Feed pets safely to keep you and your pet healthy

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Giving your pet a nutritious diet is important to keep them healthy. All pets have specific needs that differ by age, physical and mental health, and their activity level. The food and treats you feed your pet may even affect your health – sometimes pet foods and treats contain germs that can make you sick, like Salmonella. Follow these tips when feeding your pet to keep you both happy and healthy.

Make feeding time healthy

Hungry dog being fed by owner
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling pet food or treats.
  • Keep pet food separate from human food when possible and out of reach from young kids.
  • Use a clean, dedicated scooper for pet food.

Don’t feed raw diets 

Pet Food Safety Infographic

Raw pet food, just like raw meat that humans cook to eat, is more likely to carry germs like Salmonella and Listeria. These germs can make both people and pets sick. Some pets, like reptiles, only eat feeder rodents. Feeder rodents, whether live or frozen, can also spread germs.

If you choose to feed your pet raw food, or if you are feeding a reptile feeder rodents:

  • Wash hands after handling the food.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces food touched.
  • Freeze raw pet food until you are ready to use it.
  • Thaw frozen pet foods in your refrigerator away from your food.
  • Thaw frozen feeder rodents in a dedicated container out of the kitchen.

Safety around pets during and after feeding

  • Teach children not to bother pets when they are eating.
  • Don’t let your pet lick around your mouth, face, open wounds, or areas with broken skin after eating.
  • Feed reptiles with tongs when using feeder rodents. Don’t handle reptiles after handling rodents to reduce your risk of bites.