Raw Diets: The Good, The Bad, The Deadly

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Kaitlyn M. Carson, Fort Collins, CO
In this study of raw diets, 17 pet foods were tested for the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria. Raw diets available at local pet food stores were obtained as well as four controls of commercial cooked dog foods and human grade hamburger from the local grocery store. The diets were mixed with BPW and put through a laboratory mixer to make a slurry in hopes of increasing the chances of recovering the bacteria from the sample. Enrichment solutions were used to further increase the chances of recovering Salmonella and E. Coli from the samples. Each plate was grown for 24 hours in an incubator at Colorado State University. The growth was recorded daily. Suspicious colonies were then subcultured to further identify the bacteria. Of the seventeen samples tested, five grew potential pathogens – 29.4% of samples. There were no Salmonella spp or Campylobacter spp isolated. The pathogens found are not high disease causing bacteria but still partially supports my hypothesis that raw diets can contain potentially harmful bacteria. This study shows that potentially harmful bacteria is present in raw pet foods and therefore should be handled with caution and good hygiene practices should be used when feeding raw diets.