By Heather Pyne
We’ve had a couple of queries as to why we do not allow any dogs we work with (whether therapy dogs, assistance dogs or pet dogs) to be raw fed.
As with all we do we take an evidenced based approach to our policies and procedures as well as using local authority & NHS policies across the country to guide our decisions.
With raw feeding - the Royal college of nursing guidance on working with dogs in health care settings clearly states dogs should not be raw fed under their infection prevention control guidelines and various studies conclude that raw feeding may pose an increased risk of infection/ spread of salmonella and E. coli including this article from the from the university of Liverpool. We trace back and read the original research (such as ‘Preliminary assessment of the risk of Salmonella infection in dogs fed raw chicken diets, Joffe & Schlesinger, 2002 - Public Health Concerns Associated With Feeding Raw Meat Diets to Dogs, LeJeune et al 2001) I could easily list a page of academic journal articles about potential risks of raw feeding but I’m sure you’ve got the point.
We never trust magazine articles because we know how easy it is for non academic forums to share information which unsupported by evidence. We base our decisions on evidence.
So, based on the research & evidence, based on the guidance from the RNC and other similar health and social care guidance documents we decided not to allow raw feeding. This is our company policy and there is no room for argument or exceptions.
We stand apart from other organisations in many of our policies at Pawsitive squad such as banning tethering and the use of equipment such as training disks and with restrictions on equipment such as head collars and this is ok. We stand by each and every decision and will happily justify them but that doesn’t mean we are criticising other organisations who do things differently to us. We do what we do, they do what they do and we can all still all provide a great service to our customers despite doing things differently.