Can a Dog Eat Spoiled Meat?

We always have, “can a dog eat spoiled meat”? But the answer may not be a direct yes on no answer. I tend to think that both solutions may apply but just to a certain degree.

Dogs originated from the evolution of the ancient Pleistocene wolf. [1]

So, yes, the domesticated dog has a wolf origin. However, the wolves that the dogs originated from were distinct from the current wolf populations and went extinct many thousand years ago.

For this reason, we may say that dogs evolved from those ancient wolves as the human race was also evolving. Being carnivores, they lived in the wild and naturally would feed on not the freshest of meat. [2]

As they started living with men, we expect they ate leftovers and meat that the humans didn’t deem fit for consumption. And they survived to bring us the current generation of dogs.

As man became civilized, however, so did the dog. Currently, dogs have their unique foods, and new breeds of dogs have also come about.

These new breeds may not survive effectively as the older breeds that lived in the forest with the early man.

Although slightly spoiled meat may not harm your dog, overly decayed meat that has changed color to blackish may be harmful to your dog.

Some people have agreed on letting the meat decay a little before feeding their dogs.

As we have mentioned, if the meat doesn’t show black color with an awful intolerable smell, it may not harm your dog.

Although some people argue that spoiled meat may not be harmful to dogs, we assure you that you may have your dog get sick from eating rotten meat.

The bacteria stored in spoiled meat may cause diseases to your dog, to the extent of the dog dying.

So, we may say that dogs should not feed on rotten meat, especially if they have not gotten used to eating spoiled meat.

What is spoiled meat?

Spoiled meat may be defined as that meat unfit for human consumption. This nature may result from rotting, decay, or disease that the animal where the meat came from suffered.

Can a dog eat spoiled meat, and what will be the result?


If the dog was hungry and you fed it on spoiled meat due to hunger and because it’s still a carnivore, it would eat it.

Overly bad or decayed meat may be toxic to your dog. If the meat came from a sick animal, the sickness might get transferred to your dog after consuming the meat.

In the case of rotting or decay, such meat produces harmful bacteria and toxins.

These bacteria include E-coli, Penitrem-A, Staphylococcus, Clostridium botulinum, and Salmonella, among other bacteria.

You will also find fungi, parasites and toxins in decaying meat, making it harmful to the studier gut of the canines.

The effects of these bacteria include:

  • Clostridium botulinum causes paralysis in dogs through a disease that attacks the nervous system called Botulism.
  • E-coli causes a disease that affects the lower intestines in dogs called Colibacillosis.
  • Moldy meat contains Penitrem-A, and this bacteria causes seizures in dogs
  • Salmonella in dogs may cause vomiting, appetite loss, bloody diarrhea, and weakness in dogs [3]
  • Staphylococcus bacteria cause Staphylococcus aureus/Staph infection. This infection may also spread to humans from the dog

As much as these bacteria may threaten the life of your dog, some get transferred to humans too. So, spoiled meat may be catastrophic to both people and dogs.

Can dogs tell if meat is rotten?


If you didn’t know, the dogs’ might sense spoiled meat faster than you. Their noses have very sensitive nerves to determine spoiled meat more quickly.

However, this fast detection doesn’t mean dogs will interpret the meat as bad. They may prefer the rotten meat to the fresh one, to your surprise.

So, can dogs eat spoiled meat?


They may detect rotten meat and still eat means they may eat spoiled meat. The question will now be what the bad meat may do to the dog’s health.

Can dogs eat the meat left out overnight?


When meat stays out for several hours during the night, chances of bacterial or fungal infection get higher.

Although if the meat doesn’t smell foul, or appear slimy, blackened, or tacky, then you may cook it and give it to your dog.

Raw meat that has stayed out overnight may harbor more bacteria and should not be fed to dogs.

What to do if a dog ate spoiled food?

Spoiled dog food may include all types of dog food, mainly containing meat.

As we have seen that rotten meat or food may contain bacteria, fungi, or toxins, you may be on high alert to check any weird symptoms that may symbolize that your dog might be unwell.

