Feeding pets raw ground beef might not be the best idea, according to Robert
Backus, veterinary professor a the University of Missouri,
"We are experiencing a recent national trend where pet
owners are feeding their pets raw meat because they think it is healthier, but
that couldn't be further from the truth," said Backus, assistant professor and
director of the Nestle Purina Endowed Small Animal Nutrition Program. "Feeding
your pet raw meat puts the safety of not only the pet in danger, but also the
household." Harmful bacteria, and other microbes and parasites may live on raw
meat, which is why Backus urges pet owners to be careful about how they handle
it. Salmonella contamination from uncooked, meat-based pet treats has caused
outbreaks in both Canada and the United States, the most recent case occurring
in Washington, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Risks of bones
Additionally, raw meat can affect the
pet's health. Animals that consume cooked or uncooked bones can experience tears
anywhere along their digestive tracts from their mouths to their intestines.
Cooked bones can actually splinter more when they are consumed. Pet foods offer
a safe alternative to raw meat diets.
"The ingredients found in pet foods
are generally more consistent and thereby better provide for nutritional
Owners should pay
attention to labelling to ensure they are purchasing the correct food for their
animal that meets nutritional profiles or passed feeding tests recommended by
the Association of American Feed Control Officials," Backus said.
Association of American Feed Control Officials' recommendations are used by
nutritionists to evaluate pet foods and by federal and state officials to
regulate pet foods.Related link:
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newsletter click here.
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