Dundas Euclid Animal Hospital 416-362-9696

Bones and Raw Food Diet

Many pet owners are asking about Bones and Raw food diet. They contain a combination of raw meat, raw meaty bones, vegetables, raw eggs and other assorted ingredients.

The main safety consideration for Bones and Raw food diets, aside from injury from possible bone fragments, would be contaminated meat by microorganisms that may be introduced from raw meat process for production. Since the bones are not cooked, there is a possibility that micro-organisms can be transferred to human food if the bones are stored in the same area such as your fridge or freezer.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed guidelines for making and labeling raw meat pet foods, and stated that “it does not believe raw meat foods for animals are consistent with the goal of protecting the public from significant health risks, particularly when such products are brought in the home and/or used to feed domestic pets”.

The types pathogenic bacteria that can be ingested from raw foods are Shigella, Echinoccus, Listeria, Salmonella, Campylococci, Staphylococci, Mycobacterium bovis, Escherichia coli and many others.

The other consideration is that feeding raw bones can cause:

  • Constipation
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Septic peritonitis
  • GI perforation

Cooking or boiling the bones will decrease the bacteria, but it causes the bone to become brittle. This will increase the chance of it breaking or splintering while your dog is chewing on it, and parts could possibly get obstructed in his stomach or anywhere else in his gastrointestinal system.

Any of these conditions could result in the need to seek veterinary assistance.