Most dog owners feed their pets poorly, study finds

A new study reveals that most dog owners misfeed their pets according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

North Carolina researchers recently published their findings in PLOS ONE. They conducted a survey of 417 dog owners to collect data about their pets, including their pet’s alertness, health status and diet. Owners were also asked about their knowledge of FDA feeding guidelines, specifically food handling and bowl hygiene.

The results showed that less than 5% were aware of FDA guidelines for dog food. Only a third of dog owners reported washing their hands after feeding their pets, likely increasing the risk for puppies with low antibodies.

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The results also showed that 22% of respondents said they washed their dishes, on average once a week. Additionally, 12% said they washed their dishes at least once a day versus 18% said they washed their dishes less than every three months or not at all.

“It was found that the vast majority of dog owners in the study were unaware of and did not follow FDA guidelines for handling and storing pet food,” the researchers said. study authors.

the FDA says pet food and treats can be contaminated with harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses, such as salmonellosis and listeriosis.

Here are the FDA’s guidelines for buying, preparing, and storing pet food.

Tips for buying pet food

  • Buy pet food (tins, pouches or bags) in good condition. Check the packaging for visible signs of damage, such as dents, tears, and discolorations.

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Tips for preparing pet food

  • Start and end with clean hands. Before and after handling pet food and treats, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
  • Wash pet food bowls and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use.
  • Do not use your pet’s food bowl as a recovery utensil. Instead, use a clean scoop, scoop or cup. Use the scooping utensil only to scoop up pet food.
  • Dispose of old or spoiled pet food in a safe way, such as placing it in a securely tied plastic bag in a covered trash can.

Tips for Storing Pet Food

  • Refrigerate or promptly dispose of unused or leftover canned and bagged pet food. Tightly cover refrigerated pet food. Set your fridge to 40 F or lower.
  • Store dry pet food in a cool, dry place. Temperature should be below 80 F. Too much heat or humidity can cause nutrients to break down.
  • Store dry pet food in its original bag and keep the top of the bag tightly folded.
  • Store pet food in a safe place to prevent your pet from eating an entire supply at once.