BEIJING, Feb.6 (Xinhuanet) -- Researchers criticized the trend of feeding dogs and cats raw meat-based diets, arguing that the bacteria and parasites contained in these raw food products can pose health dangers to both pets and their owners, according to media reports.
The conclusion was drawn from a new study conducted in Europe.
Researchers have analyzed samples from 35 commercial raw dog and cat foods across eight brands available in the Netherlands.
The tested foods included raw meat, bones, and animal by-products from beef, duck, chicken, lamb, and horse, along with other ingredients.
The results revealed that potentially dangerous bacteria, including E coli, listeria, salmonella, and two types of parasites --- Sarcocystis cruzi and Toxoplasma gondii, were all detected in these foods with different levels of presence.
Similar analyses on raw pet food conducted in other countries, such as Canada and the United States, highlighted similar results.
Paul Overgaauw, co-author of the research from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, noted that the risk caused by the contamination can be harmful to both pets and owners.
“Every owner may decide what to feed his or her pet,” said Overgaauw, believing that warning labels should be added to products containing raw meat to raise people’s awareness.