Dogs eat rotten meat

What actually spoils meat?

How do you know whether the meat you give your darling to eat is still good? And when does one speak of putrefaction in a dead animal?

Every dog ‚Äč‚Äčlover who feeds his pet with barf knows this for sure: the pieces of meat change smell and consistency after a while, liquid escapes, the meat begins to stink and discolour. One wonders whether the meat that the darling has just eaten with relish was still good or whether it might even make him sick.

In answering this question, it is important to understand how the decomposition process works in the first place.

What exactly is rotten meat?

Here you have to differentiate between rotten and rotten meat.

Spoiled meat is meat that has unpleasant properties in terms of smell and texture. It smells, looks unsavory and normally you don't want to eat it. Nevertheless, its consumption does not have any serious harmful effects on the organism. Nausea and diarrhea can occur in humans, but they disappear again after a short time without causing any further consequences.

The putrefaction process, on the other hand, releases toxic substances that damage the body. The highly toxic botulinum toxin forms inside the meat, causing a variety of different symptoms. The affected person has speech and swallowing disorders, symptoms of paralysis and vomiting occur. Death is also a possible consequence. However, the stench and consistency are so disgusting that hardly anyone would willingly eat rotten meat.

Let's take a closer look

Basically, different bacteria and fungi are responsible for the putrefaction or putrefaction process.

There is a difference between the chemical reaction on the surface and inside the meat. If we look at decomposed meat, this difference cannot be seen. Rather, it takes place on a microbiological level and is briefly explained below.

The external decomposition process takes place on the surface

The microorganisms on the surface of the meat need oxygen to start the decomposition process. Liquid will leak out of the meat, the color will change, and it will take on a greyish or greenish tone. The surface structure is decomposed by the bacteria and fungi, which is why the consistency of the meat changes and takes on a mushy character.

The putrefaction process happens inside the meat

There is no oxygen inside the meat. Here the structures are broken down by the putrefaction process. This produces gases which are largely responsible for the characteristic stench of the dead animal.

During the external putrefaction process as well as the internal putrefaction process, metabolic products are released which are harmful to human health. The human organism cannot decompose the harmful bacteria and fungi

Harmful to human health: not a problem with dogs?

Four-legged friends are far less sensitive to this. The putrid smell will hardly bother a dog and some conspecifics will even consider this a special treat. For thousands of years, the canine organism has been designed to consume and utilize carrion. A dog's stomach acid contains ten times more hydrochloric acid than that of humans, which is why many microorganisms have no chance of developing their damaging effects.

Despite everything, as a master or mistress, you should always make sure to serve your darling fresh raw meat in the bowl. Slightly spoiled meat may not be a problem for the dog, but it is still advisable to pay close attention to freshness and hygiene when barfing.

Influence of storage and temperature on meat spoilage

External factors such as temperature and storage can have a significant impact on meat spoilage. If it is warm, the bacteria and fungi multiply much faster than in cooler temperatures.

That is why it is important to always store fresh Barf dog food in the refrigerator. It is also possible to store it in the freezer, but you should bear in mind that some of the valuable minerals and trace elements are lost through freezing and thawing.

Source cover image: sianbuckler / Pixabay, creative commons public domain