Raw meat fed to dogs may spread E. coli to owners

Raw meat fed to dogs may spread E. coli to owners

Many people think it’s natural to feed raw meat to their dogs. After all, their pets are descended from the wolf, a carnivore that isn’t exactly roaming the wilderness to score a can of puppy chow.

No, they run with the pack to share in the kill. Wolves, however, aren’t generally sharing a household with a human.

Now British scientists say a pair of studies show the potential of a dog’s raw meat diet spreading the antibiotic-resistant bacteria E. coli to their human companions.

These dogs are more likely to excrete the bacteria in their feces. And as one researcher noted, humans and their four-legged friends tend to share bacteria in their daily lives.

The studies involved 800 dogs, both adults and puppies. Researchers collected fecal samples, with owners also detailing their pet’s diet and environment.

The study established a clear link between raw meat and the excretion of E. coli. Indeed, the pooches can excrete E. coli no matter their age or how long they have been fed raw food.

Scientists say it is important to limit the circulation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not feeding your dog raw meat reduces the risk of illness. If you insist on doing so, be extra careful when handling food and clean up after your house hound.

Keeping raw meat out of their dog’s food bowl might be a difficult for some owners to stomach. Many hold that such a diet is healthy for man’s best friend, boosting energy, creating a more lustrous coat and improving skin health.

But remember: You’re a member of your dog’s pack. You might not be divvying up a carcass down by the river. But you’re still sharing the microscopic fruits of the kill.

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