Get Regular Updates!
|Raw meat diet could be ruff on your pets


Raw meat diet could be ruff on your pets

Raw meat diet could be ruff on your pets

Are you keeping up with the latest health fad by feeding your fur babies raw meat diets? Think again!

Raw meat diet could be ruff on your pets

Dutch scientists are warning well-meaning pet owners that raw meat can easily become contaminated with bacteria and parasites.

These can harm pets as well as be passed to their well-meaning owners by a friendly lick or sharing of the bed.

And there seems to be no scientific evidence that a raw diet is actually better after all.

Bugs found in frozen raw meat

Scientists from Utrecht University in the Netherlands tested 35 commercial frozen raw meat-based diets from eight different brands.

They found 80% of raw food products contained levels of the antibiotic resistant E. coli, as well as SalmonellaListeria and some parasites.

Infection and disease can result in the animals from eating these products, but they can also be passed out into the environment.

They can be transmitted to their owners by direct contact or cross-contamination in the kitchen when preparing food.

E. coli, for example, is commonly found in human intestines.

Many strains are harmless and symptomless, but some may be life-threatening if untreated.

And even more worrying, some strains have also become resistant to antibiotics used to treat infections, making them difficult to treat.

Freezing fails to do the job

Disease expert Dr Ihab Habib from Murdoch Uni says the Australian pet food industry operates under a strict standard.

“This is across the entire process of pet food production to assure production and sale of safe and nutritious pet foods to Australian pet owners,” he says.

He says the controversy raised by the Dutch study around the raw meaty bones diets (RMBDs) used for pets is not new.

“While freezing RMBDs for 3 days before feeding it to your pet will reduce the risk of many parasites, some bacteria will not be killed by the freezing process.”

He says this concern is almost nil for heat-treated diets such as meat rolls you buy from supermarkets or canned and dried diets in pet shops.

Good food-handling practices essential

Ihab says it is important to educate pet owners to protect themselves and their pets by adopting some good practices.

“For instance, it is very important to wash hands and surfaces after handling raw pet food.”

It is also important to consider the exposure of raw pet food to infants, young children and those with a weakened immune system.

“Infants and young children are especially at risk for illness.”

“Their immune systems are still developing, and they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.”

He says pet owners are also advised to keep raw pet food away from other foods while stored in the fridge or freezer.

Ihab and his colleagues at Murdoch University are researching this hot topic thanks to funding last year by Murdoch Vet Trust.

They are sampling RMBDs from WA supermarkets and pet shops to screen for Salmonella and test for antimicrobial resistance. Results are expected by the end of 2018.

Particle Puns


Creative Commons Logo

Republishing our content

We want our stories to be shared and seen by as many people as possible.

Therefore, unless it says otherwise, copyright on the stories on Particle belongs to Scitech and they are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This allows you to republish our articles online or in print for free. You just need to credit us and link to us, and you can’t edit our material or sell it separately.

Using the ‘republish’ button on our website is the easiest way to meet our guidelines.


You cannot edit the article.

When republishing, you have to credit our authors, ideally in the byline. You have to credit Particle with a link back to the original publication on Particle.

If you’re republishing online, you must use our pageview counter, link to us and include links from our story. Our page view counter is a small pixel-ping (invisible to the eye) that allows us to know when our content is republished. It’s a condition of our guidelines that you include our counter. If you use the ‘republish’ then you’ll capture our page counter.

If you’re republishing in print, please email us to let us so we know about it (we get very proud to see our work republished) and you must include the Particle logo next to the credits. Download logo here.

If you wish to republish all our stories, please contact us directly to discuss this opportunity.


Most of the images used on Particle are copyright of the photographer who made them.

It is your responsibility to confirm that you’re licensed to republish images in our articles.


All Particle videos can be accessed through YouTube under the Standard YouTube Licence.

The Standard YouTube licence

  1. This licence is ‘All Rights Reserved’, granting provisions for YouTube to display the content, and YouTube’s visitors to stream the content. This means that the content may be streamed from YouTube but specifically forbids downloading, adaptation, and redistribution, except where otherwise licensed. When uploading your content to YouTube it will automatically use the Standard YouTube licence. You can check this by clicking on Advanced Settings and looking at the dropdown box ‘License and rights ownership’.
  2. When a user is uploading a video he has license options that he can choose from. The first option is “standard YouTube License” which means that you grant the broadcasting rights to YouTube. This essentially means that your video can only be accessed from YouTube for watching purpose and cannot be reproduced or distributed in any other form without your consent.


For more information about using our content, email us:

Copy this HTML into your CMS
Press Ctrl+C to copy

We've got chemistry. Want something physical?