The association is discouraging pet owners from feeding raw meat diets because pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli and other bacteria can be easily transmitted to humans by handling the raw food or through contact with the animal's feces. Dr. Ashley Hughes of Friendship Hospital for Animals says bacteria is very difficult to get rid of, even with proper washing of bowls and utensils. She says feeding raw food is especially dangerous in homes with children, elderly people or people with weak immune systems.
"The Internet tells [pet owners] raw food is the best thing to feed, and if they love their dog, this is what they should be feeding them, and so I hope people research it more and, you know, make an informed decision if that's what they want to feed," Dr. Hughes says. "I think it's about discussing your feeding choices with your veterinarian and working out a system and a way of feeding that works for you and your pet."