The purpose of this study was to determine pet-related management factors that may be associated with the presence of Salmonella spp. in feces of pet dogs from volunteer households. From October 2005 until May 2006, 138 dogs from 84 households in Ontario were recruited to participate in a cross-sectional study. Five consecutive daily fecal samples were collected from each dog and enrichment culture for Salmonella spp. was performed. A higher than expected number of the dogs (23.2%; 32/138) had at least one fecal sample positive for Salmonella, and 25% (21/84) of the households had at least one dog shedding Salmonella. Twelve serotypes of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica were identified, with the predominant serotypes being Typhimurium (33.3%; 13/39), Kentucky (15.4%; 6/39), Brandenburg (15.4%; 6/39) and Heidelberg (12.8%; 5/39). Univariable logistic regression models were created with a random effect for household to account for clustering. Statistically significant risk factors for a dog testing positive included having contact with livestock, receiving a probiotic in the previous 30 days, feeding a commercial or homemade raw food diet, feeding raw meat and eggs, feeding a homemade cooked diet, and having more than one dog in the household. In two-variable models that controlled for feeding raw food, the non-dietary variables were no longer statistically significant. These results highlight the potential public health risk of including raw animal products in canine diets.
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