Experts Expose Hidden Dangers Of Raw Meat Pet Food Trend

Poodle dog enjoying her nutritious and delicious raw meat meal
credit: ThamKC/iStock/GettyImages

One of the latest trends in pet food is to feed dogs and cats raw meat. It may seem like a great idea — after all, it is what our furry friends would be eating out in the wild, right? Unfortunately, some new research published in the BMJ's Vet Record, suggests that the raw meat diet might be dangerous for your pets — and for you, too.

The study looked at 35 commercial raw dog and cat foods available in the Netherlands and found that 86 percent of them contained potentially dangerous bacteria. In an email with Time, the study authors said that even though their research focused on foods in the Netherlands, raw pet foods in the U.S. are "without a doubt similar" to the ones they tested.

The bacteria in the food isn't just dangerous for animals. Paul Overgaauw, a veterinarian and visiting researcher at Utrecht University, told Time that the bacteria and parasites in the raw pet food could be harmful to humans too.

"I can imagine that cross-contamination in the kitchen during preparation of the food, and cleaning of the food bowls — as well as direct contact with infected animals — are the highest risks," he said.

Bacteria found in the food included E. coli, listeria and salmonella. The moral? Think twice before you feed Fido raw meat.