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challenge to transport home on a hot day.” But she’s found that the benefits are many, “Dog and cat furs shine and shed less; even their behavior im- proves.” Dog owners also note cleaner teeth, with no tartar buildup, cutting down on trips to the vet.


Not Everyone Agrees Feeding a raw food diet is not without controversy. The American Veterinary Medical Association voted last summer to advise veterinarians to recommend clients against feeding raw meats and bones to pets. Pet Partners, formerly known as the Delta Society, which regis- ters pets as therapy animals, has insti- tuted a policy that states, “Animals may not be fed a raw protein diet. Animals previously fed [such] a diet must be off it for at least four weeks before registering them.” (See PetPartners.org/rawdiet.) Deciding which foods to feed our pets requires extra research and meal preparation time, as well as money, but motivated owners like the results they see in their pet’s health.


Missourian Sandra Murphy may be reached at StLouisFreelanceWriter@ mindspring.com.


Safe Pet Food Prep


To handle raw meat and bones safely, follow the same guide- lines as when cooking for family members.


When shopping, keep meat, seafood and poultry separate from other foods—double-bag them to keep juices contained. In the fridge, store meat


products in sealable containers on the lowest shelf, so that potential drips won’t touch other foods. Fridge temp should be 40° Fahr- enheit or lower.


Use one cutting board for meats and another for produce. Wash hands before and after handling meat. Sanitize counter- tops, wooden cutting boards and knives with white distilled vinegar (5 percent), undiluted, heated to 130° F and left on the surface for one minute; then dry with a recycled- paper towel or air dry. It will kill 99 percent of germs. Plastic cutting


boards go in the dishwasher. Deep clean wooden boards by scrubbing with natural coarse salt and lemon juice (the second half of the lemon face works as a scrubber); rinse with hot water and dry upright. Keep wood from dry- ing out by periodically applying beeswax or walnut or almond oil. Refrigerate or discard any un- eaten food, wash dog bowls after every feeding with soap and hot water, and then let air dry or wipe with a recyclable paper towel. Sponges hoard germs. If used, sanitize them in the microwave at least every other day. Make sure the sponge is wet, not dry. Two minutes will kill 99 percent of most disease-causing germs. Let it cool before handling.


Primary sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Organic Authority.com


natural awakenings


April 2013


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