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A Regulatory Rant

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  1. Bonnie

    Not in a million years-nay a trillion would I EVER feed commercially packed RAW meat to my dogs—ever-never—and -I know I’ll get flack from many-I just wouldn’t feed them RAW anything–I don’t eat it – neither will they–and don’t tell me about wolves–it’s been a trillion years since our dogs were kin with wolves–that has been long ago bred out of them
    Quote from Gerhard Wiesmeth, Head trainer Hundewelten, Germany.
    The human race can learn an immense amount from the wolf, but even more from the carnivore that we take for a walk each day.

    1. Kelly S

      So for a ‘trillion’ years dogs have been eating commercial cereal grain-starch based kibble? I did not know that!

      Commercial kibble for dogs is a new invention-only about 100 or so years old. Before that dogs ate whatever was given to them or available. They obviously did just fine on it. Humans don’t eat raw meat because our stomachs are not like dogs. Dogs are not humans. Ever wonder why your dog can eat poop, lick their paws and eat dead animals in fields and not get sick?! Their stomachs are much more acidic. They have not evolved internally to where eating corn, rice, tapioca, potatoes, artificial this and that, chemicals, etc is what is best for them. And people wonder why their dogs have skin allergies, diabetes, arthitis, heart problems, etc. Work at a vet office for a few years and you’ll question what you feed your dogs. You do not need huge companies telling you how to feed your dog anymore than yourself. Do you only eat food from a factory that comes in a bag or box with a long list of ingredients you can’t understand? Go to a zoo and see what they feed their big cats- it sure is not lion chow!

    2. Cora Vandekar

      I eat raw meat, eggs, fish etc! I’m still alive!! If That carnivore could talk it would tell you his tummy is perfectly fine with RAW! Just like mine! OMG Yes I eat raw meat!

  2. mckinsey

    To bad for you’re dog. Read pukkas promise by ted kerasote.

  3. Eric

    Raw food is the best for dogs, period. Of course a human doesn’t eat it, your stomach can’t handle it like theirs can.

    Simple facts are simple, yet facts.

  4. mckinsey

    Great rant by the way!

  5. Dan Shimek

    Your Regulatory Rant is pure opinion and is not factual in any way. Where do you get your information on what the FDA and USDA regulates. USDA-FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service)is responsible for meat and poultry regulation. This agency is very concerned with bacterial contamination of meat products, be they raw or cooked (Ready to Eat). Salmonella is not considered an adulterant of raw meat by FSIS. E. coli O157:H7 is an adulterant of raw meat. Pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella or O157:H7 are killed by proper cooking, so if a meat company sells RTE products that have not been cooked properly or handled properly after cooking, their products are considered adulterated by law and are subject to recall. FDA regulates pet foods. By their nature they are ready to eat. Pet foods now by regulation need to be free from Salmonella or they are considered adulterated and are subject to recall by law. So you should see that both agencies are concerned with bacterial contamination by pathogenic bacteria, but they regulate different foods. Anyone has the right to rant, it’s just that you have a very loud voice and should really do your homework before you start speaking to issues you have very little knowledge of. I’m thinking that you won’t post my comments as it doesn’t fit into your paradigm, but I just had to get this off my chest. Thank you.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Dan – the USDA told me – word for word – “we assume all meats from USDA meat processing facilities are contaminated with bacteria.” And the USDA told me their concern is not bacteria. I was shocked, and asked more questions – but the answer was still the same.

