Thinking of a raw food diet? Some practical tips

Raw Food Diets for Pets are increasing in popularity and it’s important you choose a diet that is safe for your pet.

We know with any raw meat diet there are associated risks of food-borne pathogens. These pathogens pose a risk to you and your pet if the food is not produced, handled, stored and used, appropriately.

We’ve created a simple checklist to help you when choosing a raw food diet.

  1. Raw materials – The quality and freshness of all the ingredients is paramount when it comes to raw food. Your pets’ raw diet should be made up of only fresh produce that has been handled and processed quickly and hygienically to prevent spoilage.
  2. Temperature control – It is critical to effectively manage the temperature of the ingredients and the environment to maintain freshness and quality of the food. All ingredients used should be chilled or frozen, and processed and stored in a temperature-controlled environment.
  3. Proper storage and handling – It is important you store and handle your pets’ raw food diet correctly. If you have purchased a complete and balanced raw food diet, it is vital to follow the instructions on the pack.
  4. Family members – In choosing a raw food diet for your pet, also consider the health of your family too. If a family member has a compromised immune system a raw food diet may expose them to pathogens transferred directly from pets though behaviours such as licking.
  5. Good hygiene practices – It is essential when handling any food, you maintain good hygiene practices. Handling raw pet food is the same as handling any raw meat and it is important your hands, surfaces, utensils and bowls are washed thoroughly with hot soapy water.
  6. Ingredient sustainability – The meat we eat is processed in an abattoir. Pet food companies are encouraged to source meat products for pet food through abattoirs for three reasons: they are part of the human food supply chain; abattoir’s have sophisticated quality and safety systems; and in using this source we are using available ingredient while not further impacting the environment. Conventional pet meat is produced at a knackery. Pet meat is not fit for human consumption and carries a higher level of risk. If you have any concerns regarding the source of your pet food ingredients, please contact the manufacturer or seller of the pet food.   
  7. Price – In assessing whether you should change your pet to a raw diet, one of the considerations may be price. Price is an important consideration but should not be the only consideration, and this is especially true when it comes to raw food diets.

One of the primary roles of the PFIAA is to work with and support pet food manufacturers to ensure pet food in Australia is nutritious, safe, high-quality and consistent. Purchasing from a reputable and experienced raw food manufacturer, we think, is essential.

We continue to work with pet owners to provide honest and accurate information, helping you to make well informed decisions that meets your budget as well as your quality expectations. And most of all we want to support your pet’s health and wellbeing.