Some mushrooms may be toxic to the canines, so do spoiled food.[4]

Spoiled food may cause food poisoning in dogs, which is the greatest diagnosis in sick dogs.

In most cases, when you take your dog to the veterinary, they will be diagnosed with food poisoning if they ate any spoiled food or meat that could have compromised their health.

Different dogs may present symptoms ranging from a few hours to days after ingesting the spoiled food.

As some may argue, this reason becomes the primary reason you should not intentionally feed your dog bad meat.

The degree of decay may not get detected with the normal eye, so that you may send your dog to an early grave by ignorance.

The dog may seem fine within a few days but present deadly symptoms even six days after ingesting the spoiled food.

The symptoms of food poisoning in dogs after eating rotten food include the following.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of control in the bladder
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Paralysis
  • Death

Seizures and paralysis signify severe symptoms and may easily cause death.

Therefore, you should take your dog to the veterinary doctor immediately if you notice these symptoms that may make your dog sick.[5]

These symptoms bring us to the question of what you should do if your dog ate spoiled food.

  • You should closely monitor your dog for any of the above symptoms
  • The monitoring should be within the first 24 hours up to several days after ingesting the spoiled food
  • Give your dog lots of fluids, especially water, if you notice some watery stool that may signify diarrhea. Diarrhea may easily cause dehydration which may put your dog at risk.
  • Don’t give your dog dairy products if you notice it has a troubled tummy. Most dogs present lactose intolerance symptoms so milk may cause more trouble.
  • If vomiting and diarrhea persist past 24 hours, then let your veterinary doctor see the dog immediately. The anti-diarrhea and anti-vomiting drugs will help the dog as the doctor performs tests to determine the cause of the illness. A positive diagnosis of any of the discussed bacteria will enable treatment to bring your four-legged friend into perfect health once more.

What to do if your dog ate rotten chicken

Samantha Hatton

The rotten chicken will cause similar harmful effects as any other rotten meat or food. If the rotten chicken causes any of the symptoms described above, it will have affected the dog.

Diarrhea and vomiting are the first symptoms your dog presents. If it doesn’t feel better within 24 hours and seems in pain, you may visit the veterinary doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

If diarrhea does persist, you may help prevent further diarrhea by feeding your dog specialized food for diarrhea.

What are the effects of feeding rotten meat to your dog?


Feeding your dog on rotten meat may cause:

  • Bacterial infections to the dog
  • Fungi infections
  • Food poisoning resulting from fungi and bacterial infections
  • Expose the dog to dangerous toxins
  • Transfer infections other animals to your dog
  • Allow for dog-human infections transfer
  • Cause your dog pain and suffering from food poisoning and infections
  • In some severe cases, you may cause death to your dog

Read Also: Can Dogs Eat Edamame

The Verdict

Dogs have evolved from wolves and were meant to eat meat that had overstayed. Over time, dogs have evolved, and bacteria on decaying meat have become more lethal.

As much as people may feel the urge to feed their canines on rotting meat, the danger remains high. The bacteria, fungi, and toxins in spoiled meat prove life-threatening in many dogs.

Therefore, you should limit the chances that your dog feeds on rotten meat, for you may never know when danger may be looming. A healthy dog makes a happy dog and a happy dog owner.

  • Do dogs get stomach upsets when they eat rotten meat?

Yes, dogs will experience stomach upsets if the meat introduces stomach infections or food poisoning. The stomach upsets present themselves through abdominal pains and diarrhea.

  • Can dogs eat spoiled meat?

As discussed in this article, dogs should not feed on spoiled meat due to the dangers of eating such food.

  • What happens if the dog eats rotten meat?

If the meat was slightly spoiled, it might not cause harm to the dog due to the sturdier gut system. However, if the meat is very rotten, it may cause the dog to suffer from bacterial infections that cause food poisoning in dogs.

Read Next: My Dog Doesn’t Bark – Is There Something Wrong