Salmonella Poisoning in Dogs | Causes & Best Treatment,Victor Pet Foods Outbreak 2023

By: Danielle Harris

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Salmonella poisoning in dogs

In light of the HUGE outbreak in Victor Products

All of our frenchies are on Wellness Whitefish Complete Health but the bigger dogs were still on Victor. Fortunately, we have not been affected and are making a complete switch from the brand.

View the FDA Warning

salmonella poisoning in dogs
Salmonella poisoning in dogs

Did you know that salmonella poisoning affects not only humans but also our furry friends? It’s a startling fact that dogs can contract salmonella, a serious bacterial infection that can have severe consequences. As responsible pet owners, it is crucial for us to be aware of the risks and symptoms associated with salmonella poisoning in dogs.

Salmonella is commonly found in contaminated food, including raw meat and certain pet foods. When dogs consume these infected products, they become susceptible to developing salmonellosis. The infection can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and lethargy. In some cases, it can even progress to more severe conditions like enteritis or septicemia.

Understanding how dogs contract salmonella and taking necessary precautions can help prevent the spread of this infection among our beloved pets. So let’s delve deeper into the world of salmonella poisoning in dogs and learn how we can keep our furry companions safe from this bacterial threat.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection in Dogs

Salmonella infection in dogs can lead to a range of symptoms that are important to recognize for early diagnosis and treatment. These symptoms typically manifest as gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

One of the key signs of salmonella infection is severe diarrhea. If you notice your dog having loose or watery stools that occur frequently throughout the day, it could be an indication of a potential salmonella infection. Vomiting may also occur, which can further contribute to dehydration and discomfort for your furry friend.

Apart from gastrointestinal symptoms, dogs with salmonella infection may exhibit other signs such as fever. A rise in body temperature is often indicative of an underlying infection. Keep an eye out for any unusual warmth when you touch your dog’s ears or paws.

Lethargy is another common symptom seen in dogs with salmonella infection. If your usually energetic pup seems unusually tired or lacks enthusiasm for activities they once enjoyed, it could be a sign that something is amiss.

Abdominal pain is yet another telltale sign of salmonella infection in dogs. They may show discomfort by displaying restlessness or reluctance to move around freely. Pay attention if they whimper or cry when their abdomen is touched.

It’s important to note that not all infected dogs will display the same set of symptoms. Some may only exhibit mild signs while others might experience more severe manifestations. Some infected dogs may not show any visible symptoms at all but can still shed the bacteria and potentially infect humans or other animals they come into contact with.

Prompt recognition of these symptoms is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect that your dog may have a salmonella infection based on their clinical signs, it’s vital to consult with a veterinarian immediately. The vet will conduct appropriate tests to confirm the presence of the bacteria and guide you through the necessary steps for treatment and management.

Causes of Salmonella Poisoning in Dogs

Salmonella poisoning in dogs is primarily caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. Dogs can contract salmonella from a variety of sources, and it’s important for pet owners to be aware of these potential risks.

Contaminated Food and Water

One common cause of salmonella poisoning in dogs is consuming raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. These items are often contaminated with salmonella bacteria, which can lead to infection when ingested by dogs. It’s crucial for pet owners to ensure that their dog’s food is properly cooked and prepared to minimize the risk of contamination.

Poor Hygiene Practices

Another factor contributing to the spread of salmonella in dogs is poor hygiene practices. If pet owners do not practice proper handwashing techniques after handling raw meat or coming into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces, they can unknowingly transfer the bacteria onto their dog’s food or water bowl. This can result in the dog contracting salmonella and developing symptoms of infection.

Exposure to Infected Animals

Dogs can also contract salmonella through direct contact with infected animals. This can occur when dogs interact with other animals that are carriers of the bacteria or come into contact with their feces. For example, if a dog sniffs or licks an area where an infected animal has defecated, they may ingest the bacteria and become infected themselves.

Environmental Contamination

Environmental factors play a role in the spread of salmonella among dogs. Bacteria can survive on various surfaces for extended periods, including floors, countertops, and even toys. If a dog comes into contact with these contaminated surfaces and then licks their paws or fur, they may inadvertently ingest the bacteria and develop salmonella poisoning.

It’s important for pet owners to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning in their dogs:

  • Cook all food thoroughly to kill any potential bacteria.
  • Avoid feeding dogs raw or undercooked meat, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing hands thoroughly after handling raw meat or coming into contact with potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • Keep dogs away from known carriers of salmonella and their feces.
  • Regularly clean and sanitize the dog’s food and water bowls, as well as their toys and living areas.

By being proactive in these ways, pet owners can significantly reduce the chances of their dogs contracting salmonella poisoning. It’s crucial to prioritize the health and well-being of our furry friends by taking appropriate precautions to keep them safe from this bacterial infection.

How Dogs Contract Salmonella

Dogs are susceptible to contracting salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause illness in both humans and animals. There are several ways in which dogs can become infected with salmonella, and it’s important for pet owners to be aware of these potential sources of contamination.

