It’s never a good feeling when you pull weird-smelling chicken out of the fridge that you forgot to use up. Instead of just throwing it out, you might be looking for another way to use it. Dogs seem to be able to eat almost anything, so can they eat chicken that has gone bad?
Dogs shouldn’t eat chicken that has gone bad. Though their digestive systems can handle more foods than humans, they can still get sick from eating spoiled meat. If your chicken is moldy or smells off, don’t feed it to your dog.
Keep reading to find out what can happen if your dog eats spoiled chicken, how to know if the chicken has gone bad, and what to do if your dog eats bad meat. Check out the best organic dog food on Amazon now!
What Can Happen To A Dog If It Eats Chicken That Is Off?
If your dog eats chicken that is off, they might suffer from food poisoning. Here are some of the mild symptoms your dog might exhibit if they have this condition, according to the American Kennel Club:
- Extreme thirst
- Stomach cramping
- Increased need to urinate
In extreme cases, your dog may exhibit symptoms such as seizures, heart palpitations, or muscle tremors.
The prognosis for dogs suffering from these severe symptoms is more bleak, but thankfully food poisoning very rarely progresses to this dangerous point.
If your dog only ate a few bites of spoiled chicken, they’ll likely show little to no symptoms of food poisoning.
However, it’s important to take the bad meat away from your dog as soon as you notice them eating it to keep their symptoms from worsening.
What If It’s Cooked?
Unfortunately, chicken that has gone bad is dangerous for dogs even if it’s been cooked. While you may be able to kill the bacteria harbored in the meat, the toxins released will remain in the meat.
This can make your dog sick in a hurry.
It can be disappointing to throw away valuable chicken, but feeding your dog spoiled meat will cause your dog pain and create a mess for your to clean up.
It’s just not worth risking your pup’s health and comfort to save some old chicken, so if you know the meat has gone bad, it’s best to throw it in the garbage.
How Long Will Cooked Chicken Last For Dogs?
If you’re feeding it to your dogs, chicken will usually last about a week in the fridge. This is several days longer than recommended for human consumption.
Dogs’ stomachs have a higher acid content than human stomachs, so they are able to safely eat chicken that’s a little “past due” for humans.
To know if the chicken is still safe for your dog, check its smell and feel. As chicken spoils, it will take on a slimy, greenish hue and may have an off odor.
Any time you notice these signs, or if the chicken seems questionable, just throw it out.
How Long Can Cooked Chicken Sit Out For Dogs?
When prepared for humans, cooked chicken can safely sit out for two hours. This is because bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature.
Because dogs have tougher stomachs than humans, you can push this time to three or four hours. However, much longer than this and you risk your dog suffering from food poisoning.
Can You Feed A Dog Out Of Date Chicken?
You can give your dog cooked chicken that’s out of date as long as it has been in the fridge for a week or less. If you haven’t cooked the chicken yet and it’s past its due date, check it for mold or strange smells first.
If it looks and smells okay–there’s no mold, it’s not slimy or turning green–you can cook it and feed it to your dog. If it looks or smells off, toss it in the trash.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Left Out Overnight?
No, dogs shouldn’t eat chicken left out overnight. This is especially true if your dog isn’t accustomed to eating chicken; the change in diet and increased bacteria are likely to make your dog sick.
Since your dog’s health is the first priority, throw away any chicken that sat out overnight.
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chicken That Is Off?
If your dog eats chicken that is off, take note of their symptoms. Unless the symptoms are severe, your dog will probably only need supportive care at home, like unregulated access to fresh water and the ability to go outside to potty or vomit.
You should refrain from feeding your dog for 24 hours after vomiting to help their stomach settle down.
However, if your dog is in extreme pain or is throwing up/defecating repeatedly, they may need medical treatment. Before you rush to the vet, give them a call first.
Calling your vet when your dog has food poisoning can help you know your next steps.
The vet will ask you how much chicken your dog ate, what their current symptoms are, and if they have any preexisting medical conditions.
The vet will then be able to tell you if you need to bring your dog in for further diagnostics and care, or if they’ll be fine being treated at home.
On the rare occasion that your dog’s food poisoning is serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet, your dog will likelyreceive intravenous fluids to increase hydration.
The veterinarian may also give your dog activated charcoal to make them vomit, or run tests to see if the toxin reached the small intestine. Check out the best organic dog food on Amazon now!
Even though it’s frustrating to throw away spoiled chicken, it’s usually the best option. Feeding your dog moldy or bacteria-filled meat may cause them pain from the symptoms of food poisoning.
If your chicken has only been on the counter for a couple of hours, it’s safe to give your dog. Beyond that point, it’s best to find a different snack for Fido.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.