Can dogs eat birdseed?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question “ can dogs eat birdseed? “ We will also discuss whether birdseed is safe for dogs, the risks of eating birdseed and how you can prevent your dog from eating it.

Should dogs eat birdseed?

No, dogs should not eat birdseed. Fresh bird seed might not cause any harm to dogs but it is not recommended for them because ingestion of large amounts can result in stomach distress. 

Moreover, damp or old birdseed is highly dangerous for dogs because it can breed molds that produce harmful mycotoxins. These toxins can make dogs seriously sick and lead to fatal consequences. Therefore, dogs should not eat birdseed.

Is birdseed safe for dog consumption?

No, birdseed is not safe for dog consumption. Even though fresh birdseed doesn’t cause any adverse health issues in dogs, it should not be given to dogs because some varieties may contain raisins which are highly toxic for dogs.

Moreover, old or damp birdseed can produce aflatoxins which is an extremely dangerous fungal toxin. Aflatoxin can seriously damage your dog’s health and reduce its quality of life. Therefore, birdseed is not safe for dog consumption.

What is aflatoxin and how is it produced in birdseed?

Aflatoxin is a highly dangerous fungal toxin that has been known to cause liver damage in dogs. These mycotoxins are often produced by molds that grow on damp agricultural crops. 

Damp birdseed can actively produce molds that release aflatoxins. 

Especially if the birdseed contains peanuts or corn. These toxins can cause aflatoxin toxicity in dogs on ingestion. Dogs can suffer from uncomfortable symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Aflatoxins can also damage your dog’s liver depending on the amount ingested by the dog.

Can birdseed cause salmonellosis in dogs?

No, birdseed does not cause salmonellosis but bird feces does. Dogs most likely eat the birdseed that is scattered under the birdfeeder. The scattered birdseed may also contain bird feces between them. Dogs can often confuse birdseed with bird feces and end up eating it.

In such cases, dogs can develop salmonellosis because bird feces may contain salmonella. Salmonella can cause severe illness in dogs when it enters their body. Dogs can suffer from severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. They may also lose their appetite.

Therefore, it is crucial to keep the birdfeeder and the area under it clean. You should regularly sweep off the area under the birdfeeder so you can stop your dog from eating birdseed and bird feces.

Can bird seed cause bloating in dogs?

Yes, birdseed can cause bloating in dogs. Apart from producing aflatoxins, birdseed carry certain other risks that make it unsafe for dog consumption. Birdseed can get stuck in your dog’s intestine resulting in intestinal blockage.

Intestinal blockage is a serious health concern in dogs because it is painful and gives rise to many other health problems. Bloating is one of the concerns of intestinal blockage that can lead to life-threatening conditions in dogs. Therefore, it is best to keep dogs away from birdseed.

What are the symptoms of bloating in dogs?

Bloating is a medical emergency that can lead to life-threatening conditions if it is not treated in time. The stomach of dogs gets filled with gas which is highly painful for them. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of bloating. The symptoms include:

  • Swollen and hard belly
  • Retching
  • Inability to vomit
  • Excessive drooling
  • Abdominal pain
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive panting

If you notice any of the symptoms in your dog, contact a vet as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of aflatoxin toxicity in dogs?

Your dog can develop aflatoxin toxicity by consuming food that has a high level of aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are often found in damp or old birdseed because it harbors molds that produce these mycotoxins. The symptoms of aflatoxin toxicity include:

  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice indicated by yellowish eyes or gums
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, dogs can suffer from liver damage without showing any symptoms. This can be extremely fatal for them. Therefore, it is important to get immediate help from a vet if you catch your dog eating old or damp birdseed.

How can I stop my dog from eating birdseed?

There are certain measures you can take to protect your dog from the risks of eating birdseed. You need to replace the old or damp birdseed in time to reduce the risk of aflatoxin production. 

It will be helpful to remove the scattered birdseed on the ground to prevent your dog from eating bird feces and contaminated bird seed. Moreover, you should clean and sanitize the birdfeeder and select the birdseed that doesn’t contain raisins to prevent poisoning in dogs.


We answered the question “Can dogs eat birdseed? “ We also discussed whether birdseed is safe for dogs, the risks of eating birdseed and how you can prevent your dog from eating it.


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