The CDC rolled out a new pet food safety page this week in honor of National Pet Day on April 11, highlighting the importance of a healthy diet and picking the right food for animals to keep them from getting sick.
According to the CDC, the organization “does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella and Listeria bacteria have been found in raw pet foods, even packaged ones sold in stores. These germs can make your pets sick. Families also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.”
If one does opt to feed their pets a raw diet, the CDC said owners should wash their hands before and after handling any food and to clean and disinfect surfaces that may have been touched by the raw food. Raw pet food should be frozen until it’s able to be used and shouldn’t be thawed out on a countertop or sink.
The CDC noted that dry and canned pet food can also be contaminated with germs, and before making any dietary changes to a pet’s diet, a veterinarian should be consulted.
- To safely play with a pet after he or she eats, the CDC advises that owners should:
- Not let the animal lick around the mouth and face;
- Wash your hands and any other parts of your body they licked, with soap and water.;
- Don’t let pets lick any open wounds or areas with broken skin.
- Children under the age of 5 should not touch or eat pet food, treats or supplements, and;
- Young children are at risk for illness because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their fingers or other items into their mouths.
A complete list of safety tips for pet owners from the CDC can be found here.
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