Do Birds Eat Dog Poop? A Comprehensive Guide

Do Birds Eat Dog Poop? A Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that certain birds are known to consume dog poop? It may seem strange, but this phenomenon is more common than you might think. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why some birds eat dog poop, the nutritional benefits it provides, and the health risks and environmental impact of this behavior. We’ll also discuss other animals that “do birds eat dog poop” and the importance of responsible pet ownership in maintaining the health of all creatures involved.

Short Summary

  • Certain species of birds, such as magpies and seagulls, consume dog poop.
  • The nutritional benefits of dog feces for birds depend on the quality of food fed to the canine.
  • Responsible pet ownership involves cleaning up after one’s dog and providing a balanced diet for pet birds in order to prevent health risks and environmental pollution.

Birds That Consume Dog Poop

feces, dog poo, fun

While it may not be a typical behavior, some birds do indeed eat dog poop. Magpies and seagulls are the primary culprits, often fighting over the feces even when other food sources are available. Other bird species that have been observed consuming dog feces include common pigeons, house sparrows, and European starlings.

So, why do these birds partake in this peculiar dining choice? Let’s take a closer look at magpies and seagulls to find out.

Magpies and Dog Poop

Magpies are the most frequently observed bird species to consume canine feces. The exact reason for this behavior is not yet known, but it has been suggested that they may be doing so to supplement their diet or to rid their territory of the waste.

These intelligent birds have been observed consuming dog feces with enthusiasm, even engaging in competitive behavior to determine the order of consumption.

Seagulls Joining the Trend

Seagulls are omnivorous birds that consume a variety of foods, including fish, insects, and crustaceans. While there is no concrete data indicating that they consume dog feces, it’s not entirely implausible, given their diverse diet.

Should seagulls partake in eating dog poop, there may be potential health hazards and ecological repercussions associated with this behavior.

Nutritional Benefits of Dog Poop for Birds

dog, meal, food bowl

Dog poop might not seem like an appetizing meal, but it does contain essential nutrients for birds. It has been observed that dog feces containing nutrients beneficial to birds can be sourced from smaller dogs that are fed high-quality food.

However, it’s crucial to note that not all dog feces are created equal. The quality of the dog food plays a significant role in determining the nutritional value of the poop for birds.

High-Quality Dog Food

High-quality dog food is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of a canine, composed of premium quality ingredients and devoid of artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers. It provides balanced nutrition that helps to sustain a dog’s immune system and metabolism, and also contains vitamins and minerals that promote good health.

Providing a balanced diet for pet dogs is essential to help them maintain a healthy weight, receive necessary nutrients, and avoid potential health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Debunking Peanut Butter Treat Myths

There is a popular belief that peanut butter treats may attract birds to dog feces. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.

Peanut butter is generally safe and a beneficial source of healthy fats for most birds, particularly during the winter season when they need to maximize their caloric intake. It’s important to remember that providing a balanced diet for pet birds is crucial for their health and well-being, and to avoid any potential attraction to dog feces.

Other Animals That Eat Dog Poop

dog, puppy, animal

Birds are not the only animals that consume dog feces. Foxes, pine martens, raccoons, skunks, and cats can also partake in this behavior. Each of these species has different dietary needs and preferences, and the reasons behind their consumption of dog poop may vary.

Let’s delve deeper into the behavior of foxes and pine martens when it comes to dog feces.

Foxes and Calorific Value

The calorific value of dog feces plays a role in its appeal to foxes. One gram of dog waste contains approximately 49 kcal as a nutritional source for a canine. While eating dog feces can provide energy and sustenance for foxes, there are potential health risks associated with this behavior.

To discourage foxes from consuming dog feces, noise-generating devices such as motion-sensitive alarms or transistor radios can be deployed, along with products designed to repel domestic dogs.

Pine Martens Sharing Food Sources

Pine martens and foxes share the same sustenance, and the presence of foxes has enabled pine martens to coexist and consume dog feces. The study on the relationship between pine martens and foxes is essential in avoiding further extinctions.

While it is unclear whether pine martens consume dog feces directly, dog feces form a considerable part of the diet of red foxes inhabiting pine forests in the Scottish Highlands.

