Do dogs eat birds? (3 reasons why)

This blog article will answer the question: “Do dogs eat birds?” and will cover topics like what the owner should do when a dog eats a bird, and why dogs have a tendency of eating birds. 

Do dogs eat birds? 

When dogs are left to their own devices, they will eat mostly anything. If they are hungry and have learned that food does not always come in bags from the store, they will eat birds and chew them when necessary. 

However, not all dogs will catch and eat birds, but most of them are capable of and will eat birds. This just depends on the situation. Retrievers are taught not to eat the game birds their masters have shot, but to find and bring them back. 

Why do dogs eat birds? 

Dogs are natural hunters and can enjoy catching and eating animals like birds, thus it is normal canine behavior to eat anything they can get their hands into. However, you should first confirm that the birds do not carry diseases, because if they do, your dog could be in big trouble. 

Dogs are predators and eating birds could be part of their breed. German Shepherds, for example, prey on some animals more than others. Their stomachs are perfectly capable of breaking down raw meat, beaks, feathers, etc. However, birds in their tummies can easily cause some gastrointestinal issues. If you notice something out of the ordinary and you know your dog has eaten a bird previously, keep an eye for symptoms such as not eating, pooping blood, or acting out of character. 

Should I be worried that my dog ate a dead bird?

It is not uncommon for dogs to eat dead animals found in the yard or on walks. In most cases, the worst that may occur to your dog who ate dead animals will be stomach upset that may be manifested by vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain. If your dog is behaving normally,  then that is a better scenario. 

However, if you think something is odd, you can withhold food from your dog from 12-24 hours but you can still allow small amounts of water or unflavored PediaLyte during this fasting period. You then resume feeding a bland diet consisting of boiled boneless or skinless chicken and plain cooked rice in small, frequent amounts. 

You can begin with one tablespoon of food every hour and gradually increase the amount of food if there is no vomiting. Continue feeding this bland diet until there is no vomiting for 48 hours and/or the stool is normal then transition slowly to the regular diet. If the vomiting or diarrhea do not stop or if other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, abdominal pain are seen, then that could be a signal that you should go visit your veterinarian. 

Is it safe for my dog to eat a bird? 

There is a good chance that your dog will be fine after eating a bird. However, there can be some serious health concerns that may arise from eating a bird. This is because some birds carry salmonella in their intestinal tracts and it is possible for your dog to become infected if they eat one of these birds. 

Garbage toxicosis or gastroenteritis, or more commonly known as garbage gut is usually caused when dogs eat spoiled food that is contaminated with bacteria and other toxic organisms. This is equivalent to people ingesting food poison. 

This bacteria could get into the digestive tract of the dog where it can create toxins that get into the bloodstream. Dead animals such as birds could also feed your dog with garbage toxicosis. 

More about garbage toxicosis is elaborated by Dogs Net in this article


This blog article answered the question: “Do dogs eat birds?” and covered topics like what the owner should do when a dog eats a bird, and why dogs have a tendency of eating birds. 


Pinzhoffer, //  by Jane, and Jane Pinzhoffer. “My Dog Ate A Bird: What to Do Next? Is It Dangerous?”, 14 Feb. 2019,

“Ask a Vet Online 24/7.” PetCoach,

Yard Blogger. “My Dog Ate a Dead Bird: You Should Do This Immediately!” Yard Blogger, 6 July 2020,

“” Why Does My Dog Eat Birds? | Rover Q&A Community,

“Do Dogs Eat Birds?” Quora, most certainly eat birds,to satisfy their wild instinct.

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