Newbie to Raw food and forum - help required

Hey guys, I’ve just started the raw food diet (Nutriment Raw) due to her having yeast infections and a LOT of scratching it seems like it’s worth a shot. My worry is contamination. Assuming I follow normal, common sense, rules of food prep how easy is it for my dog to transfer bacteria (main concern is salmonella) after eating her food?
She eats then grabs a toy and plays and on top of that she loves kisses!
I don’t want to turn this into a raw Vs any other food debate but purely information to settle my mind, hopefully

Hello and welcome to the forum. The subject of contamination is controversial. We have several threads about this on the forum, one of them being here. I don’t feed raw food but we have members who do so I am hoping that they will step in and put your mind at rest.

You have chosen a reputable company who make every effort to ensure the safety of their products. Nutriment is a member of the Pet Food Manufacturers Association who have fairly recently released Guidelines for Producers of Raw Pet Food. Do have a look at this because it might alleviate your uncertainty. Also, telephone their customer services department to discuss your concerns.

Some pet owners report that raw food has been of benefit to their itchy dog so I can see your point in giving it a try. If you have concerns about using raw food an alternative is quality wet food. Nature’s Menu and Forthglade are just two companies who sell high meat content/low carbohydrate products. There are more though and some of these can be found on the Dog Food Directory of this website. I hope that your dog’s new diet will help and would be interested to hear how you get on with it.

Hello and welcome to the forum,
I feed nutriment and have had no issues. I would maybe think twice if I have vulnerable people in the house like and an elderly family member or child but as long as you take the usual precautions with raw meat, the risk should be low. The thread that Dottie linked to in her post is very helpful and I can’t think of anything useful to say that isn’t in that.

Thank you very much for the replies, appreciate it :slight_smile:

1 Like

Established BARF Raw feeder here…

Sensible precautions can reduce risk.

I feed ours in the rear porch. We no longer have small children.

Ideally bowls should be washed between feeds, worktops wiped after serving utensils washed.

Dont leave raw food hanging around at room temperature once defrosted !

As far as bowl, utensil, hand and work surface hygiene go its the same rules as dealing with &/or handling uncooked meat being prepared for human meals…common sense stuff.

Yes your dog may lick you…dog saliva kills a multitude of germs but transfer is possible, albeit the same risk as if you were to give your dog a bone as a treat. We have one smaller dog that is brachycephalic (short jaw - flat faced). Due to his face shape and skin creases we wipe his face with a hot flannel…I confess this is not done after every meal albeit we do it frequently. This is more to prevent bacteria or skin issues for him but I guess it will also reduce risk of bacteria transfer from dog to human.

Both dogs here sniff recent urine (& occasional faeces) from other dogs. Like other dogs walked off leash they have been known to roll in dead fish, dead birds, fox faeces & cow faeces. They have eaten horse faeces, scavenge discarded food, drink from puddles walk in mud of unknown composition. I chuck them in the sea, hose them off or stick them in the shower.

Like most humans I can’t say I have never had a tender stomach for reasons unclear to me but I have never been admitted to A&E with confirmed medical issues linked to our dogs.

We keep a relatively clean home, use spray bleach, anti-bacterial products etc. All homes have plenty of health hazards in the home and out of it…Fridge doors, internal door handles, toilet seats, taps, bins, towels…Dont get me started on supermarket trolleys, public use door handles, shared work use keyboards etc.

Yes there are risks but a little common sense & everyday hygiene provision will reduce these significantly.

Hope this adds perspective &/or reassures a little.


Useful advice from Coaster.

Craigf - a while ago I visited a specialist raw feeding shop. I discussed concerns of raw feeding with one of the staff (could have been the owner), looking for advice. What she said surprised me but makes a lot of sense. She believes that if you are not comfortable with any aspect of this method of feeding then you ought not to pursue it.

We should care for our pets as best we can and enjoy their company but we owners are important too. If one is constantly concerned when the dog is playing or interacting with you then that can mar the relationship and enjoyment of each other’s company.

Raw feeding is very much the ‘in’ thing at the moment but we should not be compelled by this trend to feed raw meat unless we are comfortable with it. It would not be in the interests of owner or dog. Do what you think is right for you and your dog.

If you are comfortable with raw feeding and infection risk (real or perceived) after reading up about it then that’s OK. Otherwise, IMO the lady’s advice holds true.

1 Like

There has been some really useful advice here.

For me and my tuppence worth, is a bit of a combination of whats been said already. And again, simply my opinion.

1: There are a lot of legitimate concerns surrounding E Coli, Listeria and Salmonella…however, even if this is in the meat and it passes through to the stool, it is only dangerous to humans if the have weakened auto immune systems, and even then if proper hygiene rules will diminish this. Also remember dogs lick and chew nearly everything they can get to that smells funny, so these pathogens might likely be in the stool in any event.

2: Ingredients will be a likely indicator of the likelihood of pathogens. I know this as we are developing and launching a Raw Food, and Irish regulations require testing on ALL production batches, and we have found problematic ingredients such as tripe for instance which have very high bacterial counts. Even washed tripe has issues, and while we are looking at ways of further cleaning tripe to meet the 5000 endobacterial counts required under EU legislation, we wont include it in our mixes until this is fixed.

