To find out how real these risks are, Overgaauw and his colleagues analyzed samples of 35 frozen pet-food products from eight different brands, all of which are available at pet shops and supermarkets in the Netherlands.
Pet owners should be informed about the risks of feeding their pets raw meat diet products. Do you feed your pet raw meat, or do you think it's too risky? In fact, humans may face higher risks than their pets, who can be carriers and shedders of these pathogens even when they don't become sick themselves. 'Which could pose a serious risk to both animal health and public health'.
"It has been claimed that feeding pets raw meat results in a better overall condition of the animals and could have a supportive role in controlling and preventing certain medical conditions in both dogs and cats such as allergies, skin and gastrointestinal tract problems", said lead researcher Paul Overgaauw, from Utrecht University.
It is reported that humans could encounter bacteria from raw foods in several ways, including direct with the food or with an infected pet; through with contaminated household surfaces; or by eating cross-contaminated human food. The foods contained raw meat, bones, and animal by-products from beef, duck, chicken, lamb, and horse, along with additional ingredients. More than half of the food had listeria species present, 20% contained salmonella and 23% had sarcocystis - a parasite that causes anorexia, nausea and abdominal pain.
Previous research has already shown the risks associated with feeding raw meat-based diets to cats and dogs, including a risk of developing hyperthyroidism in dogs, inadequate nutritional balance, and contamination with parasites and pathogens. The study also stressed that there is no difference in the possible danger between packaged, frozen meats and raw food prepared at home. Even more worrisome, E. coli 0157-a particularly risky strain now responsible for a lettuce-based outbreak in North America-was found in 23% of the samples.
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It's noted that raw meat can be infected with bacteria and parasites, which could cause serious issues when consumed by your cat or dog, or when hanging around in your kitchen.
Some products also contained the parasites Sarcocystis and Toxoplasma gondii.
Commercial dry or canned pet foods are safer because the composition of the food is complete and optimally balanced in terms of nutrients, he said.
Caroline Kisko, the organisation's secretary, said: "We would recommend that dog owners speak to their vet about which option might be best for their individual dog, particularly if they have concerns over a product".
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