Are Bird Seeds Bad for Dogs? – Learn More!

Why are bird seeds bad for dogs?

Dog owners understand the rising battle of keeping your canine friends away from food on the ground.

And if you’re also own a pet bird or a garden bird feeder – this struggle can be daily!

Birds are messy eaters and will quickly cover your room or garden floor with enough seeds to make a doggie-roll. Many a time, your dog can snack up a few seeds safely, but there are still a couple of things to be aware of before you begin letting doggo dine alfresco.

Are Bird Seeds Bad for Dogs?

Yes! Bird seeds are safe in small quantities. On occasions, dogs that eat commercial bird seed often experience few discomfort other than an upset stomach, according to the ASPCA.

Is It Ok For A Dog To Eat Bird Food?

Here are reasons why consuming bird seeds are not ok for your dog:

  • Raisins 

A lot of table and ground bird seed mixes will contain sultanas or raisins. Whilst these offer your pet or garden bird with burst of energy and healthy vitamins, they are toxic to dogs.

It’s well known that feeding fresh grapes to dogs can lead to kidney failure or sickness, but did you know that dried grapes (sultanas and raisins) are even more likely to have serious effects?

If your dog is likely to consume your bird food, avoid using mixes that contain raisins or sultanas. Plenty mixes now contain dog-friendly dried apricots which shouldn’t cause any problems when eaten in small quantities.

  • Mouldy Seeds

It’s wise to say that your dog should never be allowed to consume any mouldy food, mouldy bird seed included.


Mould contains natural hepatotoxins that are toxic chemicals that can cause liver damage in both humans and animals (so don’t you go a mouldy bird seed eating rampage, either!)

  • Bacteria

If your dog has taken a likeness to bird seeds, its most likely they’re doing it from underneath your bird feeders. This means that bird faeces is almost certainly present on the ground and seed.

Bird faeces contain all forms of parasites and bacteria that can easily be transferred to your dog if they consume it.

Whilst the effect of these diseases on your dog may not be as severe as on the birds, they can still cause a great deal of discomfort, vomiting or diarrhea.

READ MORE: Are Bird Droppings Dangerous?

  • Internal Blockages And Bloating 

In an unwanted case of your dog snacking down a whole bag of bird seed (with no raisins), your dog may experience gastrointestinal obstruction.

This is where large food volumes clog up in the intestinal tract, stopping your dog from going to the toilet or digesting food without being in a great deal of pain.

In serious cases, your dog could need a trip to the hospital and potential enemas, or even surgery, to eradicate the blockage – Can you imagine how much that would cost you?

are bird seeds bad for dogs

How To Get My Dog To Stop Eating Bird Seed

The quickest and easiest way to stop your dog’s eating bird food is to stop it reaching the ground. There are many bird feeders that offer screw-on base trays to catch wayward husks and seeds.

  • Ring-Pull offer two sizes of base trays which screw on to all varieties of their feeders.
  • Onyx feeders also have a stylish base tray, compatible with their seed and nyger feeders.
  • BigEasy seed feeders offer have a compact base tray option

You can also ensure you frequently collect any bird seed mess from underneath the feeders or try creating a barrier around your feeder base.

If you’d prefer a more natural approach, you can try planting a bed of flowers around your feeder base to hide any flying seed and deter your dog from roaming around that area.

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