Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs

Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs

Our furry baby often tends to be hyperactive and always hungry. It is just impossible to control them all the time especially when they simply gulp things that they see on their way.

Often on online forums, you must have seen dog parents complaining about their pet having eaten birdseed and are worried.

Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs ? Well, it can of course be harmful but if the right actions are taken on time, then things can be brought under control.

Just the way there are so many dog owners who love to feed their pets, we often give them the freedom to eat what they like.

But when it comes to birdseed and if you are wondering whether it is bad for dogs, clearly the few tastes may be fresh shall not be harmful but old ones can be.

What the research says

According to reports that experts have made on the pet dogs eating birdseed, well it is not uncommon. Just the way other dog owners love their pet, so do we. But when it comes to the food, they are allergic to, eating any birdseed, or getting out the goose poop well these things can be worrying.

They may not be harmful but certainly must be kept from dogs. Some seeds can be old which may result in mold and may turn to be harmful when the dog consumes it.

If the seeds are fresh, in that case, they should be completely harmless but they should also not be eaten in large quantities. The risk of damp seeds having fungi is high. This would cause mycotoxins.

It is one of the parts of aflatoxin that spread at a faster rate and can cause allergy or congestion. The chemical present in it is quite harmful and it is not just fatal for the dogs but also for the birds who eat it.

Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs

What happens when a dog eats birdseed

In case your furry baby eats the pet food, then firstly do not panic. There are high chances that nothing will happen. But yes, you may see some noticeable signs like feces shall have certain protozoan parasites or bacteria that your pet can easily get.

There is also a chance of salmonella which is quite common. Some infections are likely to happen if the bird food was quite old; maybe some minor illness. In case the right action is not taken on time then there are chances of facing some serious bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Problems that Birdseed can cause

Dogs don’t think twice while eating the seeds at one time. But it can cause intestinal tract blockages, which could lead to bloating. It is a serious problem for which immediate attention of the vet is needed.

  • Toxic ingredients

Some birdseed mixes consist of sultanas or raisins. Even if it is extremely healthy for the bird but that does not mean it can be good for all. It is a type of grape that is extremely harmful to dogs. Failing to take timely action can cause sickness and kidney issues too. Considering the common trouble of dog eating bird food, there are some mixes which now have dog-friendly dried apricots that may not cause any problems if it is eaten in small quantities.

  • Salmonella problem

As most of the birdseed that your dog shall be eating is probably underneath the feeder; it means, the dog is also eating the feces of the bird. Bird feces consists of a wide range of parasites and bacteria. This can easily pass on to dogs such as salmonella. It can then result in some serious infection; diarrhea and vomiting are some signs of it.

  • Moldy seeds

There is no doubt that dogs are restricted from eating any kind of moldy food. Well, considering the birdseed, moldy ingredients are a part of it. It consists of natural hepatotoxins which may not harm birds but if dogs consume them, there is serious trouble. Hepatotoxins are one toxic chemical that results in liver damage in not just animals but humans too.

  • Bacteria problem

The feces of birds contain different parasites and bacteria. Sometimes if the bird food falls underneath the feeder, then dogs are likely to take it. But along with it, the feces are also likely to enter the dog’s stomach. Since feces is not good for animals, some adverse effects can be seen on our furry babies. It may not be as serious as it could be on birds but still, there is a likely chance for your dog to have some discomfort and uneasiness.

  • Bloating and blockages

There could be quite rare scenarios that your dog may manage to eat the whole bag of birdseed even if it does not have any raisins but still chances of gastrointestinal obstruction are high. There is quite a huge bounce off the clog-up that can happen at the intestinal tract of your dog. This is not something to be taken lightly because it could stop your dog from regular digestion of the food.

Sometimes your dog while pooping also would experience some pain. There are many serious cases reported in which dogs will have to be admitted to the clinic. The chances of surgery and potential enema are high for removing the blockage.

Precautions that need to be taken

It is important to keep in mind that bird feeders need a lot of regular maintenance. You must fill it with fresh seed. Sanitizing and cleaning it often is important too.

If you have been trying to feed just the bird and not your dog then some easy precautionary measures need to be taken.

This would reduce the risk of pets or bird’s foods to which your dog may not be comfortable. Talking of which some of them are:

  • Always have a fresh stack of birdseed. It is better to keep fresh food rather than the older one which is more harmful.
  • The feeders must always be sanitized on a regular basis and they must be clean. It is important to keep the feeder clean, so the risk of bacteria is less.
  • If there are any seeds spilled in the feeder, then it is important to clean that too.
  • It is always good to read the ingredient to make sure that there are no harmful ingredients present in the mix.
  • It is good to immediately clean off the birdseed that is seen on the ground.
  • You can even opt for the screw-on trays below the feeder. This way seeds will not fall on the ground in the first place.
  • To make sure that your dog doesn’t face any problems, it is better to make a barrier below the feeder. This would ensure your dog doesn’t see any seeds at all.
  • Training your dog is equally important. This way when you are not around, you can rest assured that your dog will not even touch the food of birds.

Tips to stop your dog from eating birdfeed

  • If your dog frequently eats the food of the bird then a leash is the first basic thing to do. Leash him so that at least his frequent running towards the bird’s feed will slow down.
  • It is better to tether your dog for some time. Consider it as a part of training till he understands that tether can only be removed if he doesn’t touch the bird food.
  • Teaching your dog some spoken commands like No and leave is important. At least your dog would understand that birds feed is something that you will not like to see him eating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Birdseed hurt a dog?

As per some of the reports, it is not just the pet dogs but also coyotes who if consume birdseed are at risk of infection. Seeds if are fresh may not cause serious trouble. But if it is eaten in a huge amount, well then there can be a risk of intestinal blockage and for which immediate action by a vet is needed.

Is there a chance of birds to transmit diseases to dogs?

Dogs are at high risk of getting parasite disease, cryptosporidiosis which is also called Avian flu if they eat the droppings of the bird. It does not matter whether your furry baby drinks from the bath of bird or mud puddle, chances of it getting sick is high.

What can result if a dog eats bird suet?

A bird suet is nothing but an animal fat that has birdseed in it. Your dog may not suffer any poisonous effects, but it is important to keep your dog under watch as there could be some possible signs like vomiting or diarrhea that your dog may face.

Is it possible that bird food could kill dogs?

There are high chances that birdseed can result in seizures in dogs. There are chances that food can create a lot of problems but some time back, the food of the dog even consisted of mgs and aspartame in it. As per the vet, those dogs that are highly active may have such issues.

What can be done if a dog eats the food of a bird?

In that case, firstly you need to notice whether it was consumed in large quantity or small quantity. If there are any possible signs like vomiting noticed, then it is better to take immediate action.

Is Bird Seed Bad For Dogs


Dogs often eat faster and a lot at one time. This increases the risk of their stomach getting upset often. Sometimes it even results in obstruction. And if it is the birdseed that they have consumed in bulk, well that is an alarming situation to not ignore. With the above details, so far it must be clear to you that in case any symptom is noticed, immediate action should be taken.

The problem can be quite serious and hence it is better to seek quick veterinary care. In terms of digestion, seeds can be quite tough for your dog’s body. If they get mixed with suet then it can create more serious problems. That is why pay extra attention when your dog is around the bird’s feed.


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