      1. Dan Shimek

        I worked in meat plants for 31 years in Quality Assurance and a testing lab and you must believe me that USDA is concerned about bacterial contamination from start to finish during a production day. There are USDA inspectors at the plant every day checking how well the plant was cleaned and how contamination of any kind is corrected and prevented. You might have misunderstood what your contact at USDA told you. The new Food Safety and Modernization Act will mandate that US pet food company establish and implement risk analysis and preventative controls for all manufacturers of pet foods. These new regs will assure that pet foods are safe for pets and people who handle the food. Regulatory actions are being taken daily, as you point out on your site, so in my mind I believe pet food in this country is becoming safer all the time. As it was in the meat industry, the pet food manufacturers that don’t comply with new regs will not be successful. Recalls, be they voluntary or mandated can mortally wound any business and the added scrutiny of the plant by FDA will insure one of two things for that pet food company. You either compliance with the regulations or look for another business to get into.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I do believe you are honestly giving your opinion and that opinion being from personal experience. I thank you for that. But there was no misunderstanding what the USDA representative told me. But let’s say there was – that still doesn’t change the fact that poultry processing plants are not held to the same standards raw pet food plants are held to. The 7% acceptance level that Lee mentions – that is not provided to raw pet food.

          And just because a pet food is free from Salmonella – does not make it safe. I don’t understand how many other known killers – aflatoxins as example – are ignored.

          Pets foods might become safer for humans to handle – but many are far from safe for pets to consume. Read the FDA Compliance Policies. Because of these Compliance Policies, many pet foods violate federal food safety law. This is wrong.

      2. Jay Smith

        Hi Susan

        For what it’s worth, here are prioritized procedures for USDA FSIS inspectors in slaughter facilities. this list is taken from a USDA FSIS Directive dated August 31, 2012.

        Here’s the link:

         Priority 1 High
         Reserved for emergency directed procedures

         Priority 2 High
         All Verification and Follow up Sampling for
         E. coli O157:H7 and other strains of Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in raw beef products
         Listeria monocytogenes sampling in ready-to-eat products
         Salmonella (as directed)
         All pre-operational and operational Sanitation SOP tasks
         Humane Handling and Good Commercial Practices Tasks

         Priority 3 Medium
         All Other Sampling (i.e. residues, pathology)
         Sanitation Performance Standards and Sanitary Dressing verification tasks
         Hazard Analysis Verification Tasks
         Slaughter HACCP verification tasks and zero tolerance verification tasks
         Priority 4 Medium
         Raw, non-intact (i.e. ground) HACCP verification tasks
         Raw intact HACCP verification tasks
         Fully cooked, not shelf-stable HACCP verification tasks
         Heat treated, not fully cooked, not shelf-stable HACCP verification tasks

         Priority 5 Low
         Thermally processed, commercially sterile (i.e. canning) HACCP tasks
         Not heat treated, shelf-stable HACCP verification tasks
         Heat treated, shelf-stable HACCP verification tasks
         Secondary Inhibitors HACCP verification tasks
         Custom/Retail exemption verification tasks
         Review/Update establishment profile and establishment meetings

         Priority 6 Low
         Generic E. coli verification tasks
         Economic wholesomeness verification tasks
         Percent Yield/Shrink
         X Percent Solution
         Batter/Breading
         Livestock Finished Product Standards
         Poultry Finished Product Standards
         Labeling verification tasks
         Labeling – Product Standards
         Child Nutrition/Grade Labeling/Declared Count/Vignette
         Labeling – Net Weights
         General Labeling

    2. mikken

      “Pet foods now by regulation need to be free from Salmonella or they are considered adulterated and are subject to recall by law. ”

      As if. “Voluntary recall” is the name of the game.

  6. mikken

    The whole thing *might* make sense *if* our pets’ health was their primary concern. But it’s not – HUMAN health is their concern. So if they’re going to get their knickers in a twist over raw pet foods having salmonella because humans might get sick from handling them, then they should be equally concerned with raw meats at the grocery store.

    Oh – and Bonnie, you absolutely do what you feel is best for your crew. My dogs just got back from a walk in the field and one of them spent most of the time gnawing on a bit of dead groundhog he found on the way. Gross? Absolutely. But he’s not *quite* as far removed from his wolfish ancestors as you seem to believe (A trillion years? Really?)…

  7. Lee

    I agree with your point about the disparity between federal agencies. But there are a couple of clarifications:
    1. The FDA has *always* had regulatory responsibility for pet food – from beginning to end. So they regulate raw diets because they’re pet food, not because they’re “finished”.
    2. The USDA *does* have salmonella, and other pathogens, on their radar. 5 years ago the USDA tolerance for salmonella in poultry being slaughtered was 23%. Today that tolerance is only 7%. They have, and will continue to push that tolerance level down. In fact, the primary push for all food safety these days is to try and clean up from the bottom up – ie, from the farm and slaughter level.