Consuming Contaminated Food or Water

One common way that dogs contract salmonella is by consuming contaminated food or water. This can occur when their diet includes raw or undercooked meat, eggs, or poultry products that may contain the bacteria. If dog food is not handled or stored properly, it can become contaminated with salmonella.

Contact with Infected Feces

Another way dogs can become infected is through contact with feces from an animal that is already carrying the bacteria. This can happen if a dog comes into direct contact with contaminated soil, surfaces, or objects where infected feces are present. It’s important to note that even a small amount of fecal matter containing salmonella can lead to infection.

Close Proximity to Infected Animals

Dogs that come into close proximity with other animals carrying salmonella have an increased risk of contracting the bacteria. This could occur at places like boarding facilities, dog parks, or even within the same household if another pet is infected. The bacteria can be easily transmitted through direct contact between animals or by sharing items such as food bowls and toys.

It’s crucial for pet owners to understand that dogs infected with salmonella may not always show obvious symptoms. Some dogs may experience mild gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and vomiting, while others may exhibit no symptoms at all but still shed the bacteria in their feces.

To minimize the risk of salmonella infection in dogs:

  • Ensure proper handling and storage of raw meat and eggs.
  • Avoid feeding your dog raw or undercooked animal products.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling pet food.
  • Clean and disinfect your dog’s food and water bowls regularly.
  • Keep your dog away from areas contaminated with animal feces.
  • Practice good hygiene when interacting with other animals.

If you suspect that your dog may have contracted salmonella, it’s important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. They may recommend tests to confirm the presence of salmonella bacteria or provide guidance on managing the infection.

Remember, prevention is key. By being vigilant about their diet, environment, and hygiene practices, you can help reduce the risk of bacterial infections in dogs.

Testing and Diagnosis of Salmonella Infection in Dogs

To determine if a dog is infected with salmonella, veterinarians employ several diagnostic methods. These tests aid in identifying the presence of the bacteria and assessing the overall health of the dog.

Fecal Testing for Salmonella Detection

One common method used by veterinarians is fecal testing. This involves collecting a sample of the dog’s stool to analyze for the presence of salmonella bacteria. Fecal cultures are performed to isolate and identify the pathogen responsible for the infection. By detecting salmonella in the fecal samples, veterinarians can confirm if a dog has been infected with this bacterium.

Blood Tests to Assess Health and Identify Complications

In addition to fecal testing, blood tests may be conducted to evaluate the overall health of an infected dog. These tests help identify any complications that may have arisen due to salmonella infection. By examining blood samples, veterinarians can assess various parameters such as white blood cell count and liver function, which provide insights into how well a dog’s immune system is responding to the infection.

Importance of Seeking Veterinary Care

If you suspect that your furry friend has been exposed to salmonella or is exhibiting symptoms associated with salmonellosis, it is crucial to seek veterinary care promptly. A veterinarian will conduct thorough examinations and perform necessary tests to diagnose whether your dog has contracted a salmonella infection.

Salmonella infections can range from mild cases with gastrointestinal symptoms like acute diarrhea to severe clinical disease affecting multiple organs. Prompt diagnosis ensures appropriate treatment measures can be implemented early on, reducing potential complications and promoting a faster recovery for your beloved pet.

Identifying Sources of Infection

Determining how dogs become infected with salmonella can be challenging since it can occur through various sources. Some common routes include contact with contaminated products or coming into contact with infected animals carrying specific serotypes (strains) of salmonella bacteria. Identifying the source of infection is crucial in preventing further spread and taking appropriate measures to eliminate exposure.

Treatment Options for Salmonella Poisoning in Dogs

Salmonella poisoning in dogs can be a distressing situation, but the good news is that there are treatment options available to help your furry friend recover. The treatment typically involves supportive care to manage dehydration and alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms. In more severe cases or when complications arise, antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Supportive Care for Dehydration and Gastrointestinal Symptoms

One of the primary goals of treating salmonella poisoning in dogs is to address dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting. Your veterinarian may recommend fluid therapy to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. This can be done through intravenous (IV) fluids or subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids. By rehydrating your dog, it helps prevent further complications and promotes a faster recovery.

To alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting, your vet may suggest withholding food for a short period of time. This allows the digestive system to rest and heal. However, it’s important to provide access to fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration.

Once your dog’s condition stabilizes, small amounts of easily digestible food may be introduced gradually. Your vet might recommend a bland diet consisting of boiled chicken or lean ground beef with rice or sweet potatoes. These foods are gentle on the stomach and can aid in restoring normal digestion.

Antibiotics for Severe Cases or Complications

In some instances, antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian if the salmonella infection is severe or if complications arise. Antibiotics are used to target and eliminate bacteria from the body, helping speed up recovery time.

It’s crucial to note that not all cases of salmonella poisoning require antibiotic treatment. In fact, indiscriminate use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance over time. Therefore, it’s essential to follow your vet’s guidance regarding antibiotic usage.

Nutritional Support during Recovery

During the recovery phase from salmonella poisoning, your dog’s nutritional needs may increase. The infection can deplete essential nutrients from the body, and it’s important to replenish them for a full recovery.

