Can Dogs Eat Spoiled Meat?

By John Martin - January 26, 2022

Spoiled meat

Dogs are constantly eating our scraps and leftovers or rifling through the trash for food. While a small amount of people’s food every now and then won’t hurt them, eating spoiled meat can be very dangerous to dogs.

Here’s everything you need to know about dogs eating spoiled meat:

Do Dogs Get Sick from Spoiled Meat?

A dog’s stomach is stronger than humans and they can keep down a wide variety of raw and cooked food. However, spoiled meat is completely different as it contains harmful toxins and bacteria.

They pose danger to the health and safety of dogs and humans alike. If the meat is too old for you to eat, you shouldn’t be feeding it to your dog either.

Your dog may not immediately get sick after eating spoiled meat, but that doesn’t mean you can continue feeding it to them. Sometimes the symptoms may show up after a few days.

The fact that the food has started decomposing means that it is no longer safe for consumption.

You might think it will save you a few bucks now, but you will end up spending far more on veterinary fees than you will ever save on dog food.

Dogs can get a host of diseases from eating spoiled meat. Here is a list of possible problems your dog could face by eating spoiled meat:

  • E-Coli: This bacteria is found in rotting food and commonly causes digestive issues in both humans and animals. It is harmful to the dog’s lower intestine.
  • Salmonella: Salmonella in dogs presents as gastric distress, bloody diarrhea and weakness.
  • Staphylococcus aureus: This bacteria causes staph infections. Dogs can contract it from humans too.
  • Penitrem-A: It grows on moldy meat. Dogs can get seizures if this bacteria enters their digestive system.
  • Clostridium botulinum: This bacteria causes botulism in dogs. It is a rare disease, but it is especially troublesome because it is difficult to identify.

    By the time dog owners identify botulism, it is too late to effectively treat it. Botulism can cause paralysis and other life-threatening conditions in dogs.

    Inflammation in the eyes, incessant drooling, trouble swallowing, weakness, and muscle paralysis are all symptoms of Botulism.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Octopus?

What Happens If Dogs Eat Spoiled Meat?

Dogs’ stomachs are highly acidic in nature. Eating spoiled meat reacts with the acidic nature of their stomachs and causes gastric distress.

Food poisoning is the most common result of dogs eating spoiled meat. To successfully treat your dog, it is important to know the exact symptoms of food poisoning so that you know what to watch out for.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Like humans, the symptoms of food poisoning can vary depending on the dog. Here is a list of all the possible symptoms of food poisoning in dogs:

  • Vomiting and/or Loose Motions: This is the most common symptom of food poisoning among dogs. If your dog is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea after eating spoiled meat, it has food poisoning.
  • Loss of Appetite: If your usually hungry dog is suddenly refusing to touch any food, it is a cause for concern. Food poisoning can reduce appetite.
  • Fatigue: It is very easy to tell when a dog is experiencing fatigue. If they are hardly moving and nothing gets them excited, they are experiencing fatigue.
  • Drooling: All dogs drool, but if there is a drastic increase in drooling, it could be a sign of food poisoning.
  • Shivering: Dogs often tremble or shake uncontrollably out of fear or anxiety. Shivering because of food poisoning looks about the same.
  • Seizures or Fainting: If your dog starts having seizures or faints, you need to take him to the vet immediately. This means that the problem is serious and cannot be cured at home.
  • Poor Coordination: If your dog is having trouble walking or suddenly seems uncoordinated or clumsy, it means he needs immediate medical attention.

Food poisoning is treatable in most cases and your dog should bounce back provided they receive proper care.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Avocados?

What to Do If My Dog Eats Spoiled Meat?

If your dog has eaten spoiled meat or you suspect that he might have eaten spoiled meat, there are many things you can do to help keep your dog safe.

Don’t Feed Your Dog for 24 Hours

Vomiting and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of food poisoning. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, don’t panic.

It means that the toxins are getting thrown out of their system. Don’t give your dog any food for 24 hours after they ate the spoiled meat.

Feeding them could worsen the problem. Just let them go through the symptoms as comfortably as possible.

Once the 24 hours are over, feed them light and bland food. Your dog’s stomach is still recovering and you don’t want to put any pressure on it.

If the vomiting and diarrhea persist after 24 hours, it is best to have your veterinary doctor examine your dog.

Hydrate Your Dog

Just like humans, dogs also lose a lot of water through vomiting and diarrhea. Your dog is probably dehydrated and you need to make sure he drinks a lot of water to replenish the fluids he lost.

A lot of dogs don’t drink enough water. Don’t try to give him some other liquid because his stomach is too sensitive at this point.

If your dog is not drinking water, try giving him ice cubes. Make sure the water bowl is clean and place it near him.

Observe Closely

If your dog has food poisoning, you need to watch him like a hawk for any other symptoms. Sometimes the vomiting and diarrhea cause other problems like dehydration or lethargy.

For the first 24 hours, keep your dog under constant supervision. If he refuses to drink any water, you should get him to the vet.

Dehydration can cause more complications, so it is best to be safe than sorry.

Talk to Your Vet

It is also a good idea to call your vet and ask for advice. Food poisoning is usually manageable at home, but talking to an expert will help you take better care of your dog and more importantly, ease your concerns.

When to Bring Your Dog to the Vet

If your dog takes a turn for the worse or the symptoms don’t go away after 24 hours, you should definitely contact your vet.

If your dog starts vomiting again later or vomits water, or is experiencing serious symptoms like loss of coordination, seizures or fainting, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Managing Food Poisoning at Home

If the vet is not immediately available or you are simply looking to reduce your dog’s discomfort, here’s what you can do:

  • Mix one teaspoon baking soda with half a cup of water and feed your dog small sips of the mixture. If he stops vomiting, you can also try feeding him spoonfuls of ginger tea.
  • You can try giving your dog Pepto-Bismol if he has stopped vomiting. It will help ease the distress in his gastric system. Do not do this for more than one day.
  • Try giving your dog a couple of spoonfuls of coconut water every two hours. It will help prevent dehydration.
  • Don’t give your dog milk, it is difficult to digest and will make your dog feel worse.

Can I Feed My Dog Cooked Spoiled Meat?

Cooking meat kills the harmful bacteria in it. However, spoiled meat has toxins that don’t go away when you cook it.

Thus, you should never feed your dog spoiled meat, cooked or otherwise. If the meat has gone bad, simply throw it away out of reach of your dog.

Do Dogs Know When Meat Is Spoiled?

Dogs have a keen sense of smell and can recognize spoiled meat. However, this doesn’t usually stop them from eating it.

Dogs can tell the difference, but they don’t understand that eating spoiled meat is bad for them. So always keep spoiled meat far out of their reach.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Roast Beef?

Wrapping Up

Eating spoiled meat is extremely harmful to dogs. It can cause a host of diseases from food poisoning to botulism.

If your dog is experiencing food poisoning from eating spoiled meat, do not panic. Observe them closely and don’t give them any food for 24 hours.

Your dog should start getting better. If he doesn’t or the symptoms start worsening, you should immediately take your dog to the vet.