    There would be a zero tolerance for salmonella by the USDA if they thought it was possible to totally eradicate it. But they don’t think that’s yet possible, so they have just decreased the tolerance level. At a 7% tolerance level, and with all raw poultry bound for human consumption assumed to be cooked prior to consumption, they believe that risk to human health is minimized.

    1. PAUX

      If this is true, why is it that the FDA is having meetings with companies in China to allow their checken meat into the US for human consumtion? This action does not seem that they are concerned about our food safety.

  8. jmc1

    Our 4 barn dogs ( all rescues) stand in wait while the blacksmith trims the horse’s hooves. When a piece falls to the floor, the lucky one gets it and eats it with relish. They also love to eat horse manure, the fresher, the better, so I don’t think I’d worry about a little raw meat. They are all happy, healthy, well fed dogs, who would have been euthanized several years ago, because they are not particularly cute, pretty dogs that would have been adopted.

  9. Robin

    What I don’t understand is why Salmonella is even a concern for pet foods? Pets, unless they are severely immune compromised, are able to tolerate Salmonella. It doesn’t seem to affect them. On the other hand, it is dangerous for humans, but humans are not EATING pet food, and most humans, especially if handling raw meats for a pet have enough sense to wash their hands afterwards as they would after handling any raw animal based foods….

  10. Sunny Braley

    The thing that gets me is the Recalls on ANY pet food are NOT for the safety of our pets but more for the people that handle them. If they cared anything about pets most of what we do NOT want in their food would never end up there to begin with.
    As for the Bacteria on raw meats I am sorry but I do laugh. I would be more worried if there were no bacteria present. I have seen my dogs start to eat a piece of raod kill before I could stop them, the bunny poo, or some unidentifiable blob as we have walked trails. I have ever had my dogs sick as they are made to handle bacteria.
    For the person that stated dogs are so removed from a wolf-sigh. I guess you have not looked at your dog’s teeth lately. Or understand your dog can still mate with a wolf, or know that they have the same PH level in their gut as a wolf. Suggest you do some more reading about raw foods and understand what your dog is and is not.
    For the bacterias found on raw foods they will always be there. Even the companies that try and tell us that HPP or iridation is a great option, I would rather have bacteria to be honest. HPP to me is like giving the meat an antibiotic..kill all bacteria-Sadly that is not how the end results end up being. All these methods do is cause more issues and the balance to go off.

  11. Andrew

    It is a very simple equation. What must in clean must go out clean. As a USDA plant, we cannot take the risk of contamination, so we have safeguards in place. Many safeguards to include EMS, batch testing, etc.

    The problems occur when the suspect proteins are from unknown origin, which is simply all big pet food.

  12. Andrew

    Food for thought to our readers. The average grocery chain ground beef contains, on average, around 1,000,000 CFU’s per gram.These are colony-forming units (CFU) is an estimate of viable bacterial or fungal numbers.

    There are good CFU’s,like yeast which helps GI tracts,and then there are bad ones that result in strains of E-coli,Salmonella,and staphylococcus aureus in processed meats.

    In many raw pet food diets,the CFU counts test under 5,000 per gram-about as pure as can be.

    By utilizing GMP, high level supply and trace sourcing, it makes for a good recipe for success.

    We believe the near future will hold lots of lots of answers.

  13. K.Tanabe

    A Scientific research was conducted in the past on 25 commercial frozen raw diets for dogs and cats, and were evaluated bacteriologically. Not only E.coli (64%), Salmonella app. (20%) , Sporeforming bacteria (16%), Clostridium perfringens (20%), and Staphylococcus aureus (4%) were revealed. And this study reports that apparently healthy animals carries some of these pathogens and excrete fecal matter contaminated with various pathogens.
    Can Vet J 2005;46:513–516

    So, if we keep our companion animals in a cage like zoo animals all the time, I am sure raw diets must be ideal for them, because they are very resistant to these pathogens anyway. However, many of pet owners share bed with their beloved animals, and spend together in the same house. Feeding raw food is alway associated with zoonoses. About 5,000 people in the US die every year from food poisoning due to infection of pathogens described above. The dangers are not only eating raw hamburger, but fondling our beloved animals that are fed raw diets.

