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Hi! I'm new to the forum and hoping to soon introduce my four month old Doberman pup, Bonnie, to raw. However, I have a few concerns regarding cleanliness and disease from raw meat. I understand that dogs are well-equipped to deal with things like salmonella; however, humans are not.

My concerns are mostly these:
I'm most likely going to feed her in her kennel with a towel laid down. Is the towel enough to keep her kennel free of germs like E. coli and salmonella? Or will I still need to scrub down the kennel after feeding? Is there a more sanitary way to feed her?

Also, I'm concerned about oral cleanliness. As I said, I'm aware that she is most likely safe from the pathogens in raw food, but I am concerned that if she licks me, or anything I contact afterward, I will be at risk for contracting these diseases. Are my worries unfounded?

Thanks in advance for any help!

-Cliff and Bonnie
 

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I wouldn't worry about putting a towel in the kennel. You can just wipe down the floor of the kennel with a vinegar/water solution or a cleaning wipe (I stay away from chemicals in my house though... lots of Seventh Generation, Method, and Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products here :wink: ).

Most dogs lick everything off the floor of their kennel though, so really I wouldn't worry too much. I only wipe it out once a week or so.

As long as you worm your dog periodically and know where your meat comes from I wouldn't worry much. Honestly they are more likely to pick up parasites environmentally on walks than from raw feeding.
 

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when i began feeding raw, one of my concerns were the germs, since i am immuno compromised....

and i used to sterilise the entire kitchen after every feeding....using bleach products...

what happened was my eyes teared, my hands dried out and i began to react to the bleach products...

and i used wipes on the dogs....their behinds, their mouths, the floor...i washed towel upon which they ate, lest a stray germ escape toward me...

as time went by, i noticed i was beginning to change.....mainly because nothing adverse happened to me....i read quite a bit about kibble and raw and found out that feeding raw is safer than we think....and because i was becoming exhausted....

one thing i noticed as i perused the lists and forums....there seemed to be no ill effects from those who used a little vinegar and water to the people who wanted to fit the room and the dogs into an autoclave and sterilise them....

as time marched on, i've relaxed....no longer do i use bleach products...nasty stuff....

i don't wipe their faces unless they are eating something particularly messy and i don't want it to get on the rug....

i don't wash their eating towel (they eat on one towel in the kitchen - i taught them to stay on the towel)...i fold it with the mess on the inside, drape it over a chair and call it good, until it starts getting nasty and then i wash it.

the only times i wipe my dogs is when bubba is paying particular interest to malia's behind quarters...there is simply no descriptive language i could use to describe what he does to her....but even then....i don't always wipe them down...

i've been doing this for ten months now, almost.....and whilst my doctors are further looking for another auto immune disorder as we speak....i am handling raw food barehanded...i wash the cutting board, the knives, their bowls with dish soap....wipe the counters down...

and they both lick me on the mouth because they are lickers and kissers..i wouldn't change it for the world...

i think we all have to find our comfort zone and sometimes, finding that comfort zone is a journey of self discovery.....

ps...there have been more cases of salmonella from kibble than from feeding raw...something for you to chew on :)
 

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I've been feeding raw for almost 9 years. I don't particularly clean anything. I wipe the kitchen counter off with a damp paper towl. I wash my hands with soap (sometimes). The dogs eat most meals off the floor. I don't clean the floors. The dogs do that. They eat abou5t 2 meals a week from bowls. The bowls haven't been washed in 4 months. The dogs do that after each meal. Their water bowl hasn't been washed in 4 months cause it's just not dirty. Same thing with the cats.

No one in my household has gotten sick from raw feeding. My granddaugter plays on the floor and she hasn't gotten sick. My grandson, son, daughter-in-law hasn't gotten sick. My GF hasn't gotten sick. No other visitors to my house have gotten sick. My dogs lick my face/mouth regularly and well as most anyone who comes to the house. :smile: (None of these people live here. They just visit regularly.)

Obviously I don't worry about bacteria, parasites, etc. Their risks are highly overblown. Just to prove a point a few years ago when someone called me on my statement when my dogs eat what I eat, they said I don't eat raw meat. Sooooo ... you know how I like to prove myself right. ... :biggrin: ... over the period of a week, I ate some raw chicken (pretty chewy), some raw filet mignon (very tastey), and some raw pork (not bad but like cooked better). I'm still here. :smile: I had no adverse reaction.
 

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taking it to a fancier level, bill, there are many of us who eat raw....although, for me, chicken wasn't one of them...

but sashimi and carpaccio and tartare.....raw and delicious....: )
 

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First of all, welcome! Good to see another dobe parent!

I feed Quinn in his crate with no towel. He licks the floor clean himself. Evey couple of days I wipe it down with vinegar. I wear gloves when handling the meat, not because I worry about germs, but because it just feels gross to me. I have always had odd reactions to certain tactile stimuli, the meat just feels icky. I don't worry about touching the dogs, bowels, counters, etc. I don't feel that anything other than basic hygiene(washing my hands in plain old soap) is needed. Of course, i would be doing that no matter what I fed.
 
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People worry about way too much from raw meat! If you are healthy and do not have a compromised immune system then treat this as if you are making a meal for yourself.

