Be forewarned we're not Vets and the info on this page should be construed as a opinion. But having been warned by Vets on wellness visits over the years, "Your dog tested positive for Salmonella." really gets old. Please stop preaching to the quire is what swiftly comes to mind every time I hear that.
With decades of combined raw feeding experience, we're going to share some simple truths about bacteria in raw dog food, and dry kibble dog food too. Being around the block a thousand times on this subject, what you'll receive is honest info based on first hand experience and years of prior research with data compiled while publishing our numerous dog related niche content websites. All beginning in 2005.
Let's get to it, we hope this page is enlightening ;)
Short answer is yes and one of the many popular searches online is, "Can dogs get salmonella from a raw diet?". It's true that many dog owners are worried about Salmonella bacteria in raw and avoid feeding their dog raw food because of it. Truthfully, dry kibble dog food can contain salmonella and the piles of poop your dog sniffs out while on walks, most likely harbors Salmonella shed from its canine contributor. Disgusting I know!
Research tells that 40% or so of healthy dogs actually carry Salmonella in their gut and can shed Salmonella via saliva or feces. Kind of makes you think twice letting Fido slobber you with doggy kisses! But wait! It's not Salmonella bacterium alone that is transmittable from that joyous wet kiss! You're safe for now, we'll pick up on that again momentarily.
Normal intestinal bacteria, also known as flora, is hosted by a healthy dog in their gut while held in check naturally by a healthy immune system. Problems arise when a salmonellosis infection occurs due to an underlying issue with immunocompromised dogs. This zoontic infection caused by Salmonella bacterium CAN be transmitted! Now this would be the dog to avoid kissing as it's the salmonellosis infection to avoid contact with. Naturally occurring Salmonella is not a problem.
Rewind to that Vet who just told me my Great Dane tested positive for Salmonella.. As I recollect, we were in for an appointment because my Dane was showing weakness in the rear quarters. Needless to say, my raw fed dog tested positive for Salmonella, but the actual culprit for the malady was early onset of Dilated Cardiomyopothy. Fact is, many Vets are quick to peg Salmonella bacterium as a diagnoses for a plethora of ailments.
Salmonellosis bacterium infections in dogs however are possible yet most common in young dogs with immature GI tracts or underdeveloped immune systems. Old or sick dogs with weakened or compromised immune systems are also at greater risk. Symptoms can manifest as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss and lethargy to name a few.
Good news is a healthy raw fed dog will have a highly acidic gut and supercharged immune system. Salmonella should never be an issue as even when established within your dog, their body will naturally keep all bacteria levels in check.
As for you, handle raw foods as if you were preparing to cook for dinner. Keep kitchen or counter surfaces wiped down, utensils clean and your dog's eating area clean and disinfected. You should have zero problems with Salmonella bacteria even though that as clarified, it is ever present. And don't forget to wash your hands ;)