Do hawks eat small dogs?

In this brief discussion, we’ll answer the question, “Do hawks eat small dogs?” We will also discuss what to do if a hawk attacks your dog.

Do hawks eat small dogs?

Yes, much like other prey, hawks can eat small dogs. Red-tailed hawks frequently hunt black-tailed rabbits, which can weigh up to 6 pounds—more than the typical Chihuahua. In light of this, it is entirely feasible for a hawk to pick up and flee with a small dog.

The majority of the time, a dog dies if a hawk snatches it up and takes off. Due to the weight of the dog, hawks frequently drop it mid-flight, badly hurting or killing the dog in the process. A hawk can’t determine your dog’s weight before attacking, so they might drop them unexpectedly.

Do hawks attack small dogs?

Yes, hawks do attack dogs, but it doesn’t happen frequently. Only prey that hawks believe to be small enough to pick up and carry away will they attack. 

Consequently, dog breeds that are large and medium in sizes, such as Labradors or even Springer Spaniels, won’t have to be as concerned about being attacked by hawks.

Which species of hawks are most likely to attack small dogs?

Red-tailed hawks are generally regarded as one of the US’s most hazardous hawk species.

The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common raptors in North America due to its size and distribution. They are among the largest hawk species and weigh about 3 pounds, so they are more likely to view your little dog as prospective prey.

Red-shouldered hawks, Harris’s hawks, and northern goshawks are a few other notable hawk species that might view your pup as prey.

What to do if a hawk attacks my dog?

Even if you detect a hawk early, you probably won’t be able to stop it from attacking even though it can swoop in on prey at 120 miles per hour.

It’s also significant to remember that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 grants hawks governmental protection. Hawks cannot be hurt or killed without a specific permit. For instance, killing a red-tailed hawk carries a penalty of up to a $15,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.

Unfortunately, you cannot legitimately harm or kill a hawk in order to protect your pet. Fortunately, hawks are typically frightened of people and will flee or keep their distance if one approaches.

Rush at the hawk, making a lot of noise, and waving your arms if you see one nearby or if one strikes your dog. Many people attempt to knock the hawk off their pet, but we don’t advise it because you risk inadvertently injuring the animal.

How can I protect my small dog from hawk attacks?

There are various precautions you can take to safeguard your dog against hawks, even if it can be difficult to know what to do in the event of a hawk assault.

Never leave your dog unattended outside.

You shouldn’t let your dog unattended, especially during the day. Hawks exclusively hunt by sight and are only active during the day. If a person is around, hawks are much less likely to attack a small dog.

Created a covered structure

Build your dog a covered outdoor enclosure if they enjoy spending the majority of their time outside. These covered shelters sometimes called “catios,” are typically constructed of wire mesh. This will shield your dog from swooping birds while allowing him to still enjoy the sun and the outdoors.

Remove bird feeders

Your yard’s bird feeders can draw small creatures and birds, which will draw hawks that are actively hunting. A hawk may adjust its course if it approaches your yard in search of anything smaller but instead notices your small dog.

If you want to keep hawks away from your house, take the bird feeders out.

Leash your dog at all times.

Keep your dog on a leash whenever you’re out for a stroll in an area where hawks are frequent. Your dog will be safe because it can’t stray from your side in this way. Additionally, a leash prevents a hawk from snatching your dog during an assault.

Skip the bird-watching locations

Avoiding hawks altogether is an obvious strategy to stop hawk attacks. Make sure there are no nearby birdwatching locations where hawks and other raptors are popular before starting a hike with your dog.

Take your dog for a walk with other dog owners

When there are lots of other people and young puppies around, hawks are much less inclined to attack small dogs. By joining a neighbourhood dog walking group and making sure your dog is never left alone, you may prevent hawk attacks.


We answered the question, “Do hawks eat small dogs?” We also discussed what to do if a hawk attacks your dog.


Leave a Comment