Ask A Vet: Keeping Tabs on What You Put Into Your Pets' Bodies


Welcome to our weekly 'Ask a Vet from the SF SPCA' feature on Dr. Jeannine Berger, DVM, DACVB is a board certified veterinary behaviorist who counsels guardians whose pets’ issues are beyond the scope of training. Think of her as a pet shrink…at your service.

Q: My dog was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. Is it something she ate?

A: The answer might not be as straight forward as it might seem. You may be told, “food has nothing to do with it. The bacteria come from the outside and get into the urinary tract through the urethra,” but it turns out that there may be some truth to the assumption that the two are connected. A new article published in February 2012 “Playing chicken with UTI’s” by Michael Smith, explains a possible scenario. The paper suggests that transmission from “animal sources is likely to be implicated in human infections and that chicken is a major reservoir."

"Generally," the paper suggests, "people could protect themselves by ensuring they adhere to safe food (preparation) strategies." Well, we are all pretty aware of this for our own health but it is certainly something to consider for your pet’s health as well. While we are ultra conscious of the provenance, composition and value of food that we put into our bodies, we often overlook the quality of food that we feed out pets. Certainly they will be negatively affected, in a myriad of ways, by food that is not prepared safely.

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