As the debate rages on about whether a raw diet* is good or not for our pets, below is an interesting study about the potential risk of humans getting sick or infected from handling their pet’s raw food. The study included over 16K pet households in 81 countries. The research is published in the BMJ journal Veterinary Record.
(*Raw food includes any meat, internal organs, bones and cartilage fed uncooked to pets.)
(Did you know that more than 60% of pet owners in the Netherlands feed raw?)
Yes, it’s true; your compost is environment-friendly and waste-reducing, but it might also be dangerous to your dog(s), pets, wildlife and humans.
Here’s what you need to know …
As the contents of your compost pile or bin break down, dangerous pathogens (illness- or disease-causing agents) and tremorgenic mycotoxins (poisons from molds which can cause tremors or even seizures) are created and can seriously harm or even kill your dog and other pets.
So, how can you still compost while protecting your dog from indiscriminate scavenging on the tempting, unlimited buffet that is your compost?
- Never compost dairy, grains, nuts, legumes, breads or meats due to their tendency to become moldy.
- Use tightly sealed and secured compost containers to keep out curious noses and never-ending appetites.
Also, be on the lookout for symptoms in your dog like vomiting, unusual panting and/or drooling, depression, increase in heart rate, unusual changes in behavior and even coma. If you do suspect your dog has gotten into the compost, call your vet and seek immediate medical intervention. Even small amounts of compost can be toxic within a few hours and potentially fatal.
(Sources and Additional Reading: http://www.DogingtonPost.com, http://www.PetPoisonHelpline.com and http://www.TreeHugger.com)