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In 2021, the international company Mars Petcare conducted a survey and found out that the inhabitants of Russia keep about 22.6 million dogs in their homes. It is noteworthy that every year the number of pets is growing – it is impossible to say exactly why, because there are a lot of possible factors. Pet dogs need quality food, so many owners spend several tens of dollars on premium quality dry food.
And some people prepare food for their pets themselves, adding meat, cereals and other products to their diet. Sometimes dogs are simply given raw meat, and until recently this was considered completely normal. However, the results of a new scientific study say that dogs should not be fed raw meat. This can cause people to become infected with difficult-to-treat diseases.
Can I give my dog raw meat?
In order for pets to be healthy, they need to ensure regular protein intake – one of the richest sources of protein is meat. Dogs are well adapted to digesting raw meat: they have strong teeth, strong jaws and a suitable digestive system for this. Based on all this, it turns out that it is quite possible to give raw meat to dogs. The main thing is that it is not perfectly fresh – it must first be frozen to kill worms and other possible parasites. The recommended time for keeping meat in the freezer is 1 to 3 days.
What kind of meat can be given to dogs
Typically, pet dogs are given raw or cooked beef, turkey, chicken, offal, and fish. But it is better to protect them from pork and meat products from the human table. Pork is contraindicated for dogs because it can contain parasites when raw – we have already talked about the horrors that tapeworms carry with them. Human food is not suitable for dogs due to the fact that it is often salty, and salt provokes the development of chronic diseases in them. For meat, dogs are often given boiled buckwheat or rice, as well as vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, and so on. Potatoes are not allowed for dogs, because they contain starch that is not digestible by their body.
Indirect danger of raw meat to humans
Raw meat is good for dogs – we have already seen this above. However, the results of a new study say that the owners themselves may suffer from feeding pets with unprocessed meat.
In the course of scientific work, the researchers took tests from 200 puppies from cities and rural areas. It turned out that individuals that eat raw meat develop inside bacteria Escherichia coli , better known as E. coli. In itself, this is not such a big news, because E. coli can easily be transmitted through raw meat. The main thing that alerted scientists is the resistance of these bacteria to antibiotics.
Pathogenic bacteria can just as easily be passed on to pet owners through their feces. Moreover, there is always a risk of infection, regardless of where and when the dogs ate a raw, unprocessed product. When entering the human body, pathogenic strains of E. coli can cause the development of a number of diseases.
For example, peritonitis may well occur, in which a person feels severe pain in the abdomen, suffers from fever, nausea, vomiting, and a number of other severe symptoms. This disease is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care. If the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, the person will be difficult to cure.
Rules for hygiene when caring for dogs
It sounds scary, but scientists recommend refraining from panic. If the pet is already accustomed to natural food and does not eat dry food, there is no need to forcefully change their diet. This discovery is best taken as another reminder that when feeding and cleaning up after pets, you need to follow the rules of hygiene. Namely, after all this, you must definitely (!) wash your hands. Also, the owners must definitely clean up after their pets on the street – this is not only concern for nature, but also respect for the people around them.
What do you think of the scientists’ discovery? What do you feed your pets? Write in the comment section – sometimes there are very heated conversations there!