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Can dogs eat cold dog food? (Meat)

Dogs are not exactly known for being picky eaters. Place some food in front of them and they will be happy to dig in.

Still, you may be wondering if they are getting the most out of their food. Are they able to savor the food you’re serving to them?

For us, temperatures can greatly impact our experience of eating food. We want our ice cream cold and our soups served hot. If food is served at the wrong temperature, its flavor may be completely ruined.

Do dogs care about the temperature of their food as well? Stay tuned as we answer that question and other relevant queries in this article.

Can Dogs Eat Cold Dog Food?

Before we dive into whether or not dogs like cold food, let’s answer a more basic question. Can dogs eat cold dog food?

Eating cold food should not be an issue for dogs. The cold food is not going to pose a threat to your dog’s health. They can fill up their stomach from consuming cold food just as they can from eating room temperature or warm food.

You’ve likely given your dog some cold food before without thinking much about it.

Even puppies can eat cold food just fine. They won’t feel any kind of discomfort from enjoying some cold treats.

Hot food is more problematic because it could burn your dog’s mouth. Avoid serving that to your dog because it can cause real issues.

Can Dogs Eat Cold Meat?

Feeding your dog some cold dog food is fine. But does that apply to all kinds of food? Will serving your dog some cold meat be an issue?

Whether or not cold meat constitutes a suitable meal for your dog will depend on what type of meat you’re offering.

If the cold meat in question comes from a dish you cooked earlier, your dog should be able to eat it. That’s assuming the dish does not include ingredients that are bad for dogs.

The temperature of the meat itself is not an issue. You should be more concerned about the ingredients used in the cold dish.

Examples of ingredients you don’t want to feed dogs include garlic, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Those are ingredients commonly used together with meat. Do not serve them to your dog if you’re giving them your leftovers.

Fatty meat can also be bad for dogs. Give your dog the lean pieces if you want to offer a treat.

Now, let’s talk about cold cuts. Those deli meats you can buy from the butcher or the supermarket taste great in sandwiches. You figure that because it’s meat it should be fine for your dog.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Cold cuts contain a lot of salt and they are also loaded with nitrates. You do not want to load up your dog’s bowl with salty nitrate-rich food because their stomach will suffer from it. Keep feeding your dog cold cuts and their kidneys may be harmed as well.

Enjoy the deli meats by yourself because they will just cause problems for your dog.

Can Cold Food Make a Dog Sick?

Cold food will not make your dog sick. However, it can elicit a reaction that certainly makes it seem like your dog is dealing with an illness.

When a dog eats something too cold, they may react by throwing it up. Look closer at the food they regurgitated and you’ll see that it looks more chewed up instead of digested.

That’s because the food never reached your dog’s stomach. Their body rejected that piece of food before digestion could even begin.

Note that dogs only have that reaction to really cold pieces of food. Food stored in the fridge may not reach that level of cold.

Puppies are also more prone to having that reaction compared to adult dogs. Be mindful of the food you’re serving them to avoid some feeding mishaps.

Can Dogs Eat Cold Wet Food?

Wet food is a special treat we sometimes reserve for our dogs. Since wet food is more expensive, you also don’t want it going to waste. After opening up a large can of wet dog food, you may decide to keep the leftovers in the refrigerator.

So, can your dog eat leftover wet food that came from the refrigerator? Your dog should still be able to eat it as long as the following conditions are met.

The Wet Food Was Stored Properly

Leftover wet dog food remains safe to eat as long as it was stored properly. You can keep the leftovers in the can, but seal it up. Use a plastic lid that fits over the can or cover the opening with plastic wrap to keep the contents relatively in good condition.

The Wet Food Is Not Past Its Expiration Date

You should also check the expiration date and make sure you’re not exceeding that. Consider writing the expiration date down on a piece of paper using some marker. You can then stick that paper onto the can so the expiration date is always visible.

Your Dog Doesn’t Mind How the Wet Food Changed

Remember that wet dog food may change quite a bit after being stored in the refrigerator. The liquid may congeal and some chunks of meat may harden.

The experience of eating cold wet food may be very different for your dog. Make sure your dog is fine with how the food changes before storing it in the refrigerator.

Do Dogs Prefer Cold or Warm Food?

Throughout this article, we’ve focused on whether or not dogs can eat cold food. We’ve already determined that they can.

The natural follow-up to that is to ask if dogs enjoy cold food. That’s where things get interesting.

Dogs don’t experience food the same way we do. For them, the smell of food is a hugely important factor. The smell of food also matters to us, but not in the same way that it impacts a dog’s experience.

Before your dog starts to eat, they already detect the aroma of the food.

Cold food does not have much of an aroma. It’s there, but it’s dormant. You have to warm up the food to unlock those tantalizing smells.

If you want your dog to be more interested in their food, you need to warm it up. Warming up food is a good idea if you have a sick dog. They may be more inclined to eat the food if they get a whiff of its enticing aromas.

Do note that warm food is still not the best option for your dog. If you want them to enjoy their food as much as possible, the food should be served at room temperature.

When serving wet food that was stored in the fridge, you should take it out well ahead of feeding time. Allow the wet food to sit on a table for about two hours so it reaches room temperature. Your dog will enjoy it more at that point.