    1. Allison Nicolas

      Are you serious? The majority of human illnesses related to salmonella are from humans not properly cooking their food and NOT from handling a pet who ate raw food. I believe in this day and age we take way too many antibiotics and medications which in the long run weakens our immune system (the same thing happens to our pets). My lab eats raw and a few hours later licks my face and I’ve never become sick at all. I believe it’s because I have a strong immune system. If you are constantly exposed to a certain bacteria or virus your body will build up it’s own immunity. Anyone who is anti-raw I feel is completely brainwashed by society. We need to get back to nature. What if the society as we know it collapsed? You would starve…but I’m sure your dog would hunt some prey and join a pack and turn back into the wild animal it once was. I’ve seen packs of feral dogs fend for themselves just like wolves. I would never feed my dog dried up little pieces of chemicals..which is what I think kibble is…I wish I had known this my while life. My previous dog would have made it past 9 I know it! The oldest dog in the world ate raw food. Need any more examples? Do your own research. Make your own decisions. Don’t trust what you read on a bag…after all the only reason commercial pet food was ever created was so that people could make money..not so that pets would eat a healthier diet. Nothing beats nature.

    2. Gayle

      No danger in my house. My dogs eat raw and sleep in our bed. Never been sick!

      Cheers to raw fed dogs!

      1. Ellie

        My dog eats raw, sleeps in our bed, licks our faces. We have not even had as much as a stomach upset of any kind. Proponents of the multimillion dollar pet food industry simply use fear mongering in order to scare the uninformed public into continuing to feed their pets the breakfast cereal of domestic animals.

  14. Tori Rosay

    Having fed raw food diets to my own pets, both dogs & cats, for over 20 years, before commercial “raw food” pet diets came on the scene – I made my own – apparently from highly contaminated grocery store meats.

    Feeding my pets raw food is a personal lifestyle choice. Just as eating junk food, being a health nut, ones politcal views, religious belief or whether one chooses to inject foreign things into their body – it’s about choice.

    Of course we all want our food & our pets food to be clean and free from harmful bacteria. But “zero” tolerance from any bacteria for any type of “fresh meat”, whether for human consumption or commercial raw pet food, is totally unrealistic, for some bacteria is just part of nature.

    Because we live in a world with so many differing opinons as to whether to feed pets dry, fresh cooked or a raw meat diets – raw pet food manufactures should label raw pet food with safe handling & “cooking” instructions.

    Again, it’s about personal choice – how do you like your steak – rare, medium, well-done or irradiated?

    1. Jay Smith

      I agree. Sterile food = dead food. And, with all we’re now learning about the importance of gut flora actually nourishing the intestinal lining, bacterial “priming” with diverse flora is all the more important.

  15. Jay Smith

    The discussion of what is or isn’t appropriate level of bacteria in food for dogs seems to be — sometimes — gravitating toward the direction essential invulnerability to some bacterial infection by healthy dogs. As a long-term proponent of raw foods, it concerns me that intelligent discussion by followers of nutrition for dogs (& cats) may be being usurped by passionate convictions.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but I think it’s important for all of us to seek out reliable research, and base our understanding of nutrition for dogs and cats on the points of departure provided by that research.

    I think reliance upon research is important to prevent the disintegration of meaningful dialog into misinformation campaigns that serve special interests instead of the benefit of the whole of our domestic companion animal population.

    To describe this in a more meaningful way, please imagine a conversation with other concerned and informed pet companions if we were to substitute canine distemper virus (CDV) infection or canine parvo virus (CPV) infection into conversations and anecdotal wisdom drops such as “dogs are able to tolerate Salmonella.”