Your vet may recommend adding supplements or providing a balanced diet that meets your dog’s specific dietary requirements. This helps ensure your dog receives proper nourishment and supports their immune system during the healing process.

Recovery and Management of Salmonella Infection in Dogs

To ensure the successful recovery of dogs infected with salmonella, certain measures need to be taken. Let’s delve into the key aspects of managing and treating salmonella poisoning in dogs.

Period of Isolation

When a dog is diagnosed with salmonella infection, it is crucial to isolate them from other animals to prevent the spread of the bacteria. This means keeping them away from other pets and avoiding contact with infected birds or contaminated environments.

Strict Hygiene Practices

Maintaining strict hygiene practices is essential for preventing reinfection and further complications. Thorough cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces that come into contact with the infected dog are necessary. This includes their bedding, toys, food bowls, and any areas they frequent.

Regular Veterinary Monitoring

Regular monitoring by a veterinarian is vital throughout the recovery process. The vet will assess the progress of treatment, check for any potential complications, and adjust the management plan accordingly. It’s important not to skip follow-up appointments as they play a crucial role in ensuring complete recovery.

Supportive Treatment

Providing supportive care is an integral part of managing salmonella infection in dogs. Supportive treatment may include administering fluids to combat fluid loss caused by diarrhea or vomiting. Your veterinarian may recommend specific dietary adjustments to aid in recovery and support your dog’s immune system.

Antibiotic Therapy

In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed by your veterinarian to help combat the bacterial infection. However, it’s important to note that not all strains of salmonella respond well to antibiotics. Your vet will determine if antibiotic therapy is necessary based on various factors such as severity of infection and presence of sepsis.

Weight Management

Weight loss can occur during a salmonella infection due to decreased appetite or nutrient absorption issues. Monitoring your dog’s weight regularly can help track their progress during recovery. If significant weight loss occurs or persists, consult your veterinarian for appropriate dietary adjustments and guidance.

Prevention of Reinfection

Preventing reinfection is crucial to ensure the health and well-being of your dog. This involves maintaining good hygiene practices not only during the recovery period but also in the long term. Avoid feeding raw or undercooked food, practice proper hand hygiene after handling animals or their waste, and be cautious when introducing new pets into your household.

Timeframe for Recovery

The recovery time for dogs with salmonella infection can vary depending on various factors such as the severity of the infection, overall health of the dog, and promptness of treatment. While some dogs may recover within a week or two with proper management, others may take longer to fully bounce back.

What to do during a food recall

Victor Pet foods issued a recall started in October with the Beef Meal and Brown Rice recipe, advancing to all products by November 10 2023.

Immediately STOP using the product.

Bag it up and return to the store of purchase for a refund, return all unopened bags.

If you do not wish to get a refund: Using a secure container, that no other animals (including wildlife) will have access too, trash already opened bags.


Sanitize all food storage bins, bowls, beds, blankets, and surfaces pets have contact with.

Immediately clean up all feces to avoid further spread and wash and sanitize hands frequently.

Pet foods contaminated with Salmonella are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health. Pets can get sick from Salmonella and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to humans without appearing to be ill. 

Key Takeaways on Salmonella Poisoning in Dogs

In conclusion, it is crucial to be aware of the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for salmonella poisoning in dogs. If you notice any signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy in your furry friend, it’s important to seek veterinary care promptly. Remember that dogs can contract salmonella through various sources like contaminated food or contact with infected animals. Testing and diagnosis are essential to confirm the infection, and treatment typically involves supportive care and antibiotics. With proper management and a focus on hygiene, most dogs can recover from salmonella poisoning successfully.

Now that you have a better understanding of salmonella poisoning in dogs, take proactive steps to protect your pet’s health. Ensure that you provide them with high-quality dog food from reputable brands and handle raw meat or eggs with caution. Keep their environment clean by regularly disinfecting their bowls and bedding. Maintain good personal hygiene after handling your dog or cleaning up after them. By taking these measures, you can minimize the risk of salmonella infection for your beloved canine companion.

salmonella poisoning in dogs
Salmonella poisoning in dogs


Can I get salmonella from my dog?

Yes, it is possible for humans to contract salmonella from infected dogs. It is important to practice good hygiene when handling your dog or cleaning up after them to prevent transmission.

Is cooked chicken safe for dogs?

Cooked chicken can be safe for dogs if it is thoroughly cooked without any seasoning or spices added. However, it’s crucial to avoid feeding them undercooked or raw chicken as it may contain harmful bacteria like salmonella.

Can I treat my dog’s salmonella infection at home?

It is not recommended to treat a dog’s salmonella infection at home without veterinary guidance. Prompt medical attention is necessary as proper diagnosis and treatment are essential for their recovery.

How long does it take for a dog to recover from salmonella poisoning?

The recovery time for dogs with salmonella poisoning can vary depending on the severity of the infection. With appropriate treatment and management, most dogs typically recover within a few weeks.

Can I prevent salmonella poisoning in my dog?

While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks, you can take preventive measures to reduce the chances of your dog contracting salmonella. This includes feeding them high-quality food, practicing good hygiene, and avoiding contact with potentially contaminated sources.

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