Just because your pet is an animal doesn’t mean you should neglect the importance of choosing food designed with pet nutrition in mind. More is entailed than selecting the best food, though. You must handle and store pet food properly to keep you, your pet and family safe. Our veterinarian offers a few tidbits of advice when it comes to the topic of pet food safety.
Deciding Between Raw and Cooked
While your pet may survive on raw foods in the wild, it isn’t a good idea to feed your house pet raw foods. It may be considered healthier, but it has the potential to make both you and your pet sick. Even packaged raw foods have the potential to contain bacteria. For instance, both Salmonella and Listeria have been found in raw pet food. Keep in mind, you’re at risk of these food-borne illnesses by merely touching the food or your pet licking you after eating it. Dry food may contain the Salmonella bacteria as a result of contamination during the manufacturing process.
Handling Pet Food
You should wash your hands thoroughly after touching dry or canned pet food, or even treats. If you should happen to use raw pet food to feed your pet, not only should you wash your hands, but you should also wash any surfaces the pet food came in contact with such as your counter top with water and soap.
Storing Pet Food
Store your pet’s food away from where human food is stored or prepared. You want to keep the two away from each other, if possible. This is especially the case if you have young children. Ultimately, you should store dry food inside of a clean, plastic container with a lid. Use a spoon or cup to put the food into your pet’s bowl.
Even dry food should be stored in a cool dry place. If you use canned or raw food, make sure you discard or refrigerate any leftover food. Always store raw pet food in the freezer until you use it and keep it away from your own food. Never thaw the frozen food on your counter or sink.
Identifying Pet Food-Borne Illnesses
Not all pets get sick from eating raw pet food while dry food sometimes carries bacteria. Your pet may not get sick from a bacterial infection such as Salmonella but may still be a carrier, meaning your pet may pass germs into the environment when he or she excretes waste. Pets who have Listeria or Salmonella may experience vomiting, nausea, diarrhea (possibly bloody), fever, lethargy, a decrease in activity level or fever.
Schedule an Appointment with our Burbank Veterinarian
Our veterinarian at Rainbow Veterinary Hospital will help you determine your pet’s nutritional needs. We can diagnose and treat food-borne illnesses caused by pet food. Contact us today for an appointment by calling (818) 846-1166.