Can Dogs Eat Squirrels? 5+ Crazy Truths

Dogs are carnivorous creatures and are widely domesticated; in fact, you will find them on practically every continent of the world. You might be wondering do dogs eat squirrels?

Dogs are superb hunters and tend to hunt a couple of animals, especially in the wild. Knowing what foods your dog can eat and what foods he shouldn’t is an understandable concern. You do want to know if dogs can eat squirrels and whether they should be permitted to eat these rodents.

Further in the text, you will get to know more about squirrels as dog food and if there is anything of concern when your favorite dog munches squirrels.

Can Dogs Eat Squirrels?

Dogs are meat-eaters, and they eat a range of animals, including squirrels. Dogs can stomach raw squirrels in your backyards or cooked squirrels.

Insects, maize, fruits, and even people’s dwellings and dog food are all common sources of food for squirrels.

This means that a dog may come into contact with a squirrel when it is busy gathering food in our backyards. The unfortunate squirrel has little chance of escaping if your dog is hungry, which is common with hunting dogs.

Other dogs, on the other hand, will eat a squirrel. But most of them just love chasing squirrels.

Dogs can also eat dead squirrels. Dogs, naturally eat meat in any form, wether cooked or uncooked. But dogs eating dead squirrels may generate a lot of worries.

For instance, you don’t know what the cause of the squirrel’s death was. Dogs may be poisoned by this meat if the animal dies as a result of sickness or poisoning.

What Happens If My Dog Eats Squirrels?

What happens when dogs eat squirrels is a relatively typical issue.

Of course, incredibly vital to all dogs’ owners. Many people wish to know if their pet dogs might become sick by eating squirrels.

Toxic squirrels, then. Would you still let your buddy to eat them? Of course not!

You should never take any chances with your pet’s health. Fortunately, your dog should be alright after eating a squirrel.

When it comes to digesting meat, the dog’s digestive tract will perform as usual. Sometimes, you may notice some changes like diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach trouble, but the dog will be well. You are now aware that dogs are permitted to eat squirrels.

That being stated, there are specific times squirrels become deadly food for dogs. Dogs may be harmed by parasites and other critters from a squirrel that has been dead for a few days.

Coccidia and roundworms, parasites that fight for resources with the dog, may be present in such a corpse. The dog is getting sufficient nourishment, but roundworms are the ones gaining. Eventually, your companion becomes underweight and exposed to illnesses.

Also, you have no idea if the deceased squirrel was poisoned, which might make your dog sick. As a result, keeping your beloved pet healthy by avoiding the consumption of dead meat is the appropriate choice.

Can Dogs Eat Live Squirrels Without Any Problem?

Dogs tend to chase squirrels when the two come across. More frequently, it appears enjoyable, and the dog doesn’t have any intents to eat the squirrel. However, the squirrel’s luck might run out, and he or she may become dinner.

There aren’t any obvious negative consequences for your dog if you accidentally kill and eat a squirrel. There are squirrel illnesses that a squirrel may pass to the dog, however not many.

One of the transmittable disorders is leptospirosis which damages the internal organs, mainly the kidney and liver. A dog suffering from this ailment will display indications such as vomiting and high temperature.

The ailment demands an emergency medical evaluation by a skilled veterinarian for quick treatment. Ticks, which are sometimes seen on gray squirrels, can transmit Lyme disease to dogs.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include anorexia, fever, and joint discomfort, all of which can lead to lameness. To avoid Lyme illness, you need to vaccine your dog.

As a result, if your dog eats a live squirrel, you shouldn’t be alarmed. All you have to do is take it to the vet to see whether the squirrel infected it.

Are Squirrels Toxic to Dogs?

In most circumstances, squirrels themselves are not hazardous to dogs. Ticks and fleas, as well as their excrement, pose a greater threat than the animals themselves. Ticks in squirrels create Lyme disease, which is particularly harmful to dogs.

Squirrels dropping can be a cause of Leptospirosis illness that predominantly affects the internal organs, including the liver and kidney.

Squirrels are the major natural carriers of this illness as it lives in a moist environment where most squirrels reside.

