As you humans probably already know, the last month has been a very alarming time for dog food companies. Three different brands had food recalls and all three were due to Salmonella contamination (Natural Balance, Wellness, and Diamond). Hopefully, we are at the end of the recalls; knock on a cat’s head (oh, I mean knock on wood … hehehe).
Well, I wanted to make sure me and my friends were safe, so I did some research on what this S word was and how to protect us. Before I get into that, I think it is important to know what Salmonella is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is a bacterial infection that has been around for 100+ years. A fun fact to know is that it was discovered by an American Scientist named Salmon. What if his name was Preston? Then it would be Prestonella … hehehe. In humans, it causes diarrhea, fever, and cramps. If it gets to bad, humans can have to go to the human vet (doctor). If you ignore the symptoms, it can even lead to … gasp … death, if not treated with antibiotics. For us dogs, we also get diarrhea, eat less, have a fever, and look very tired.
So how do you get salmonella? There are four main ways you or your pet can get this infection:
- Eating food that is raw or not cooked properly
- Eating contaminated commercial food
- Direct contact with infected diarrhea from a sick animal
- Coming into contact with an infected pet
So seriously, how do you make sure your beloved dog doesn’t get sick (or yourself)? Always, and I repeat always, eat food that is cooked and no raw diets for us dogs (or you too … but I don’t hear of many humans eating raw meat). If you touch raw meat, always wash your hands, counter-tops, and anything else that the meat touched thoroughly. Be careful when cleaning up because … well, how can I say this nicely, … heck forget it … be careful around poop and diarrhea from a sick animal. Finally, birds, reptiles, and amphibians carry around those germs all the time, so always wash your hands if you play with them. Be careful out there and watch out for that Salmonella germ!
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