'I don’t let my dogs lick my face': Dog owner swears by raw food and bats away bacteria fears | TeamDogs

'I don’t let my dogs lick my face': Dog owner swears by raw food and bats away bacteria fears

'Superbugs' haven't put Karen Rhodes off feeding her dogs raw dinners

Nia Dalton

Posted 2 months ago ago

A dog mum who swears by raw dog food has batted away concerns over potential ‘superbugs’ found in the product, saying “I don’t let my dogs lick my face”.

A study from university boffins identified antibiotic-resistant bacteria in some forms of raw dog food in Portugal.

The World Health Organisation classifies such antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest public health threats facing humanity around the world.

Such germs can ultimately turn everyday infections deadly, TeamDogs reports.

But pet food manufacturers have since moved to reassure UK owners who feed their dogs raw food.

Karen Rhodes, 43, from Suffolk, first came across the raw dog food online in 2018 and began feeding her senior dog Bailey on it.

And she said the research around bacteria doesn’t put her off, finding it to be a success. 

She told TeamDogs: “I’m not at all worried about bacteria in raw dog food. It’s all to do with hygiene.

“I have a separate feeding area for my dogs, I clean the surfaces after every feed and I don’t let my dogs lick my face.”

Speaking about how she first came across it, she said: “I am part of a large dog community and I noticed raw dog food was trending. 

“Suddenly, I wanted to know what was going into my dog’s food. Looking at the ingredients’ list on Bailey’s kibble, I noticed lots of unnecessary ingredients. 

“I suppose it’s a bit like giving your dog McDonald’s every day.

“As Bailey was getting older, it was important to me to feed him a healthier diet. So, I switched him from kibble to raw. And he thrived on it!

“Now, my one-year-old Border Collie Bertie and five-year-old Newfoundland Arthur are both on raw diets.”

Bertie and Arthur eat a raw dog food diet (Credit: Karen Rhodes)

She added: “I buy my dogs’ raw food in premade mincers, that have the correct ratio of protein, bone and offal. That way, it’s convenient and I know exactly what they’re consuming.

“I feed Bertie and Arthur a variety of meat, including beef, lamb, venison and poultry - something different every day. I also add fish into their diet, so they get Omega 3 fats.”

Talking positively about her experiences, Karen said: “On a raw food diet, my dogs produce less waste and their coats are lovely and shiny.”

However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. 

Karen said a raw food diet is difficult if you travel a lot, especially if you’re going on holiday, and she found it tricky when she went away in a campervan, instead taking cold pressed kibble.

Researchers from the University of Porto recently identified antibiotic resistant-bacteria in some forms of raw dog food in Portugal.

After the research was published, the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) moved to provide “reassurance” to UK dog owners.

Bertie and Karen (Image: Karen Rhodes)

What is a raw food diet?

A raw food diet means feeding your pet raw ingredients, rather than traditional cooked food. This diet usually contains a combination of raw meat, fish, bone and other uncooked ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and seeds.

Why is it so popular?

A lot of owners who feed their dogs a raw food diet do so because they believe it is a more natural alternative to traditional dog food, and includes fewer and fresher ingredients. 

These people often claim that they see a lot of positive changes in their pet after eating a raw dog food diet, such as a glossier coat, more energy and less smelly waste. However, there are no studies to support that raw feeding is more beneficial than traditional dog food. 

What are the concerns associated with a raw food diet? 

The two main concerns associated with a raw food diet are bacteria and nutrients. Raw food, especially meat, contains bacteria, parasites and other pathogens that would normally be killed during the cooking process. The PFMA advises pet owners to follow their hygiene and handling tips when feeding raw dog food.

Pet owners must also ensure that their pets are consuming a balanced and nutritious diet. This can be conveniently monitored by purchasing ready-prepared raw dog food meals online.

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