Health Risks and Environmental Impact

dog poop, dog, feces

Eating dog poop can pose significant health risks for pets and wild animals alike. Consumption of dog feces may result in gastroenteritis, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, tiredness, and the transmission of infectious diseases and parasites.

Leaving dog poop in the woods or near bodies of water can also pollute the environment and contribute to the spread of diseases. To better understand the implications of these risks, we will explore the issues of disease transmission and environmental pollution.

Disease Transmission

Diseases such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Salmonella, E. Coli, Campylobacteriosis, and Visceral toxocariasis can be contracted through the consumption of dog feces. These diseases pose potential health risks for both pets and wild animals, and some, like Leptospirosis, can even be transmitted to humans.

Being aware of these risks is crucial in understanding the importance of keeping our environment clean and safe for all living beings.

Environmental Pollution

Leaving dog feces in the woods or near bodies of water can have a detrimental effect on the environment. Dog feces can contain pathogens such as Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli, which can pollute water sources and propagate illness.

To minimize the environmental impact of dog waste, it is recommended to dispose of dog feces at least 200 feet from a body of water and to flush it down the toilet when possible.

Responsible Pet Ownership

chickens, poultry, hen

Responsible pet ownership entails providing one’s pet with the necessary requirements of life, attending to its health and welfare, and preventing it from causing harm to others. Picking up after your dog and providing a balanced diet for pet birds are crucial aspects of responsible pet ownership.

Let’s discuss the importance of cleaning up after your dog and offering the right diet for your pet birds.

Cleaning Up After Your Dog

Cleaning up after your dog is of critical importance, as it helps to avoid the transmission of parasites and bacteria that can be detrimental to other pets and humans. Additionally, it helps to maintain a clean and healthy environment, preventing unpleasant odors and contamination.

To properly dispose of dog feces, use a plastic bag or pooper scooper to pick up the waste, and ensure it is disposed of in a sealed container or in a designated area.

Providing a Balanced Diet for Pet Birds

Offering a balanced diet to pet birds is essential in order to guarantee their health and well-being, as well as supplying them with the essential nutrients to maintain good health. A balanced diet for pet birds should comprise approximately 60% formulated diet, 40% vegetables, and limited amounts of cooked eggs, bean mixtures, tofu, whole grains, and nutritious grains such as cooked brown rice, quinoa, oats, wheat, and barley.

Fresh fruits, seeds, and nuts should only be offered as a treat to ensure that the bird is receiving a nutritionally balanced diet.


In conclusion, while it may be surprising to learn that some birds and other animals eat dog poop, understanding the reasons behind this behavior and its potential health risks and environmental impact is essential. Responsible pet ownership, including picking up after your dog and providing a balanced diet for pet birds, plays a significant role in maintaining the health of all creatures involved and preserving our environment. By being aware of these issues and taking action, we can contribute to a cleaner, safer world for both humans and animals alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do any wild animals eat dog poop?

Yes, it appears that some wild animals do eat dog poop. The BBC and Chewy have both reported that rats and mice will eat your pet’s waste, while research suggests that foxes may use dog poo as a source of food when wild prey is scarce.

Consequently, it is important to be mindful of the waste we create and dispose of it appropriately.

Why is my bird eating his poop?

Cockatiels are known to eat their own droppings as a way to supplement the nutrients they may be missing from their diet. It is also possible that your bird may lack stimulation or engagement and therefore resort to foraging the floor of their cage for something to do.

To address this issue, make sure your bird has plenty of toys in their cage and that they receive adequate nutrition through a well-rounded diet.

Do skunks eat dog poop?

It appears that skunks are quite comfortable snacking on dog poop when given the opportunity, based on expert advice which suggests they might commonly do so.

Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that skunks do, in fact, eat dog poop.

What happens if my 1 year old eats dog poop?

Eating dog feces can be hazardous to your 1 year old’s health, as it can lead to possible infections or stomach distress. To ensure the best health and well-being of your child, it is highly advised that you seek medical attention should any symptoms arise from their accidental ingestion of dog feces.

What animals eat their own poop?

Animals like rabbits, hamsters, mice and even some primates engage in coprophagy as a natural part of their digestion. This behavior is necessary for animals to absorb essential nutrients that would otherwise be lost during the digestive process.

As such, eating one’s own poop can be a beneficial behavior for certain animals.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.