Are Squirrels Dangerous For Dogs?

A squirrel is substantially smaller than a dog. You’re hardly likely to see one trying to chase around your large German Shepherd!

Squirrels, on the other hand, can bring parasites and ticks that could cause health issues for your dog or cat.

As we described previously, squirrels can carry parasites (for example, roundworms) and they can have ticks on their bodies that can pass across to your dog.

In addition to Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and the liver illness known as American canine hepatitozoonosis (ACH), ticks carry a wide range of other diseases as well.

Because of this, it is imperative that you provide your dog with frequent prophylactic tick treatments.

Talk to your vet for further details. Your dog can pick up ticks even by being in the same yard as an animal (such as a squirrel) that has them.

How to Train Your Dog Not to Eat or Kill Squirrels?

Dogs that have a propensity of following squirrels are prone to chase after one in the streets and may end up getting hit by a car. Thus, instructing your dog on how to avoid squirrels is a huge favor to you and your companion.

The ‘find it game approach’ is the most successful way to teach your dog to avoid squirrels, however we have numerous others as well. As we’ll see in the next sections, there are several processes involved.

Step 1: Place Treats Around Your Compound

Make a list of your dog’s favorite goodies and scatter some of them about your yard.

Step 2: Put Your Dog into Hunt

Motivate your dog to ‘hunt’ for a snack by scattering scents of tasty foods about your yard.

Step 3: Repeat the Whole Process.

Repeat the game up to two times every day. The most advantageous periods are dinner time so that the rewards can redirect your dog’s concentration from chasing away squirrels.

Step 4: Change it

You may swap out the hides with other items like chew meals or toys if you choose. Every day can bring something fresh to the table.

Step 5: Alternative Scent

To help your dog adapt to the game and move totally from pursuing squirrels, modify the fragrance of the conceals. You may apply game fragrance on the toys of your dog.

After your dog has learned the new way and has been praised and rewarded for it, be patient with him as he may need some time to adapt to his new existence.

If you have squirrels around and find them unpleasant, there are better and safe ways to eliminate them. Letting your dog eat the squirrels isn’t the solution, and you can expose the dog to different hazards.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Kills And Eats A Squirrel?

If your dog appears to have caught a squirrel, your best bet is to intervene and prevent him from devouring it. Use the “leave it” command to leave the current window open.

Teaching this command and the proper way to follow-through to your dog can help you cope with the problem more efficiently the next time it happens.

In the event that you have a yard, be sure you bury the squirrel in an area that is out of reach for your dog (as he will try to dig it up).

If this is not possible or you don’t have a yard, wrap the dead squirrel in rubbish bags, at least two layers of them.

Once you’ve done that, call a vet facility in your region to see if they can take it. If they cannot, contact Animal Control.

The dead squirrel should be within their reach. You should do this as promptly as feasible.

Can Dogs Get Sick from Killing a Squirrel?

If your dog killed and ate a squirrel, the only bad affects your pet will probably face will be bites from the squirrel and the likelihood that he has gotten ticks.

Ticks may infect dogs even when they aren’t in the yard, so be careful to give your dog a prophylactic tick medication at all times.

This is crucial because ticks may spread Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a debilitating illness that can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, joint pain, and even disability.

Bring your dog to the doctor if you suspect he has Lyme Disease. If he tests positive, he will need to be given antibiotics. A 30-day course of therapy is the norm.

Squirrels are known to carry leptospirosis in certain parts of the United States.

This is a kind of bacterium that badly affects the internal organs, notably the kidneys and liver.

Leptospirosis can be conveyed in the squirrel’s urine. If your dog is exposed to that pee, for example, if the urine is released when he is killing the squirrel, he might catch it.

Rabies can only be caught through close contact with a squirrel, and this has never happened before.

Rabies normally kills squirrels extremely rapidly, most frequently before they’ve had a chance to transmit the illness.

If your dog gets bit or scratched by a squirrel, you should seek guidance from your veterinarian.

Why Do Dogs Chase Squirrels?

It’s in their nature as predators, but they also do it for enjoyment and exercise, which is why dogs pursue squirrels. Some canine breeds are more predisposed to this type of behavior than others.

