You shouldn’t have to worry about your dog getting sick from salmonella if he is healthy and has a strong immune system.
If your dog already has a compromised immune system, that’s when you should be a little more careful.
Plus, people can get sick from salmonella, which is why we should obviously wash our hands after handling raw dog food and even dry dog food. Either can contain salmonella.
More details on salmonella and dogs
I feed my dog Ace a combination of dry dog food and raw dog food, and I’m never worried about my dog getting sick from bacteria in raw meat.
Healthy dogs can handle salmonella because their digestive systems are more acidic than ours and perfectly designed for tackling salmonella. (I mean, what do you think wolves and wild dogs eat?)
Here is a past post of mine that explains how a dog’s digestive tract prevents him from getting sick from raw meat.
Then why are there so many dog food recalls involving salmonella?
I was wondering about that too, which is why I decided to do a little research and write this post.
So here’s the deal:
The FDA has recently launched a national effort to test food products (for people and pets) for the presence of potentially harmful microbes, according to an article by Dr. Karen Becker.
According to her, the majority of pet food recalls are due to health concerns for people who could get sick from accidentally consuming salmonella after handling the pet food.
She also pointed out that these concerns are mostly from people handling dry pet food, not raw.
I assume this is because people know to wash their hands after handling raw pet food but may not do so after handling dry pet food.
Dogs Naturally Magazine also wrote an interesting article on the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act and how its strict standards are affecting raw dog food companies.
The magazine calls the FDA’s goal of “zero pathogens” in raw food a “slippery slope.”
Let’s also keep in mind the FDA is known for having a negative stance on raw pet food due to the “dangers” of getting people sick.
From Dogs Naturally:
While increasing their efforts to test pet foods for contaminants is an admirable and desirable function of the FDA. the witch hunt for salmonella is misguided. Yes, salmonella has the potential to harm humans and some severely immune compromised dogs (although removing beneficial bacteria from their diets may be short sighted). But should raw foods be robbed of their natural nutrition in lieu of washing our hands after serving?
I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse for raw dog food companies, and we are unfortunately going to be seeing more recalls on raw dog food in the future.
But, to simplify things:
Your dog should be safe from potential salmonella in raw meat and raw eggs, but you should wash your hands for your own safety.
Now I want to hear from you!
Are you feeding your dog raw food these days? Are you concerned about salmonella?
- Do dogs need fruits and veggies?
- Why are vets against raw dog food?
- Which raw bones are safe for dogs?
- Is Kirkland dog food making dogs sick?