Bacteria – Not a Problem

One of the most asked questions regarding raw feeding is “Won’t the bacteria in the raw meat hurt them?”.  After years of being warned of salmonella, e. coli and a host of other dangerous food monsters, its hard for people to differentiate

A dog’s digestive system is shorter and simpler than that of a human or any true ominvore or herbivore

between what’s bad for us, as humans, and what is bad for dogs, as non-humans.  The fact is, a dog is a dog and while at times we like to think it, they aren’t furry little children.  They digestive system is quite different from ours, they are built to eat far differently than we are.  If we keep this in mind, this fear becomes completely irrational.

The number one thing to remember is that DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE.  Their digestive systems are shorter, food travels through it more quickly leaving little time for bacterias to colonize and cause a problem.  The pH level of the hydrochloric acid in their stomach is lower than that in humans making it that much stronger (Raw Food For Dogs,

While a pile of raw chicken can cause plenty of distress to the human system, dogs aren’t people and are specially designed to handle such things

Mogens Eliasen).  While its the same process on the surface, this means that their stomach is designed to digest raw meats efficiently and safely.  Further, according to the book See Spot Live Longer (Creekobear Press, 2005), food is released slowly from the stomach in small amounts so that it passes quickly negating the ability for the bacteria to have time to grow and thrive.  In this manner, “pathogens are  skillfully handled by the extended time in the strongly acidic environment of the stomach.  Any surviving pathogens have little opportunity to propagate during their quick transit time through the intestines.”

It benefits us to always remember that dogs are dogs and people are people.  Keeping this in mind we can quickly realize that our fears are unfounded and that dogs are simply equipped to eat differently than we are.  It makes sense.  As pet owners we have the habit of applying the same standards to our pets as we do to ourselves.  While occasionally this may be appropriate, when it comes to diet it simply is not.