Is it Safe to Feed my Dog Food that Sat Out All Day?
Have you ever wondered if it was safe to feed your dog old food? Many times, humans won’t even eat leftovers, which has become a battled topic among many. Some people will eat food leftover even a week later! Others won’t touch anything that has been refrigerated after it has already been cooked. Are you a fan of left overs? Well, your dog probably is! Dogs can stomach different bacteria than humans can. For the sake of this conversation, when we say “old food” we are referring to food that humans would question eating: food that has been in the refrigerator for a week, food that has been left out for the majority of the day not in the refrigerator, and food that is uncooked but past its “best by” date.
Most likely, food that has been cooked but left in the fridge for the past week will be safe to feed your dog. These are classic “leftovers” but they are a just few days past what many humans tend to think is “acceptable”. If there isn’t any visible mold growing on the food then chances are you are safe to feed it to your dog. Mold will grow where food is exposed to air so the mold will most likely be visible on top of the food.
Food that has been sitting out all day is a little more questionable. Everyone feeds their dog in the morning and sometimes, for whatever reason, your dog may not eat the food you feed him. You come back in the afternoon to find the food still in the bowl. Now, we aren’t talking about dry dog food, which is safe to sit out all day. We are talking about food, “people” food. Cooked chicken, beef, veggies, eggs; food that we would eat. In this situation you have to be the most observant. Does the food smell bad? Does the food have any sort of mold growth or off-putting sliminess? Was it really hot out? Heat contributes to bacteria growth. Is there a reason why your dog didn’t eat the food in the first place? If you can give all of these questions a definite answer then you will know whether or not to keep or dump the food.
Food that is past its “best by” date may not be ideal for you to eat but it may be okay for your dog. Again, dogs can stomach a lot more things than humans can. They eat their own poop! But, your senses can help you decide whether or not you should feed it to your dog. Give the food a good whiff and inspect it for any signs of mold or bacteria. If it has any sort of funny smell or it has a questionable look then toss it in the trash! Use your best judgment. Listen to that voice inside your head that is either saying “oh no” or “seems fine to me”. You don’t want to get your dog sick just so you don’t have to waste food.
If you feed your dog raw meat or raw dog food then it should always be consumed immediately or refrigerated. Never let raw food sit out. Raw food is uncooked so more bacteria will be present. Bacteria can multiply quickly in the right environment and dangerous bacteria can become airborne, which can lead to dogs and humans getting sick.
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June 22nd, 2016