Pet parents, listen up: Raw meat for cats and dogs might not be a good idea, according to a new study. If you've been feeding this food to your four-legged friend, you may want to reconsider after you hear what may be lurking inside of it.
The study, published in the journal Vet Record, found that raw meat diets for companion animals may be contaminated with harmful bacteria and parasites. Researchers at Utrecht University analyzed 35 commercial frozen raw meat-based diets from eight different brands. Shockingly, they found E. coli O157 in eight products and listeria in 15 products. Additionally, salmonella was found in seven products. Eight products contained parasites.
Yikes! Considering how popular raw meat diets have become for cats and dogs all over the world, it's frightening to know that people might be unknowingly harming their precious pals by feeding them a trendy dinner. On top of that, those folks might be unintentionally harming themselves as well; the researchers said that these bacteria and parasites could potentially pose a risk to the humans serving the food.
The researchers said: "Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and if transmitted pose a risk for human beings."
So if you or someone you love was planning to feed Fido something raw this evening, it's probably best to come up with another meal. Your pet's health — and your health — is so much more important.
h/t Science Daily