For example, terriers are extremely ardent hunters of various sorts of rodents, including squirrels. This is because they were initially developed to hunt rodents.

Some pet owners fear that if their dog had killed a squirrel it may signal that they are aggressive or dangerous.

No need to be alarmed about it at all. Your dog’s urge to catch a squirrel is totally natural and something he does naturally.

There is no threat to you or anybody else from a dog that has killed a squirrel. The two are unconnected in any way, shape, or form.

Your dog would never regard you or another person as prey. It could suggest, though, that you should be wary about allowing your dog be near tiny animals.

The canine predilection for pursuing squirrels is just one reason why it’s crucial to keep your dog under good control at all times.

What Could Happen If Your Dog Eats a Dead Squirrel?

It’s more dangerous for your dog’s health if the squirrel was already dead when he discovered it; in fact, if it’s been decaying for many days, the squirrel may be infested with parasites.

Also, your dog will end up with food illness that will entail a lot of diarrhea.


The most alarming element of your dog eating an already dead squirrel is the risk that the squirrel may have been poisoned.

If the squirrel contains poison in its system, this will end up inside your dog.

While it’s against the law for individuals to poison squirrels, there is a potential that your neighbors could have done so nevertheless since they have a problem with squirrels nesting in their attics.

You should always seek your neighbors for their help when your dog consumes a poisoned squirrel because of this.

If they inform you that they have, you must get your dog to the vet immediately.

If your dog ate a dead squirrel and consumed any poison, he will likely get extremely sick.

The dosage of poison he will have taken probably won’t lead to death, but it will produce a considerable level of illness that will need veterinary attention.


Two of the parasites that your dog can become infected with if they eat a dead squirrel are roundworm and coccidia.

Your dog will acquire roundworm if the squirrel he eats is infested with roundworm larvae.

Roundworms feed on the nutrients your dog obtains from his food when he has them. This implies that your pet will end up malnourished.

Roundworm must be treated right away if you don’t want your dog to get sick and die.

Lethargy, stomach swelling, vomiting, lack of appetite, atypical feces, colic, and coughing are all signs of roundworm infection.

The coughing suggests that the larvae have invaded the lungs. If you believe your dog could have roundworm, seek veterinarian treatment.

Some of the symptoms of coccidia include vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea (this can even involve blood and mucus if the sickness is extremely severe), and lack of appetite. Immunosuppressed and young canines seem to be more prone to coccidia.

Despite the fact that coccidia seldom results in death, it can produce dehydration and other side effects that are hazardous on their own.

Be aware that some dogs who develop coccidia are asymptomatic and function as carriers of the parasite. The risk of your dog contracting a disease from eating squirrels should be investigated.

My Dog Ate a Dead Squirrel. Can Dogs Get Rabies from Eating Dead Squirrels?

The rabies virus is not transmissible via unbroken skin, excrement, or blood. Biting is the principal method by which a rabid animal spreads its disease to another animal. When an animal’s bloodstream touches the saliva or brain tissue of another animal afflicted with rabies, they will likely get the infection as well.

Also, rabies is not an air-borne illness. The virus can only live a few seconds in the open air. In addition, dead rabid animals will no longer carry active rabies viruses once they have been dead for 24 to 48 hours.

Is it possible for a dog to get rabies after licking or eating a dead squirrel? Although plausible, it is exceedingly improbable. The greatest approach to alleviate your worry is to get your dog checked for rabies at the veterinary.

What Should Dog Owners Worry About If Their Dog Ate a Dead Squirrel?

Do some investigating and see if you can find out whether or not your neighbors have lately poisoned any rodents. Rodenticides are poisonous chemicals in the form of attractive-smelling pellets or tunnel boxes covered with poison. When consumed by squirrels, mice, or rats, rodent poisoning causes death within hours by affecting rodents’ neurological and circulatory systems. If you believe your dog has eaten any rodent killed by poison, take them to the doctor immediately.

