I have been feeding my now 3-year-9-month old female Rottweiler dog raw diet (fish, pork, liver, chicken drumsticks, beef) for almost 2 years now since June 2013; she has been healthy with normal weight of 80 lb.
Recent news of Salmonella outbreak of more than 50 people being sickened across 9 states in the U.S. prompts me to revisit this question: Whether my healthy dog could have higher risk of being sickened by Salmonella because of eating raw meats? The following quoted article seems suggesting that raw diets are better than the commercial processed dog foods (including kibbles) for the healthy dogs because raw meats and bones are more natural for the dog’s digestion system. See the following quotes for the above notion. The article is on this web page http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/salmonella/
A brief quote from this article “Salmonella: The Bad Bacteria”, by Dogs Naturally Magazine in Featured Articles: March/April 2010 Issue, by: Kim Bloomer VND & Jeannie Thomason VND
Dogs, being opportunistic carnivores, designed to eat things we humans shudder at the thought of, have gastrointestinal tracts which are designed with many unique features that prevent pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella and e.coli from taking over their body and upsetting the healthy balance of intestinal flora.
A dog’s saliva has digestive enzymes that contain properties which neutralize bacteria and help prevent harmful pathogenic micro-organisms from migrating in significant numbers into the gut. Any remaining bacteria is then eliminated by strong hydrochloric acids designed, and specific to carnivores, to create just the right pH (1 to 2) for the inherent enzymes to kill any residual bacteria making their way into the gut.
When the pet’s immune system is healthy, the few bacteria that might survive the high acid content of the stomach will then pass into the small intestine which in a healthy animal contains the naturally occurring digestive enzymes, bicarbonate and bile salts which are deposited by the liver and pancreas. These enzymes are designed to digest the cell walls of any harmful bacteria that may persist and the bile salts from the liver will digest fats (in their natural, raw state) and transport antimicrobial agents. The healthy digestive tract also secretes a potent enzyme called lysozyme which attacks bacterial cell walls. Any bacterium that may survive this arsenal will still need to adhere to the lining of the intestinal wall for illness to occur.
When our dogs are fed foods which have been cooked and/or processed (as is the case with commercial pet foods), they are void of the live enzymes that are critical to proper digestion and health. The dog’s body must then call on the enzyme reserves within itself to process this unnatural food thereby rapidly depleting these critical enzymes. Despite the dog’s natural defenses against salmonella, only a small number of bacteria is required to create infection although, as previously stated, this number is directly related to the immune health of the dog.