents! #MythBusted