My Dog Ate Bird Seed – What Should I Do Now?

Birdseed is a popular type of feed for wild birds, but it’s also very high in fat and protein. 

If you have a dog, don’t leave birdseed out in your backyard or they may get sick!

Are Bird Seeds Bad For Dogs?

bird seed

Yes! They are very high in fat and protein.

There is a lot of false information on the internet about what bird seeds will do to your dog. 

Some people say that they can kill them, some say they can make them very ill, but it’s just not true. The seeds won’t hurt or kill your dog, however, they may cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Birdseed has an extremely high food-to-weight ratio meaning that a small volume has an incredibly big calorie content – which is why wild birds love it so much. 

And while these tiny seeds have an almost irresistible smell to birds, they’re not as good for dogs. Most of the bags will pass through their system without harming them but there’s a chance of them getting diarrhea, vomiting, or worse.

There are certain types of wild bird seed that some dogs can eat with no problems, but the chances are you’ll get better results just by buying a bag of bacon. 

It probably won’t help with your dog’s obsession for little brown menaces in the sky though!

What Happens When Dogs Eat Bird Seeds?

Birdseed has quite a lot of protein and fat which are both things that dogs really shouldn’t be eating. 

Protein is broken down by the body into amino acids, sugars, and other waste products – but if they take in too much at once, then their bodies can’t keep up with the production and this causes vomiting or diarrhea.

If your dog eats something with high levels of fat or protein (like seeds) it will stay in its stomach for longer than usual (12-24 hours). 

This will have two effects: increased acidity in their stomach due to digestion slowing down – which causes vomiting, and because birdseed is so rich in fat it’s more likely to cause diarrhea too.

Don’t worry though – these symptoms should only last a day or two and they’ll be back to normal after that. 

You may even notice them having less energy than usual, which may continue for a few days after the symptoms have cleared up. If this is the case then you should cut down on your dog’s exercise until they’re back to normal levels of energy.

How Do I Treat My Dog For Birdseed Poisoning?

If your dog eats any seeds then you need to induce vomiting as soon as possible. 

The easiest way is by giving them 3% Hydrogen peroxide. To do this hold them securely under one arm with a towel over their head (to prevent splashing). Then pour the peroxide down their throat using a teaspoon.

If your dog is uncooperative then you can use a syringe to give it directly into their mouth. 

This is much more controlled than spooning the stuff down them – and also easier to do if they’re lying on their side as you don’t have to worry about getting it everywhere! 

Just carefully push the end of the syringe into their mouth and squeeze, then pull it out straight away before they can bite you.

You should see your dog start vomiting almost instantly but if they haven’t done so within 5 minutes, then repeat this process again with another teaspoon’s worth of peroxide. If nothing comes up after 10-15 minutes or so then call the vet and take your dog there immediately.

If you can’t induce vomiting within an hour then the seeds are likely to have passed through your dog’s system and they should be ok in a day or so (see above) – but call the vet just in case! 

Vomiting up poison is much better than it being absorbed into their body because that will make them very sick.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Bird Seeds?

As with most things in life, prevention is better than cure – so make sure that there are no seeds lying around where your dog can find them! 

A lot of people will simply place their bird feeders close to their houses – but unless you want your dog eating coarse grains or sunflower seed, obstructing out the clear view of the birds – just think about putting up some baffles!

Baffles are very simple and easy to put up. They’re basically plastic or wooden sticks that you place between the feeder and your house. 

There are some available in hardware stores for a few dollars (that’s why they’re used mostly by people that don’t have many birds) but you can make your own easily enough – just use some dowelling rods cut into six-inch lengths, tie them together with fishing line, then hang them from the bird feeder!

The whole idea works on the same principle as window shades; baffles will obstruct a clear vision but allow light through so that the birds won’t be too scared off by what they think is an empty house). 

I’ve also heard of people hanging CDs around their garden to confuse the birds and prevent them from getting close to their house. 

They say that they work by reflecting the light on the birds’ feathers and making them too dazzled to come down and land!

However, you choose to stop your dog from eating birdseed, make sure that if you use some sort of baffle or deterrent, it’s fairly high above ground level – otherwise a determined pooch might climb up to get at his feathered friends!


All in all, if you feed birds then make sure that your dog can’t get at the birdseed. 

If you do want to give him something to chase but not eat (and there’s definitely nothing wrong with this! It’s great for their health), try a laser pointer!

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