And what about the nasty germs?

How real is the risk of Salmonella, E.coli, and other foodborne illnesses? Without boring you with the details, it can happen. Is there something you can do to minimize that? Absolutely!

But first, take a second and remember that your dog has probably slurped out of the toilet, cleaned his personal areas, and eaten who knows what without getting ill. This daily exposure to a variety of bacteria improves your dog’s immune system and consequently increases his tolerance for illness.

If you are considering switching to raw because your dog has a severely compromised immune system,  (fighting or receiving treatment for cancer), I suggest you get some supervision from a good, raw-foods knowledgeable veterinarian.

 How to minimize the risk of bacterial infection when feeding your dog raw?

I will summarize the results of my 15 years of food safety research experience in easy to follow checklist:

  • Is the meat you are feeding locally sourced?

This will significantly minimize the contamination odds as having meat shipped from the various parts of the country (or the world for that matter) will significantly increase the odds of contamination. It is difficult to imagine, but that pound of ground beef might have as much as 6 different sources if it is bought from one of the mega meat packers.

  • Is the beef/lamb grass fed?

Grass-fed beef and lamb have significantly lower number of pathogens lurking in their intestine, and therefore, have a smaller chance of the beef being contaminated.

  • Is it frozen?

Freezing meat virtually eliminates E. coli and Campylobacter, and reduces the number of Salmonella significantly. Thawing and re-freezing, however, increases the odds of infection. By buying or individually packing the portions you will avoid thawing and re-freezing.

  •  Do you follow common sanitary precautions around the kitchen?

Sanitary precautions are common sense and are probably more for human protection than dogs. Any time you have to cut up or handle meat, wash counters, hands and utensils thoroughly. Some people use antibacterial sprays. Stainless steel feeding bowl is perfect as it is washes easily. Dedicated plastic cutting boards are easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Using different color cutting board for meat goes a long way in any kitchen hygiene arsenal.


This is a chapter from my ebook, The Truth About Raw. For more insights, especially for your friends who are hestating to switch to a fresh-food diet and feed their dogs raw, you can get the whole book for free once you sign up for RawChoice Newsletter