My Dog Ate Rotten Food What Should I Do?

By Julie •  Updated: 10/01/22 •  3 min read
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My Dog Ate Rotten Food What Should I Do?

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It’s not uncommon to see dogs outside eating trash. These may be strays or even your own dog enjoying a walkabout! When dogs come upon free food, they’re bound to check it out. If something smells good to them, chances are the dog will eat it. He doesn’t care if the food is rotten; he’s going to eat it. Ugh! But can rotten food make a dog sick?

Has your dog eaten rotten food? Are you worried the rotten food will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve gathered information about rotten food and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

Dogs Eat Anything, Including Rotten Food

Dogs can’t pass up food. And that’s an instinct that comes from our dogs’ wild canine ancestors. In the wild, canines (wolves, coyotes, and more) eat dead carcasses on a regular basis. This is called opportunistic feeding and is a survival mechanism. Our domestic dogs still have this instinct and eat rotten food.

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Rotten Food & Dogs

Unfortunately, rotten food can make a dog very sick. When a dog eats rotten food, there’s a high possibility the dog will get sick. Rotten food contains bacteria and other pathogens that can make a dog very sick. When the bacteria reach the digestive tract, they produce toxins that are absorbed by the dog’s bloodstream. From there, the infection sets in, and the dog becomes pretty sick.

There’s even an official name for this health issue in dogs. It’s called garbage toxicosis (garbage gut).

Symptoms of Rotten Food Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten rotten food:

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Treating Rotten Food Ingestion in Dogs

The vet may diagnose your dog with garbage gut. They may treat this condition by inducing vomiting (if your dog isn’t already vomiting) and with activated charcoal. The vet may also use IV fluids to rehydrate and flush the kidneys. And if your fur baby has other symptoms, the vet will treat these, too.

It’s possible that your dog may need to remain hospitalized until he’s in stable condition. The prognosis is best for dogs that receive prompt medical treatment.

If your dog has a habit of eating rotten food, you may want to consider investing in dog-proof wastebaskets and garbage bins. Prevention is always the best medicine!

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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