The bacteria can be picked up by human members of the household, making them very sick. These bacteria can pose a very serious health risk to children, the elderly, and anyone who is immunocompromised. Additionally, bacteria like Neospora caninum, Nanophyetus salmincola, and Trichinella spiralis are frequently found in raw meats and are capable of making the dogs themselves very sick. All of these bacteria are potentially life-threatening for your dog. In particular, if your home has children, infants, elderly, a pregnant woman, or anyone with a weakened or compromised immune system, raw pet food is especially unsafe and risky.
Case report studies of animals eating raw diets showed contamination with Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni or Toxoplasma gondii and increased numbers of infections attributable to Echinococcus multilocularis. These bacteria and pathogens also negatively affect the microbiome of the dog or cat by altering the balance of bacteria in the gut, and in turn, negatively affect gut health. Scientific published studies that document this include: Śmielewska-Los et al., 2002, Dubey et al., 2005, Lopes et al., 2008 Lenz et al., 2009, Taylor et al., 2009, Antolova et al., 2009.
Over the years, some raw food brands have implemented either irradiation treatment or high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) to their products before shipping as a kill step for any pathogens. Due to the nature of raw uncooked meats, once raw food diets are defrosted in your home, there is a significant risk of dangerous bacteria and pathogens developing very quickly. This is why raw food marketers direct customers to use the defrosted food quickly and not leave the raw defrosted food in your pet’s bowl longer than the immediate feeding time. Raw food serving also requires that you clean and disinfect working surfaces and utensils. Your pet’s food bowl must be thoroughly washed and disinfected after they finish each meal to prevent the growth and spread of harmful bacteria.
While there are plenty of personal opinions either way, among pet store owners, veterinarians, and bloggers, the facts speak for themselves regarding risks and nutritional deficiencies of feeding raw dog and cat foods. The FDA has issued numerous warnings regarding the risks of feeding raw pet food diets, such as this arti