Can the dog eat this?
April 25, 2012 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I meant to make MaPo tofu but didn't, and now have 1/2 pound of ground pork in the fridge. It looks and smells fine, but given that I had previously frozen it before its 3 day stay in the fridge, I'm not going to eat it. Is it safe to cook it up, refrigerate it, and give to my dog a little at a time? I often give him meat scraps on top of his dog food. Please note: I am not asking about the wisdom of feeding him "people food." I am asking about his risk of food poisoning.
posted by Wordwoman to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
I occasionally give my dog table scraps, but I would never feed him 'people food' that I was too afraid to eat myself.
posted by trip and a half at 1:55 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

If it was my dog I'd feed it to him no worries. If he's used to getting small serves of meat scraps he should be fine if you feed it to him a little at a time. Mix it with some plain boiled rice if you are worried about tummy upsets. Maybe freeze the serves if it's going to take more than a day or 2 to eat it all up.
posted by wwax at 1:56 PM on April 25, 2012

Response by poster: I would especially like to hear from people who have knowledge about what dogs can and cannot eat safely. My understanding is that their digestive tracts (and their risks of food poisoning) are different from ours.
posted by Wordwoman at 2:02 PM on April 25, 2012

My father feeds his dogs on the RAW diet, and gets most of his meat is slightly expired or otherwise unsaleable. Dogs can generally eat and digest meat in a much wider range of states than humans. It'll be fine, cooked or raw - just don't let him luck your face immediately afterward.
posted by WasabiFlux at 2:10 PM on April 25, 2012

Dogs are scavengers, so they're kind of made to be able to eat just about anything. In our house, the only rule is no chocolate or raisins/grapes.
posted by disaster77 at 2:16 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

My understanding is that their digestive tracts (and their risks of food poisoning) are different from ours.

Their digestive tracts are different, but (despite what many raw feeders insist), they can and do get food poisoning, and can and do get very sick or even die from it. Generally speaking (because I do feed certain raw foods to my dogs), if I was afraid to eat something because I was worried it was unsafe, I would not feed it to my dogs either. The fact that dogs can eat lots of things doesn't mean they should. Also, disaster77, your rule should include onions.
posted by biscotti at 2:19 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

3 days is just fine. Over cook it to be sure. (I would eat it myself after 3 days) My dog eats Raw and often leaves it in her bowl until the next day to let the flavors really, um, come into their own.

Dogs can get food poisoning, yes. But I really doubt this would do it.
posted by Vaike at 2:29 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Dogs can be susceptible to salmonella, but less so than humans, they are even more resistant to most other types of food poisoning. And I don't think salmonella is really a concern here. Just cook the pork well and don't worry. (In fact, I wouldn't really be worried about eating it myself.)
posted by catatethebird at 2:33 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

And seconding biscotti, onions are REALLY bad for dogs, which doesn't seem to be commonly known. They destroy red blood cells, my dog get really sick from eating a small amount of cooked onions mixed in meatballs.
posted by catatethebird at 2:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

A quick dip into the research literature* suggests that although dogs aren't as susceptible to food poisoning, they can and do become colonized with salmonella and other bacteria, making their poop a potential vector for reinfecting susceptible humans. How serious is the risk? Eh, probably not hugely if you're not immunocompromised, and moreover, you're talking about cooking the meat. But as biscotti points out, just because a dog can eat it without apparent consequence doesn't mean it's a great idea. My dog relishes those cheap drugstore foam earplugs, for instance.

*Letz et al. 2009. Perceptions, practices, and consequences associated with foodborne pathogens and the feeding of raw meat to dogs. The Canadian veterinary journal. 50(5):637-43.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:38 PM on April 25, 2012

3 days in the refrigerator after being moved from the freezer is perfectly fine to eat. For humans and animals.
posted by wongcorgi at 4:20 PM on April 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

What wongcorgi said. Unless it smells really bad, that pork is completely fine to eat for humans and/or dogs. I generally figure four to five days for meat that's been thawed. As a data point on what dogs can eat, one of my dogs was on a raw diet for a month or so and ate a lot of raw, stinky, cheap, horrible chicken with no ill effects whatsoever. You or I would have died, I think - didn't faze him a bit. Also didn't do a thing for his allergies, which was okay with me, because honestly there is little worse than dealing with raw chicken livers and bones and stuff every morning at 7 am.
posted by mygothlaundry at 4:43 PM on April 25, 2012

Cook it thoroughly and both you and pup will be fine. (And if you overcook to be safe, pup won't know the difference.)
posted by elizeh at 5:11 PM on April 25, 2012

Jeez. *I'd* Eat that. Would even think twice about giving it to a dog.
posted by colin_l at 11:06 PM on April 25, 2012

posted by colin_l at 11:06 PM on April 25, 2012

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