3: You can always do it yourself. A cheap mincer for the bones, and some clever shopping means you have control over the freshness and quality of the meat your dog is eating. It is a simple enough process of (again in my opinion) 60-70% meat, 10-15 % bone 5-10% offal (Liver and kidney can be boughts in shops) and vegetables such as finely chopped carrots, broccoli and peas). All that companies like mine are doing is preparing for those who dont have the time or money. (we produce in bulk so it is cheaper)

4: You can always cook it. This kills most pathogens. Some dogs dont like raw, There is also an argument that the bacteria in the gut that process raw meat diminish over time when kibble and cooked meat is digested. just DONT cook a product with tripe…it will stink your house. Top four feeds for your dog in mine and Dr Karen Beckers opinion 1: Home prepared Raw, 2: Commercial Raw 3: Fresh Home Cooked 4: Fresh Commercial cooked. While I am a producer of a raw dog food, my Rottweiler eats our food cookedand he is in superb condition, we are preparing a cook in the bag solution for people who want to do this. Its not as good as raw, but it is very very close if you dont overcook. You are now feeding Fresh…second only to Raw.

Finally, if this is something you still cant do, products such as Orijen and Acana are now producing freeze dried and traceable kibbles which are as close to the Raw or Fresh experience but they are pricey.

I hope this helps, and best wishes with the decision.

1 Like

Thank you very much for such an interesting and informative post. I note your comments re home cooking for dogs. I feel that done properly, a well balanced home cooked diet with variety is a good, healthy way to feed a dog. Coming onto the market are new commercial products that mimic home cooking and they look very wholesome. Unfortunately they tend to be pricey but maybe with increased sales, they will become more affordable.

On the subject of people with weakened immune systems, you are the only person who I have come across who has acknowledged this issue and I have made enquiries with raw feeding companies. I have personal experience of this and can say that it is very worrying, especially when antibiotic resistance is encountered. People who are immune deficient pick up infections very, very easily and any one of the bacteria that you mention could be fatal. Some people say the risk of transmitting infection in raw feeding is low, especially with good hygiene measures but we should not assume that everyone is capable of self care, particularly when unwell.

Probably only staff and people who know about, and experience infections and antibiotic resistance truly understand and appreciate how serious this is.


And just to add a further comment that dogs may have compromised immune systems, and feeding raw food to an ‘under par’ dog needs careful consideration.
For example, if a dog is showing signs of any issues such as gastroenteritis, perhaps diarrhoea, constipation or vomiting, it is ill advised to feed a raw diet with the increased risk of bacteria incubating and multiplying.


Meg and Dottie,

VERY valid points, and that where sourcing and correct information is SO important.

Regulatory practices are different in every country. In Ireland, EVERY production run has to be tested and the produce cannot be released with Listeria or Salmonella. When we go to market we will do so with a published test result showing endobacterial counts and that it has no salmonella. E-Coli will be present in small amounts (in the one I have attached 210 parts per million) which is very low.

E-Coli passes through dogs with no problem, but is present in stools…and that is the issue, most raw meats contain e-coli, as humans we cook meat to kill that bug.

We are going to put this in a Chubb (Big Sausage) so it can be boiled in the bag to seal in the goodness and not break down the protein quality too much. That way with information on the bacteria present, and the option being there the customer can then decide whether to feed raw or cooked.

Irish regulations are the only regulations I know of in Europe which require testing to this level. While time consuming we are very happy now as this will mean when we go to market we can offer this level of clear traceability to our customers.

On the issue of regurgitation and runny stools, there is something to think about on this. Sometimes dogs react when their diet is changed, and these symptoms will go away as the dog adjusts. I always recommend weaning on to a RAW or FRESH food as this is not as much of a shock to the dogs system.

Also if feeding RAW look for a very good seaweed supplement. We are putting Oceanfeed C-Pet seaweed into our food as it is a canine specific seaweed supplement, which promotes intestinal health. If you are deciding to home feed, you can get this seaweed online.

Good discussion here.


Thank you for this useful information. Re E.coli, the research by Liverpool University on the feeding of raw meat to dogs showed strains that are antibiotic resistant link. That is really worrying. The authors address the issue of raw feeding in households where there are vulnerable people:

........ In addition, it is recommended that, households which have very young or old members, or those who are immunocompromised and therefore more susceptible to illness should avoid feeding their animals raw meat diets completely.
Companies advise users to practise good hygiene when feeding dogs and cats raw meat but these groups of people might not be in a position to do that.
1 Like

Darren-Willow Run - I admire your enthusiasm and passion for the food you are about to launch and I hope that this is a success for you. Something you say - and how I wish more pet food producers would follow - is simply the statement viz “when we go to market we can offer this level of clear traceability to our customers”. Excellent news indeed!

With no wish to burst any bubbles… I wanted to gently mention that “E-Coli passes through dogs with no problem,” is surely somewhat reliant on further factors, not least the strain of E. Coli and the health of the dog.

1 Like

Hi I’m new to the forum, but not the site. I have two Tibetan Mastiffs both raw fed, they are both in great condition, healthy and happy, Vets opinion.
I feed a complete Raw diet already made, and treats of reduced price supermarket meat.
I decided raw 12 months before I got my first TM, I researched for and against. All I wanted was when I got my first puppy he would be everything I have written above.
First of all hygiene is a must, you touch anything belong to your dog you immediately wash hands. Kissing not on or near mouth. Wash dogs dishes after every meal, use a good antibacterial spray for work tops or anything else you have touched.
I am infact immuno compromised, I have done this now 3 years and so far all is well.
My Grandchildren visit as do other family members, they have meals here, play with the dogs. They too have not had problems.
I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, of course it could if you do not stick to strict hygiene. I would think everyone feeding a raw diet or preparing one’s own meals with meat, would be thorough with handling and cleaning.
I say try it out, if it’s not for you, then you revert back. At least you have tried for your dog.

1 Like

Thank you again to everyone for their input. Really great useful information. A lot to think about.