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There is very little risk of your pet passing bacteria back to you when fed a raw food diet. Dogs have an enzyme in their saliva called lysozyme. This enzyme neutralises harmful bacteria and also prevents the spread of bacteria from your dog’s mouth to other surfaces* (see attached scientific study). This enzyme is not found in human saliva and is unique to dogs.

It’s important to note...

Salmonella can be found in up to 36 percent of all healthy dogs and 18 percent of healthy cats regardless of the food they consume. Many pets harbour these bacteria as a part of their normal GI flora and naturally shed salmonella organisms in faeces and saliva regardless of what food they eat.

Dr. Karen Becker has provided some further information on the subject here. Whether you feed a raw food diet or a dry diet, your dog is shedding bacteria. Of course the amount of bacteria is usually low enough that you don’t ever get ill.

It is important to remember the following...

  • Reduce your risk factors by purchasing your raw pet food diet from LUNA & me that ensures the proper sourcing and handling of raw ingredients. In fact, we are the only raw pet food manufacturing facility to operate a process of 'positive release'.
  • Store, thaw and serve your pet’s raw meals in the same manner you would if this were food you were going to prepare for your family. This includes thawing in the refrigerator and using within 3 days of thawing.
  • Have an adult handle the serving bowls and pick-up your pet’s bowl when they are finished eating.  Then wash your hands and the bowl after serving.
  • Wipe or clean your pet’s mouth and face if they have a beard with a clean cloth to remove any food that might be on the beard or face.


For further reading we also suggest this article by Dr. Karen Becker on the risk of passing bacteria though pet kisses.

Research Article

Lysozyme in saliva samples destroys bacterial cellular membranes (Hamning et al., 2010) and limits glucose assimilation by bacterial cells which leads to lowered metabolism, adhesion and aggregation which eventually leads to reduction to growth and hence death (Andres and Fierro. 2010)

Peroxidase identified in the saliva of some animals inhibited the growth of microorganism. It inhibited the uptake and production of acids and prevents the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (Klimiuk et al., 2006). The lactoferrin detected in the saliva samples of the different dog breeds was found to produce antibacterial activity to human infants. It has been found to bind lipopolysacchandes of bacterial wall and the oxidized iron part of the lactoferrin oxidizes bacteria via formation of peroxides. Membrane permeability is affected and results in cell breakdown (Andres and Fierro, 2010). Article