Dog Ate a Dead Bird – What to Do Next

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

While it may seem disgusting to us, it’s not uncommon to see dogs eat dead wildlife, such as dead birds, while they are out on walks. Generally speaking, it’s not considered life-threatening when dogs eat a dead bird. That said, there is still a health risk and it may be worth having your dog seen by a vet if you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

What happens if a dog eats a dead bird

Some dogs will get sick while others may get lucky and not experience any symptoms. There is a possibility of your dog getting a stomach upset a few hours after eating a dead bird. This might manifest itself into episodes of diarrhea and vomiting. The dog may also act lethargic and have a lack of appetite.

In more serious cases, harmful diseases could get passed on from dead birds. For example, it could be possible for dogs to catch a salmonella infection after eating a dead bird. Dogs that catch this infection may suffer from symptoms such as fever, weight loss, and watery stools.

There is also a possibility of dogs eating dead birds that have been decaying for a while. These dead birds may have maggots and worms in them. The health risk isn’t necessarily higher in such cases as dogs are generally well-equipped with handling rotting flesh. You may, however, still want to take your dog to the vet if the dog is feeling sick.

For smaller dogs and puppies, there is also the risk of obstruction and choking from the bird feathers.

What to do if your dog ate a dead bird

Chances are, your dog may either end up being okay or may only suffer mild symptoms for a few days before recovering. It, however, wouldn’t hurt to at least have a consultation with the vet as your dog might have a specific health history that makes them more prone to getting sick after eating a dead bird. For example, your dog might be more prone to getting sick if they aren’t up to date with de-worming treatments.

In the meantime, keep a close eye on your dog, especially when they eat and poop. Do the best job you can with cleaning the dog’s mouth. Otherwise, there is going to be a foul smell coming from them.


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