Part 3 – Why Not Feed Your Pet A Raw Diet?
But Don’t Raw-Fed Animals Pose Health Risks To Humans?
By Dr. Jeannie Thomason, co-founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy
Actually, raw fed animals pose no more health risk to humans than kibble or canned food fed animals do! Did you know that the majority of human cases of salmonellosis have been acquired through the ingestion or handling of contaminated, processed pet foods and treats – NOT raw meat? In fact, if you do some research, you will find that there have actually been no known incidence of human beings being infected with salmonella by raw-fed pets.
Many veterinarians will try to tell thier clients just opposite though. This lie or myth is based society’s pathological fear of bacteria.
Are you aware that there are about the same number of bacteria in our bodies as there are human cells? (1) This is also true for our animal companions.
Of the millions of bacteria in existence, it is estimated that less than 1% are harmful.(2)
Media and society as a whole have played up bacteria, painting it as an evil nemesis that must be stomped out with disinfectants, antibacterial everything, and of course with unnecessary vaccinations. In the late nineteenth century, Louis Pasteur’s “germ theory” became the medical paradigm, the controlling medical idea, for the Western world. You see, in its simplest form, the germ theory proposes that the body is sterile and that germs from the air cause disease. This “theory”, wrong as it is, has resulted in the emergence of super-bacteria and “super-viruses”, no thanks to the improper use of antibiotics and the plethora of antibacterial soaps and other “disinfectant” products.
In contrast to Pastueur’s theory though, Antoine Bechamp discovered tiny organisms he called “microzymas” which are present in all things – animal, vegetable, and mineral, whether living or dead. Depending upon the condition of the host, these microzymas could assume various forms. “Bad” bacteria and viruses were simply the forms assumed by the microzymas when there was a condition of dis-ease. In a diseased body, the microzymas became pathological bacteria and viruses. In a healthy body, microzymas formed healthy cells. When a plant or animal died, the microzymas lived on. To this day, the whole theory of microzymas has never been disproved.(3)
Over the years, developmental biologists have learned that bacterial exposure is actually an absolute necessity for the development of a healthy immune system, among other things. Humans and companion animals have always lived in the presence of bacteria – internally as well as externally.
So, insisting on a sterile environment has created more damage than good. So where does this all of this come into play with raw feeding and raw fed pets posing health issues for humans?
Raw diet critics are always touting the germ theory as a big reason not to feed raw. Yes, of course, there is bacteria in raw meat and yes, this bacteria could harm you under the perfect circumstances. So, if a raw-fed dog licks you in the face or on the mouth, are you going to get sick? Most likely not! Bacteria does not persist very long at all in the mouth of a raw-fed dog. You see, canine saliva contains “lysozyme”, an enzyme that lyses and destroys bacteria.
A fact about raw fed dogs and/or cats, rarely talked about, is the absence of plaque on their teeth. Why is this rarely heard about? The absence of plaque and gum disease This means the raw fed pet’s mouth is no longer a hospitable place for bacteria to inhabit. However, a kibble-fed pet’s mouth, actually provides the perfect environment for bacteria growth: plaque-covered teeth with sugary and starchy complexes from processed pet food provide both food and shelter for bacteria!
“The bacteria thrive in the mouth of a kibble-fed dog because it provides both a perfect atmosphere and a good food source” (Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones.).
Have you ever stoped to wonder why kibble-fed dogs and/or cats so often have stinky dog breath? Here’s why: because of the bacteria in their gums and on their teeth (just like the bacteria in our mouths gives us halitosis). A raw-fed pet’s mouth provides neither food nor a viable atmosphere for bacteria, which is why a raw-fed dogs and cats pretty much have odorless breath.
So which animal would you be more worried about being kissed by and contracting disease from?
If you are still going to worry about being licked on the face by a raw-fed dog, there are always solutions. Teach the dog not to lick, or avoid putting youself in a position where your face will being licked.
Some great new! If you have a healthy immune system, being licked and in contact with a raw-fed cat or dog will not affect you other than boosting your immune system. This is the same thing for children: being around and being licked by a raw-fed dog or cat will do nothing but boost their immune systems and help them grow up into happy, healthy adults!
Anti-raw feeding proponents proclaiming that feeding our carnivores a raw meat, bone and organ diet poses serious health risks appear to think that people are incapable of
a) properly feeding their dogs
b) cleaning up after themselves
c.) using good hygiene practices
Most people who handle raw meat in their household, alreadyknow to clean countertops and utensils and to wash their hands. Its just good hygiene!
If you are still concerned, please know that there are still more solutions – Some raw feeders feed the cat or dog outside on the ground or patio. Some, if their pets fed inside, put the meat or carcass on an old towel or plastic-type tablecloth that can be washed and reused. Or you can always feed the pet in its crate, or on some easy-to-clean surface to minimize the spread of any bacteria you may still be concerned about. After the pet is done eating, you can clean your dog’s and/or cat’s paws, mouth, etc. with a diluted white vinegar.
Honestly though, as long as proper hygiene is observed, the bacteria in raw meat is an non-issue!
Would you like to learn even more about feeding your pet a raw diet? Our Carnvore Nutrition course may be just what you are looking for! You can read more about it HERE
This article/blog post has been provided for general reference and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or promote any direct or implied health claims. This information is and any products written about are not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical advice.
This article is the sole property of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy & Dr Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.
©2017 American Council of Animal Naturopathy & Dr. Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason. All rights reserved.