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The way you feed your pets can make them and you sick

For most of us, food safety habits like washing our hands before preparing a meal and rinsing our plate before putting it in the dishwasher are second nature. But would it surprise you to learn that you should follow those same protocols when feeding and cleaning up after your pet?

A new study, published April 6 in the journal plus one, found that the majority of dog owners in the US do not know and do not follow the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines on safe handling of pet food and dishes. In this case, what you don’t know can hurt you. Contaminated pet food has been the source of multiple outbreaks of bacterial illnesses among dogs and humans, according to the authors.

“Pet owners should be aware that pet food bowls can harbor bacteria and that there are recommendations to minimize that risk,” lead author Emily Luisana, DVM, a veterinarian at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC, said in a statement. .

Pet food and treats, like many other types of food, can be contaminated with harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses such as salmonellosis and listeriosis, according to the FDA.

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