Can Bird Seed Hurt Dogs? What To Do If Your Dog Eats It?

Can Bird Seed Hurt Dogs What to do if your dog eats it
Written by Emma Watson

Bird seeds are often a delicious treat for some dogs. Small quantities do not cause much harm. However, eating in large quantities can hurt your dog. Bird seeds can hurt dogs if it is eaten in harmful forms. Your dog eats it either directly from the feeders in your backyard or from the ground. The birds eat seeds randomly. They disperse them on the ground while eating. Moreover, they also vomit them and throw their guano on them.

Your pup can pick up birds seeds. However, if we talk about its safety in one line, we can say that:
“Bird seeds can be harmful to your dogs only if consumed in large amounts. Moreover, if the seeds contain any toxic ingredient, mould,  vomit, or birds’ faeces, they can harm your pup’s health.”

If you know your dog has eaten seeds, you should seek veterinarian attention in no time. In this article, let us talk about all the possible factors that can affect dogs’ health by birds’ seeds. Moreover, how can you identify the symptoms and give medical care to your pup? So, continue till end and do not forget to take notes of this most important topic in your little pet’s diary.

Dogs can be affected by birds’ seeds in the three possible ways:

  • Seed Constituents.
  • Seed Amount
  • Seed Conditions
The Conditions In Which Bird Seeds Can Be Harmful To Your Dog.

Parameters Of Bird Seeds

Consequences If Your Dog Eats Them

In small quantity
Nutritious/No harm
In large quantity
Stomach Upset Gut Blockage
Poisonous Ingredients
Aflatoxin poisoning
Bird Faces

Seed Constituents

Bird seeds can hurt your dog. However, the degree of damage depends primarily on their ingredients. Most of the bird seeds constituents are safe for your dog. However, in some cases, they may contain some poisons that can be dangerous for your dog. The most common of which is aflatoxin poisoning which is very common and will be discussed in the later section.

Seed Number

In addition, the number of such seeds matters that your dog eats. A small number of these seeds can be nutritious for your dog. However, a large number can hurt your dog a lot.

Seed Conditions

It also depends on the condition of the seeds being taken by your dog. Birds vomit or drop seeds as faeces in your backyard. If your dog eats them in such forms, it can destroy his digestive system.

What Are The Dangers Of Bird Seeds If Your Dog Eats Them?

The digestion of bird seeds is very slow in dogs. If they possess some poisonous ingredients like raisins, they can cause serious health hazards to your dog. You have to look at their labels to find if there is any kind of poison in them. If your dog eats them, seek a veterinarian to treat your dog.


A small number of such seeds may not cause much harm. However, a large number of these poisonous seeds can cause stomach disturbances.


Sometimes, they can also block the gut of your dog. This leads to a serious condition named bloat. Bloat causes an enlarged stomach causing severe pain. It also leads to salivation and vomiting. This condition can be fatal in some cases. Your dog needs veterinarian attention and surgical treatment in this case.

Which Diseases Are Caused If Your Dog Eats Bird Seeds?

The following are the most common problems caused by engulfing of seeds by dogs.

Aflatoxin Poisoning

We are most likely to avoid the food which is not made for us. The bird seeds falling on the ground can get wet and start growing moulds on them. These moulds can produce aflatoxin. If your dog eats these seeds, they can cause serious toxicities and even death. Aflatoxin poisoning may be characterized by vomiting, loose stools, disturbed gastrointestinal tract, loss of appetite, and liver damage such as jaundice. Your dog may not show initial symptoms in many cases. However, eating such seeds cause serious liver damage in your dog.

Bacterial Diseases

Your dog can eat faeces dropped by the birds in your backyard. Your dog can get serious diseases from these faeces, such as Salmonella. Mostly the symptoms of Salmonella are not expressed by your dog. However, it is most likely to spread this disease to your family members. Your dog can also suffer from serious infections if he eats faeces. Their symptoms may comprise high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Bird Seeds?

When you see that your dog has eaten bird seeds, contact a veterinarian in no time.

You don’t know the number of seeds eaten by your dog. You cannot describe what forms of seeds your dog has eaten. This is why you have to take your dog to a vet as soon as possible. Early treatment can keep your dog from serious health issues.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Eating Bird Seeds?

Can you stop your pet from enjoying his own company? Your dog seeks good taste in bird seeds and thus eats them. You have to take some precautionary measures to avoid harmful consequences. You should take the following measures to ensure the safety of your dog:

  • Always choose the seed birds that do not contain any kind of poisons in them.
  • Select fresh bird seeds and ensure to change these seeds if they become wet.
  • Always keep the feeders and area around them neat and clean. Also, make sure to sterilize feeders while changing the seeds.
  • Clean up the area around feeders and in your backyard where seeds are dropped by the birds.
  • Place some collectors below the feeders to collect the dropping seeds. Make it so that it should hinder your dog from reaching the seeds.
  • Train your dog in a way that your command, such as “leave it,” can keep him from any dangerous materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can Bird Seeds Hurt Your Dog?

Bird seeds are nutritious for your dog. However, compromising hygiene makes these seeds harmful to your dog. They can cause stomach upset, infections, or even can be fatal. That’s why it is essential to take precautionary measures to avoid serious consequences.

  • Are Bird Seeds Harmful To Your Dog?

Fresh bird seeds are nutritious for your dog. If these seeds comprise poisonous materials, it causes toxicity. If they get wet, they can cause aflatoxin poisoning. If they are dropped as faeces, and your dog eats them, they can cause Salmonella.

  • What Happens If Your Dog Eats Bird Seeds?

If your dog eats bird seeds, it causes health issues such as toxicities, infections, and organs damage. It depends on the number of seeds eaten by your dog. Also, rotten bird seeds cause more damage if eaten by your dog.

  • How Can I Keep My Dog From Eating Bird Seeds?

It would be best to teach your dog not to eat such things. Train him for commands such as “leave it” to prevent him from harmful substances. It can be not easy to keep your dog away from such habits. However, you can take care of hygiene to ensure the least health hazards.


In conclusion, bird seeds are delicious food for your dog. But you need to be careful of hygiene in this regard. Moreover, you should feed your dog at least two times a day. Ensure keeping your dog away from harmful materials. You should take all precautionary measures in this regard. If your dog eats bird seeds in large numbers or in poisonous forms, seek a vet in no time.

I hope this article helped you have your answer. In case of any other questions, you may comment below or email us. We would be happy to help.