Salmonella in Dogs
 Dog Food Recalls and the Barf Diet

Worried about salmonella in dogs? Here's what you should know about this bacteria along with how to avoid dog food poisoning. The most likely source will surprise you.

Many of you will assume it's raw dog food. If you are a raw dog food feeder, you will certainly argue the point.

Let's look at the whole picture; touch on the reasons for dog food recalls and what threat there is with the BARF diet.

What is salmonella anyway? One of heaven knows how many identified bacteria species of which there are two. Salmonella bongori and Salmonella enterica. There are also about six subspecies.

If you're a germaphobe, you can stop reading right here because the truth is those things are everywhere and all of us are bombarded with them daily. Some bother us and some do not and bacteria is just one type of germ.

The Truth about Salmonella in Dogs

I recently watched a Dogs Naturally interview with the famous Dr. Marty Goldstein who has been in veterinary practice for 40 years. (I fell in love with him some years ago after reading his book and wasn't surprised that eventually Oprah found him too.)

Dr. Goldstein read a few interesting statistics about salmonella in dogs that I'd like to share with you.

  1. Salmonella poses almost no threat to most dogs and the Mars Institute's research shows that 36% of all dogs and 70% of all cats carry salmonella in their intestines without problem.
  2. Dry pet food has always carried salmonella.
  3. The CDC traced the salmonella poisoning of 79 people in 2010 to  Mars pet food products. (Not connected to Mars Institute.)

Note:If you don't recognize the Mars name, they are one of the largest commercial pet food companies in the world. Think Pedigree, Nutro, Royal Canin, and if their 33 BILLION dollars in sales wasn't enough for 2013, they've now bought out Proctor and Gamble who have Iams, Eukanuba and Natura.

There have been several dog food recalls over salmonella but considering the statistics shared by Dr. Goldstein I think we are putting our worry in the wrong place.

First, salmonella in dogs can be blamed when that isn't the problem.  One example is that a vet could take a stool sample from a sick dog and have salmonella show up and assume it is the cause of illness, when in fact the dog already had it without it posing a problem. We may fear salmonella simply because us humans can't handle it like our pets.

What other reasons could there be over the salmonella in dog food recalls that totaled 220 between Jan 1 through March 29 of 2013 posted on the website of the American Veterinary Medical Association?

Now here's where my personal opinion comes in. One, it seems that certain fears spread like wildfire. The fear of salmonella in dog food may be on the decline since there are only four dog food recalls in February of 2014. It reminds me of another fear. That of garlic for dogs, which unfortunately is still listed on many websites as a poison when in fact, it would have to be taken in huge dosages to harm a dog. Garlic is an herb with medicinal properties and helps deter fleas and internal parasites as well. (See Garlic for Dogs on this website.)

Or maybe, just maybe, it takes the heat off the true problems that dog food manufacturers have created.

Other Dog Food Poisoning Dangers

During that same interview I learned in one year there were 329 samples of corn analyzed from dog food and all 329 samples were contaminated with mycotoxins!

In a nutshell, these things are destroyers of kidneys and lead to premature death.

In this world of "scientifically formulated" dog food, we need to give paws; I mean pause, to the fact that dogs are indeed carnivores; none have ever been caught stalking an ear of corn or digging up potatoes for nutrition and that it is a false foundation that dog foods (or cat foods) should be 50-64% grain based. Humans need grains. Dogs and cats do not.

Using very poor grains and grain by products (those contaminated with mycotoxins) compound the problem and once broken down into glucose and lactate actually feed cancer cells.

Dr. Marty commented that cancer in companion animals has tripled since he graduated from med school and cancer which used to be a disease of the old is now a disease of the young. Fifty percent of all dogs will die of cancer.

What About Salmonella in Dogs from
Raw Dog Food, i.e. the Barf Diet?

I've got to admit, I find this hysterically funny. Not just because there is already salmonella in kibble but because I've actually heard of veterinarians who handle raw fed dogs with gloves as if they are going to catch something. Come on, when we cook meat for our families we wash our hands afterward and wash what the raw meat touched, i.e. cutting boards, plates, bowls etc. Our dogs eat the stuff so fast it's not funny and even if they chow down on a raw bone on the carpet, the bacteria cannot survive long without something to feed it. (And I've never gotten sick from dog kisses either although not one of them has wanted to kiss me while they were eating.)

Interestingly, Dr.Goldstein also noted that in his practice over the years he couldn't say enough about how many animals he'd seen with chronic and terminal illnesses that were reversed in part by changing to a raw diet. It’s not salmonella – it’s about pathogen free raw diet which you can find online.

You are what you eat and your dogs are no different. One of my dogs was unfortunate enough to get cancer from a rabies vaccine. Yes, it happens. I miss him terribly but I still thank my lucky stars he lived another five or six years after that ill fated day. I switched him to a raw diet, used a few specific supplements part of the time and my guy hung in there with me happily until he was 14.

If you're still on the fence about raw feeding, do find a very high quality food like Carna4 and watch what happens to dog foods over the next few years. Things do change as people become more aware.

An example from Dr. Marty - He was condemned for 25 years for practicing acupuncture. Now there are reports from the same people who condemned him that it’s wonderful; heals without side effects as well as homeopathy and reiki. How can we not see that raw dog food will be the same?? The pathogens (toxins) in commercial dog foods are horrendous.

Understand that dog food manufacturers are huge and powerful and will not give up their multi billion dollar earnings, so keep your eyes and ears open. In the meantime, here's a bit of food for thought.

Why is it that dogs who die from kibble and canned foods due to toxic substances like Vitamin D toxicity or melamine have an actual body count, yet have any of us ever even heard of a dog who died from eating raw food? Not I. Nor am I afraid of salmonella in dogs.

To learn more, I'd be thrilled if you stick around this website but another great place is Dogs Naturally Magazine online; get a subscription like I did or just hang out on the website to learn. You'll be glad you did.


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