Can I feed a dog cooked meat or fish that is a week old?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Let’s agree:

We’ve all thought about feeding our dog leftover cooked meat instead of throwing it away in the trash.

But should you give your dog meat that’s been sitting in your fridge for over a week?

Let’s find out:

A dog’s digestive system is way stronger than that of a human. They have a stronger stomach acid that can digest what we normally can’t. If you are thinking of feeding your dog meat that is a week old, then first be sure it doesn’t smell foul. Also, check whether there is mould on it or not. If it seems fine and was refrigerated throughout the week, then your dog can eat it.

Typically, the food that has been refrigerated for a week is safe for consumption by a dog. This counts as a classic option of leftovers for the dog. But not all dogs love leftovers. Just like us; some dogs like leftovers but others prefer fresh food all the time. So, let’s see which leftovers are safe for your dog.

Food left in the refrigerator for a week

Food, especially meat, releases bad bacteria if it is left for some time. It depends on the temperature where you keep the food. If you have cooked meat that you refrigerated right after preparing it, then it’s quite possible that it will remain edible for dogs even after a week.

Although you can’t consume that meat as you can get sick, but dogs have a strong digestive system and they can digest what we can’t. So, you can feed your pup week old cooked meat if it was in the refrigerator all that time. 

If you observe that some foul smell is coming from the meat or its texture looks funny, then toss it in the bin. Don’t risk your dog’s health to save food. Also, if you see some mould growing on the surface of the meat, then throw it and feed something else to your dog. 

As dogs have a strong acid in the stomach, so it is very likely that they will digest refrigerated food that doesn’t smell or taste foul. 

Meat left on the counter for a whole day

If the meat has been refrigerated right after cooking then it’s less likely to get worse. But if you have left the meat over the counter for a whole day then it can become foul. It depends on the weather as well. Warm weather spoils food faster. 

If you want to feed your dog meat that was left on the counter, then make sure it smells and tastes fresh. Warm temperatures allow bacteria to grow in the food more quickly. Although your dog can digest that food you have to be careful not to feed them bad or rotten meat. 

Food that has passed its “best before” date 

Often we buy meat and then after a month, it passes its “best before” date. Many people prefer to feed this meat to their pets rather than tossing it away. 

The best before the date mentioned on food items is for humans. We can’t digest food that gets old. But pets, especially dogs, can easily digest that food. It’s very likely that your dog will eat that meat happily.

But before feeding it your dog, make sure it hasn’t grown mould on it. It should also not smell bad and neither should it be very old. If the food has passed just a few days after its best before, then you can feed it to your dog without any worry. 

Raw meat

Dogs can easily digest raw meat. But don’t ever feed your dog the meat that was left on the counter even for a few hours. Always feed fresh or refrigerated raw meat to your dog. 

Raw meat contains a lot more bacteria than the cooked one. The bacteria can quickly multiply in warm temperature and they can cause airborne diseases not only in dogs but in humans as well. 

Bones 

Bones that are cooked cannot be fed to the dog as cooked bones can release certain chemicals that aren’t good for your dog. But uncooked bones are good for the dogs. Offer a large bone that your dog can’t fit in as a whole. Because pieces of bones can get stuck in the teeth and cause oral health problems. 

Bones can be hard to digest so only give one or two bones once a week. Don’t overfeed bones as it can lead to health problems too. 

Wondering how to feed fish and meat to your dog? Read below to know which meat is perfectly healthy for your dog. 

Meat that is safe for your dog  

  • Always choose meat that is fit for human consumption. Human-grade meat contains very fewer amounts of bacteria as compared to the meat that is specifically processed for pets. This processed meat contains a large number of pathogens. 
  • Cooked chicken is good for the dog every once in a while. The chicken should be fresh and not spoilt. 
  • Practice food hygiene with zero errors. You shouldn’t feed your dog whatever you are eating. Have proper meal times and feed just the right amount of nutrition-rich food
  • It is always better to consult a vet who’s an expert pet nutritionist. You can ask him to formulate a healthy diet for your dog. Follow that routine and give a certain amount of treats once in a while. 

The bottom line 

As a responsible pet parent, it’s your responsibility to feed your dog only the bet. If you are wondering whether you can feed your dog some meat that is a week old, then this article is for you. 

If cooked meat has been refrigerated and not left on the counter then you can safely feed that meat to your dog.

Make sure the meat doesn’t have any fungus and doesn’t smell and taste foul. Dogs have a strong digestive system so they can easily digest a week old meat, but don’t forget, it should taste and smell good.

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