There’s a lot of speculation out there about whether or not it’s safe for your pet to eat raw foods or not. Many would argue that as a pet owner you are putting your animal at risk of catching foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella or Listeria Monocytogenes. Like with all raw foods, proper care and handling must be applied so that you and your pet can stay healthy while enjoying the raw foods you love. Use this article as a resource full of raw pet food safety tips for you and your pet today.
The first tip to serving your pet raw food is maintaining awareness. If you are choosing to feed raw pet food to your pet, be aware that you can infect yourself with any of the foodborne illnesses if proper measures are not taken. Keep in mind, just because your pet is eating the food and you are not does not mean you can’t spread bacteria onto yourself or someone else that lives in your home. With awareness at the forefront of your mind, always make sure you wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw pet food. Another tip is to also make sure to clean any surfaces or objects you might have touched in the process. These objects can include kitchen utensils, feeding bowls, storage containers, and cutting boards. Don’t forget about cleaning your countertops and anywhere else that might make contact with the food. Try using both soap and disinfectant to minimize the spread of germs and infections. The difference between cleaning and disinfecting is that disinfecting kills germs, which increases safety and reduces the risk of any illnesses spreading to you or your pet. When dealing with raw food be mindful of portioning and handling. Keep your different types of meats separated from one another and away from any of the foods you intend to personally eat. I recommend maybe finding a small freezer or cooler to place in the garage or basement, but if you only have one fridge make due with what you have. Don’t rinse raw meat or poultry products to avoid any raw juices from splashing on any surfaces. Raw food will remain fresh for 3-5 days with proper refrigeration. Another good tip is to measure out portions before freezing to save time and to avoid having to handle large amounts of raw meat all at once on a frequent basis. This will make feeding your pet easier and keep your home cleaner and safer from foodborne illnesses.
A raw food diet for pets is ultimately a more wholesome diet. These are foods that are less processed and naturally filled with more proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals than kibble. With proper handling and care, raw pet food is a beneficial component to your pet’s daily nutrition.