    We hear statements like these because dogs frequently test positive for Salmonella and Salmonella antibodies, but seem completely asymptomatic (without any effect or symptoms.) So, the conclusion is that they’re just fine. But would our attitude be so cavalier if dogs were infected with CPV or CDV but displayed no symptoms? Is it good advice to say that “Dogs are able to tolerate CPV or CDV?”

    In a 2004 study, cited below, samples of random, often free-ranging dogs, were tested for various pathogen infection and evidence of infection (such as the presence of antibodies for pathogens.) Evidence of CDV and CPV was present in 90% of dogs tested, and most dogs were asymptomatic, but could we conclude that these dogs haven’t become ill or may never become ill from either of these pathogens, so there’s no need for concern about them? Most of us would clearly say no. And, the reasons would be the same as those that apply to Salmonella or other pathogen infection. Immune function can and does vary, and infection or exposure to pathogens can and does cause illness or worse.

    In my opinion, it makes sense to consider these things as we feed raw. So, an informed conversation that includes this type of reasoning deserves attention.

  16. Jay Smith

    Here’s the study that I mentioned above, sorry I failed to include it.

    To be clear, it’s interesting to note that this study was undertaken due to concerns that DOMESTIC dog (and cat) diseases may spill over into WILD dog (and cat) populations. This study included dogs and cats living on the border of the wildlife refuge area Madidi National Park, Bolivia.

  17. Ellie

    Vet’s are in the tank with the very corrupt and very large pet food industry. Large pet food manufacturers give large contributions of both money and product to veterinary schools. These schools depend on the pet food industry to keep them in business. Is it any wonder that they have taken aim at raw foods for pets?
    When a vet enters into business the pet food companies are right there to provide their disgusting mess of “RX” kibble and a multitude of advertizing methods for deceiving the public into thinking this is a healthy choice for their pets.
    One would think that rational thinking would cause any reasonable person to realize that kibble is not a natural diet for any animal. A dog or cat’s digestive system is made to digest raw food. No one was around before the 1950’s to produce kibble for these animals. So you believe that suddenly evolution has proceeded to change the domestic pet’s digestive system so that it can no longer digest raw food? Even Darwin would disagree with that theory!
    Many dogs and cats who have suffered with digestive and immune disorders caused by eating substances not known to them in nature are now enjoying healthy lives because their owners used enough reason to realize that kibble is an artificial food that contains no real nutrition. Any nutrition that ingredients of kibble once contained is totally destroyed by the production process. Thus the multitude of synthetic vitamins listed at the end of the ingredient list.
    The pets of those who feed kibble are existing on synthetic vitamins that are usually processed in China.
    Is it any wonder that pets are now exhibiting the same diet related diseases that humans are? Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, tooth decay, and cancer now riddle kibble eating pets.
    I would no sooner feed my pets kibble than I would try to raise my kids on breakfast cereal. It is the same concept. Destroy all natural ingredients and replace with synthetic vitamins.
    I am not surprised that the government would now make attempts to force consumers into buying the same crappy food for their pets as is offered to humans in the grocery store.

  18. Carol Anne Rayson

    I have been a raw feeder for 17 years – always a dog or two on the bed- my dogs have lived long healthy lives – last one until 26 years. No Heath problems only family either.
    Unfortunately – the majority of current illnesses in the westernized canine population are introduced through mismanagement or , innocent-ignorance or by profit driven industriized food purveyors – either through over processed , non – species specific rations, over-medication – overvaccinating – indiscrimate breeding , lack of species-specific exercise and humans’ impact on thei dogs environment in general
    Many on this list need to do more research before rattling on negatively about the dangers of feeding canis lupus familiaris their species-specific diet –
    canis lupus famiaris are geneologically classified as such because there is so little difference in the mtDNA of the grey wolf, canis lupus, and the domesticated dog – biologically they are still half brothers – any changes in the DNA and biology takes many thousands of years – not the pinprick in the evolutionary timeline that we have been cooking for them and the petfood industry has been profitting from recyclyed processed human crap.
    Healthy dogs have not much problem with carrion even- and I’ll bet if the majority of jumbo bags stacked mile high I the big box pet stores were routinely randomly tested- we would be in for more than a few surprises:-(

  19. Andrew

    Great points Carol Anne. I would challenge Susan’s new organization to begin testing big pet food samples.