I handle raw meat, throw it in a bowl or hand it to the dogs, they chew beef ribs, venison bones and all kinds of stuff all over my house and yes, my rugs need to be cleaned but who cares, thats why I bought a hoover platinum rug cleaner.

There are germs all over this world and raw meat is not going to make or break the barrier of sanitary health.

Good Luck with the decision to feed raw, you will be so happy you did...
 
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I admit to not cleaning very well. We just don't worry about it. Humans that are healthy and have full immune systems are equipped to deal with pathogens like E. coli. We wipe the counters down with a damp rag and sometimes a non antibacterial soap (we try and stay away from antibiotics in any form because they do more harm than good).

Bacteria are everywhere. They are in your dogs saliva regardless of what you feed them. They eat dirt and chew on sticks that are covered in bacteria, they lick their privates all the time. They sniff rear ends and get drooled on by other dogs. Bacteria are everywhere. There's nothing you can do to keep them away from you unless you seal yourself in a sterile environment.

So to answer your question: no, the towel won't do any good with keeping things clean and in fact would provide a more hospitable environment for bacteria to grow. Just feed your dog in her crate and wipe it down afterwards if you wish. Just don't let her lick you after a meal (what we call "yuck mouth" and try our best to not let them lick us for a while). Or feed your dog outside which makes for no clean up for you (we feed outside most of the time).

Glad you've joined up and look forward to helping you through the process of switching to raw! Happy posting :biggrin:
 

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I prepare their meals on my kitchen island (granite) and afterward just 409 it down and wipe it down. Mostly because 1) I prepare more than raw meat on there... and 2) my husband hates the smell... I usually light a candle afterward... he's a sensitive man-girl.

I feed the dogs outside in crates and have never bothered to wipe crates down. I've never cared about germs... even with my 2 year old who has eaten many things off the floor. Gross? Yeah, probably... but he's never been sick (save for a few colds)!
 

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I have to admit that I have never worried about the germ side of raw feeding :).

To be honest I'm a bit like RawFedDogs, My pups bowl has not been cleaned in months, and I only use that as a marker for food. As soon as she starts eating she takes all the food out and lays it on the kitchen floor.

I now have my floor cleaned once a day by an overactive puppy tongue, never any smell, and no sickness within the house.

The last food related sickness in the house came from a grocery store sandwich months before the pup arrived!!

One interesting fact with dogs (and cats) is that they have antibacterial saliva so essentially once they have eaten their little mouths are clean and highly unlikely to pass anything on to you.

Hope it all goes well for you and that your pup enjoys their new foods.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to everyone for all of the response! I actually gave Bonnie a bit of raw ham today and she seemed to enjoy it; good prediction of the future, maybe? :)

Anyhow, it seems I overestimated the germiness and whatnot; I suppose I still feel a bit like I'm doing something "a little crazy" for "just a dog". But I love my girl, and after learning about how awful dog food really is, I just don't see how anyone could not switch to raw- if they love their dog.
 

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I was paranoid at first fed on towels washed towels after every feeding, then I just got lazy, now I feed on the lids to things like cottage cheese containers for my little dogs, and a bowl for my big dog although she prefers to eat on her crte floor so I just wipe up with a paper towel that has been spritzed with vinegar, and just throw the lids/bowl in the dishwasher when I'm done. I don't fret about germs when I'm cutting meat up, don't use gloves, but do wash hands after with soap. My dog Zoey has immune issues so was worried about the germs and her, but she has handled it more than beautifully since July (when I started).
 

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One interesting fact with dogs (and cats) is that they have antibacterial saliva so essentially once they have eaten their little mouths are clean and highly unlikely to pass anything on to you.
You took the words right out of my mouth. haha. But yes, dogs have an enzyme in their saliva that breaks down bacteria. Therefore, their mouths probably have less bacteria (when fed raw) than ours do! XP

I suppose I still feel a bit like I'm doing something "a little crazy" for "just a dog".
They're not "just dogs," really, when you think about it. They are part of the family that give us more learning experiences and joy and loyalty than any friend ever will, sometimes even more so than family, and possibly even children, though children definitely bring a lot more to the table than dogs. haha. Just maybe not the same learning experiences (for us), like loyalty.
 

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I thought I would stick this in here as I think it makes really interesting reading.

Ron Dehaven is the well respected head of the AVMA and these are his comments in regard to feeding commercial dog food.




:eek:
 

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Wow. He sounds paranoid. How the heck do you keep a cat off a counter, anyway?

I heard that kibbles have a much much higher bacterial load than does raw.
 

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That he is, and has obviously never owned a cat :)

As far as I know they do, but then something that is made from mostly sugar and has a high surface area will always be a great breeding ground for bacteria.


Hence stuffing is more likely to give you food poisoning than turkey !!!
 

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I'm not worried about germs either. Never was.

I have handled raw meat for us humans to eat for years, so why would anything change for feeding my pups? :biggrin:

On nice days, my dogs will eat outside in the backyard. On days where the weather is bad they will eat down in the laundry room. They do a wonderful job of cleaning up after themselves.

I have never been sick from it, neither has my husband. And, I also have two small children...they have never been sick from it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have handled raw meat for us humans to eat for years, so why would anything change for feeding my pups? :biggrin:
The thing is (for me), I was worried mostly about puppy kisses, especially on my face. When I handle raw meat, I don't have it on or near my mouth or face. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't something I needed to worry about!
 
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