Salmonella Poisoning and Dog food: What You Need to Know

December 12, 2020 5 min read

Small dog with black and white fur under a blanket showing fever sign of salmonella

Salmonella! It’s such a scary thought, and we want our furry friends to stay far far away from it!

But what is it?

Salmonella is bacteria that can live in the intestines of countless different animals. It's contracted through eating and being in contact with contaminated food. As hoomans, we are very likely to catch Salmonella if we aren’t paying attention so be sure to be extra careful when handling raw food. But dogs aren't as likely to catch salmonellosis and would benefit from a raw diet. 


Signs and Symptoms

So we know that our little furry friends can contract this nasty bacteria. If you ever think that your dog has, be sure to look out for: 

  • Diarrhea with blood or mucus
  • Fever 
  • Vomiting 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Stomach pain (in a ‘hunching’ posture)
  • Depression 
  • Ask your vet if you can get a lab test

Once identified and the strain of Salmonella confirmed, the correct and most effective antibiotic treatment can be administered.

Note: only highly severe cases of salmonella will be treated with antibiotics to help prevent a drug-resistant strain of salmonella. 

If you notice your pup with a few symptoms, be sure to clean up after them thoroughly — this bacteria can stay in their system for several weeks. Make sure your other pet’s stay far far away from anything that might be contaminated!

Do Dogs Get Salmonella

If raw foods are a potential salmonella risk, why are pet owners still going raw?

Our pups actually have high hydrochloric stomach acidity with a pH level of  1-2 (Much lower that is hoomans!) that can kill off these bacteria (Salmonella cannot survive in conditions other than a pH range of 3.8 to 9.5.), making it unlikely for it to affect our pups. 

Our dogs also have digestive enzymes that work to help neutralize bacteria and help prevent harmful micro-organisms like Salmonella from affecting them. Bacteria are naturally occurring and our dogs used to be free roamers, so dogs are adapted to fight off those pesky pathogens! 

The times of our pups scavenging for food has long been over. Now, processed food like kibble has fed many dogs over recent years. Kibble has no bacteria and the enzymes that used to function inside our dogs have depleted, meaning their natural defenses have only shrunk. 

Decreasing a dog’s risk of salmonella is easy! Make sure you are feeding them a biologically appropriate diet.There is no such thing as meat without any bacteria. Trillions if not billions of bacteria live on every live animal but no worries, our pups were naturally built for them!

The main concern that surrounds salmonella and dogs is actually the increased human exposure to salmonella. But, this can be prevented as long as health safety practices like washing your hands is practiced. 


Can Dogs Get Salmonella From Raw Meat Or Eggs?

We are warned that meat should be cooked before eating because we can get salmonellosis. People also warn against eating eggs raw because of the risks. However, dogs aren't the same as people. 

Compared to us humans, dogs have a more acidic stomach which is hard for pathogens to survive as mentioned. They are also more likely to benefit nutritionally from raw eggs and raw meat, like raw chicken. 


Can Dogs Get Salmonella from Other Animals? 

You might be wondering, "can dogs get salmonella from other animals? Turtles had a salmonella incident this year, so is my pup or any of my other pets safe from this bacteria?"

In all honesty, we might want to be a little careful of other animals, if they are wild or they have Salmonellosis. Animals can carry salmonella without showing any symptoms and can stay anywhere from stool to saliva. But as we mentioned, healthy dogs do have an internal defense from Salmonellosis. 

Spreading Salmonella Prevention

Let’s be honest, our dogs will explore, sniff, and probably eat anything that comes their way. They will happily eat things that we as hoomans wouldn’t dare touch. This means that your dog is already exposed to a lot of foregin bacteria that we would prefer them to not consume. 

Whether we like it or not, our pups are going to be exposed to all types of bacteria when feeding raw. However, unlike the random objects, dirt, and who knows what else in our backyard that our dog sniffs and eats, raw food is beneficial

We can also support our furry friend's genetic system built for these bacteria, if we still aren't comfortable about bacteria in raw. 

Be vigilant about what your dog eats, sniffs, and where he goes! If you think he's been exposed, see whether they have the symptoms. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and others is to actively be hygienic and wash our hands often!

  • After contact with animal feces (stool), wash your hands well with soap and running water. 
  • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and running water after handling or feeding your pet. 
  • Clean up after your pet. If you have a dog, use a plastic bag to pick up the stool, and clean up the stool while on walks or from the yard and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag. If you have a cat, scoop the litter box daily and dispose of the stool in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  • Do not share food with your pets.
  • If your dog has long hair, wipe their mouth after feeding 
  • Wipe your dog's feet before they roam the house after a trip outside

Feeding Raw : What to Look For

Human Grade Ingredients

Your dog should have the best food possible and that means the same quality as us hoomans if we want them to live longer lives. Going raw is the first step toward that! There are so many options out there today. Whether it is the type of meat or sourcing, we should always be feeding our pups human-grade food; If possible, without grains and any unnecessary fillers.



Organs are full of nutrients. Without them, your dogs might be missing out on key nutrients. Organs should make up about 10-30% a meal. If you can only find liver, feed only up to 10% due to its high Vitamin A levels. No one organ should be more than 5-10% of what your pup eats. 



Fats are healthy! But be careful, feeding too much fat means that your dog isn’t getting enough vitamins and minerals — upping calorie count before they get the chance to get to nutrients. Beware of raw diets that are low in price. This usually indicates they contain higher fat content from animal trimmings; parts that we hoomans don’t want.


Small Batch Production

Large productions mean that there is less attention paid to detail. Know that with Cali Raw, each order from start to finish is being constantly treated with care. Know exactly what goes into all of our products and feel free to ask any questions —  we’ll be sure to answer them!

Salmonella is scary! We can’t see it and that is what makes it that much more dangerous. But no fear, it shouldn’t be so scary after you read this article right? To sum it up salmonella is only as scary as we make it. By, feeding our furry friends the most biologically appropriate diets, and helping their immune systems build up to what nature intended, we are doing our part in ensuring that our pups live a long and healthy life.