    There are several independent labs that could perform basic testing, and donations could cover costs, etc.

  20. K.Tanabe

    To Raw Food Feeders:

    Please give proper direct particular attention to immunocompromised family members, such as infants, elderly or ailing people.

    The risky pathogens I mentioned above are on the surface of raw meat or viscera, as you may know. Because the majority of those pathogens comes from intestines of industrial animals. So, as many people say, any meat in the super market is almost exclusively contaminated with various risky pathogens. This is why we have to use different chopping boards for meat and vegetables/fruits.

    My concern is how pet owners handle raw food when they feed their animals. Roasting slightly on the surface of the loaf meat, or pouring boiling water over all just can prevent zoonoses. These kind of processing don’t ruin nutritional benefits of the material at all. Of course you have to disinfect the chopping board you used for the process of the raw meat. And Hand washing prevents Infection, too. I personally think these are cardinal rules in feeding Raw Meat to beloved animals.

    One more suggestion from an Earthquake Country. At the time of disaster, we can’t provide perishable meat products to afflicted animals. Safe dry kibbles can be life-saving food for pity animals in emergencies. Therefore, animals that can accept either hand made food or safe dry kibbles will be happy in such a crisis. If we ponder these issues of crisis management, we can not repudiate commercial pet foods that do not contain 4D/5D meat or ingredients we concern.

    1. Ellie

      I would be what you consider immune compromised. The raw food I have for my dog is kept in the same freezer as the meat meant for human consumption. ALL meats are handled with the great care. All surfaces that any meat or it’s wrappings has touched are washed down with an antibacterial cleaner when we are finished handling the product. Either the use of disposable gloves or a good washing of hands with hot water and an antibacterial cleaner should be done after contact with any raw meat.
      We have never treated our raw meat, commercial or from the butcher before feeding it to our pets. We have never had an illness or any sort of bad reaction by animals or human. Just some common sense and sanitary procedures will prevent any contamination that could result in problems.

      1. K.Tanabe DVM

        Thanks for your report, Ellie.

        Let me explain you the term “immunocompromised people”.
        New born human babies do not have complete liver metabolizing/detoxifying enzymes, especially the second phase enzyme. This means that they are handicapped in detoxifying toxins of pathogens.

        Regarding streptococci specifically, toxins produced by these pathogen can’ be detoxified by application of heat. As regards elderly people, the ratio of lymphocytes CD4/CD8 is usually reversed as they get older, which leads to immunological deterioration. These are a part of the reasons why we have to concern about their health influenced by Xenobiotics always.

        Your careful handling of raw meat is admirable. I think the only one problem lies in the following point. Unless we apply heat on the surface of raw meat before feeding to animals, no one can be sure whether we, including our animals, are free from being asymtomatic carriers as the literature suggests, which was posted by Jay Smith.
        I do hope I could make myself understood this time.

        1. Ellie

          I assume you are suggesting that our animals could some how infect humans that are “immune compromised” by carrying pathogens in their mouths? As many who have fed raw to their pets for many years will testify our animals live and sleep with us and we have never had any kind of illnesses as a result. The only effect we have had from feeding raw is to have healthy animals that do not have health issues and no vet bills. No itching, no chronic illnesses, no illness of any kind. A welcome relief to both us and our animals.

          1. K.Tanabe DVM

            Please do not misunderstand me, Ellie. I am just talking about risks. I do know how beneficial raw feeding is. Since Susan gave me permission to translate her articles, I have just established TruthAboutPetFood site in our country. I have been working to save the lives of companion animals by providing behind the scene facts of petfood industry for many years before I encountered Susan. I may have to introduce our dialogue in the site here, too.