Toxic squirrel meat can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and exhaustion in big dogs for one to two days before they fully recover. Dehydration and respiratory difficulties in small dogs may necessitate emergency veterinary care. Some symptoms of canine rodent poisoning are as follows:

Urine that has been stained by blood

Nosebleeds/bleeding gums


Severe vomiting and diarrhea

Panting and difficulty breathing


A veterinarian may provide activated charcoal or pump the dog’s stomach to treat arodenticide toxicity. Treatment varies on how much dead squirrel a dog consumed, the dog’s size and weight, and the severity of symptoms.

Can Dogs Get Worms from Eating a Live or Dead Squirrel?

Unfortunately, yes. Roundworms and coccidiosis are the most frequent parasite diseases dogs can acquire from eating squirrels. More specifically, it’s the roundworm larvae utilizing squirrels as hosts that a dog may swallow. Once roundworm eggs are within a dog’s stomach, they will grow into mature roundworms and target the dog’s intestines. After attaching themselves to the lining of a dog’s intestines, roundworms will feed off nutrients generated by the digestive system.

Can Dogs Eat Squirrels?

Unlike tapeworms that are typically visible as small, white writhing specks in dog excrement, roundworms are not visible, and they seldom move when discharged in feces. Many dogs live with a roundworm infection and never display symptoms. Weight loss, diarrhoea, vomiting, and general weakness are all symptoms of a severe roundworm infection. The only way to know for sure if your dog is roundworm-free is to take the dog to the doctor and have his excrement inspected for roundworms. Deworming medicine is an easy way to get rid of roundworms in your dog.

Coccidiosis is the term of a gastrointestinal infection caused by one of four different forms of coccidia protozoa. Coccidia, a parasite that grows in the gut lining, seldom affects healthy adult dogs because it is so little. However, it can still induce dehydration and severe stomach discomfort in pups and elderly dogs that suffer from chronic illnesses. Several tests may be carried out to rule out common illnesses if your dog ate a squirrel. The “fecal flotation” test, which may identify protozoa under a microscope, is used to diagnose coccidiosis.

Dogs can get coccidiosis via consuming dirt or animal feces that contain coccidia protozoa, in addition to eating squirrels. Coccidia protozoa, a resilient parasite that can live in animals, excrement, and soil for weeks or months in harsh heat or cold, is a well-known example of this.

Can Dogs Get Leptospirosis from Eating a Squirrel?

Ground squirrels can transmit a bacterial ailment called leptospirosis to dogs who encounter an infected squirrel’s urine. Leptospirosis bacteria may be released into the dog’s urine if a dog successfully hunts down, kills, and consumes a squirrel.

Although rare in dogs, a leptospirosis infection can induce vomiting, fever, dehydration, and seizures. Hospitalization, hydration administration, and the administration of potent antibiotics are all part of veterinary care.

Can Dogs Get Lyme Disease from Eating Squirrels?

Squirrels spend much of their time in tree-dense regions where ticks thrive. Ticks contain the bacterium that causes Lyme disease in various parts of the United States. Infected blood from a Lyme disease-infected squirrel might readily be consumed by a dog that eats the squirrel.

Signs of Lyme disease in dogs include:

The inability to eat



Swelling and stiffness of the joints

Kidney and heart failure can occur as a result of untreated Lyme disease. Fortunately, antibodies found in the dog’s blood and urine may be used to diagnose Lyme illness. Both the Quant C6 and the C6 are required to effectively identify canine Lyme disease. Live antibodies are detected for up to five weeks after the original infection. Urinalysis (Quant C6 test) will evaluate if the dog requires a 30-day treatment of antibiotics.

The best approach to prevent ticks (and Lyme disease) from getting your dog sick is to give your dog monthly tick and flea preventatives available from your veterinarian.


Dogs can eat squirrels, but they shouldn’t, in reality, as we have shown there are few concerns connected to eating squirrels especially if they are already dead.

Squirrels are bound to visit various areas and eat numerous things and even if they don’t get poisoned, you never know what your dog may wind up swallowing when they eat one.

That’s why if your dog ate a squirrel, the first thing to do is always to call the emergency hotline or a specialist and ask how to continue.

Princy Hoang

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