  21. Ellie

    My problem is that when we start applying heat to raw meat it starts to destroy the enzymes that these animals need for optimal health. I have seen some people who actually advocate putting bleach on raw food before serving. My preference is to feed meats and organic foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. In nature they are quite able to tolerate raw foods. No one cooks food for a wild animal. Our pets have the same digestive ability as they did before humans started enforcing their sanitary rules on them. They need those enzymes that heat destroys. Although I will admit that home cooking of food is a step above what commercial foods offer.

  22. K.Tanabe DVM

    Hi, Ellie,

    Please do not worry about enzymes in the raw meat. Instantaneous application of heat on the surface of meat does not affect the viability of deep inside enzymes at all. We’ll have many more advantages with such a treatment.

    I had been involved in enzyme and DNA research in human medicine for more than 20 years at a national university. My precious dog lived almost 20 years with coocked chicken and some vegetables, with no commercial kibbles, with no supplementation. It was more than 40 years ago, but I had lived in a big zoo for seven years, because my husband was a chief vet. So, we do know the advantages of raw food.
    We have never heard of food allergy, itchy skin, ear infection in zoo animals. No lower urinary problems in feline species. So, we have been working hard to provide information to vets and nurses, trainers, trimmers and pet owners to save the lives of beloved companion animal that have been becoming victims of kibbles/canned food or treats in the market.

    From the viewpoint of anatomy and DNA analysis of metabolizing enzymes, wolves and dogs are not identical. During the course of domestication, dogs acquired a gene to produce saliva amylase.
    Amylase activity in saliva has been researched in dogs scientifically. I had been involved in the experiment. Various drug metabolizing enzymes evolved as well. Unlike dogs that have a very long history to live with us, cats are really handicapped enzymatically. Please do not apply any essential oils to cats. One lick of an oil bottle cap can kill kittens. Cats do not have sufficient enzymes to detoxify essential oil components. Especially fragrance of lemon or forest (hydrocarbons) can be extremely toxic to the liver of cats. Because, these monoterpens are highly hydrophobic, and highly volatile.

  23. Pookie

    I’m not concerned that my dog will get salmonella, but I’m plenty concerned that she will give it to ME.

    The reason salmonella is and SHOULD be a concern is that it passes through the dog and remains a dangerous pathogen in the human environment.

    Example: My dog walks through the yard where she may have just defecated, then comes into the house and sits on the couch. A human then touches the same furniture. That’s a potential mode of transmission.

    Dogs very commonly lick their hind ends, and they often lick humans as well. That’s another mode of transmission.

    This is a particular concern for households with immune-compromised people, infants, and the elderly.

    I don’t want to have to walk around with gloves or wash my hands every five minutes when I’m in my own house, so I want to reduce the amount of salmonella and other pathogens that my dogs consume.

    Obviously, we all get to make our own decisions on this. I have fed raw to dogs, and we have twice gotten food poisoning that I suspect was either from the dogs or was due to cross contamination of food prep surfaces. We try to be careful, but it’s easier to not feed raw at all, or to restrict the raw foods to beef and other meat animals less likely to have pathogens.

    I’m sure everyone here wants what’s best for their dogs, but though the dogs love raw chicken, the health of the people in the house deserve consideration as well.

    1. Carol Anne Rayson

      There is probably far more bacteria being transmitted by dogs licking their backsides – sniffing other dogs backsides – walking bare-pawed outside in others dogs urine and feces and that from other animals like squirrels and rabbits that share the same grass.
      If someone is so immunr compromised – maybe they shouldn’t,even be near dogs period- considering all the recalls for contaminated kibble – and that which the FDA catch is only the tip of the iceberg – because no way can they keep ahead of the plethora being pumped out .
      Not fair or rational to isolate dogs being fed raw food as being more risky than others – makes me wonder how we all survived without the invention of processed.
      I grew up in Scotland – Grandad had his own butcher shop – the dogs ate all the raw scraps and bones -no visits to vets and we children enjoyed much better health than that experienced by the average child in modern North America – where most dogs and children are raised mainly on, altered and processed and sterile food. Mores the pity- but keeps vets and Big Pharma in business

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