Dog Snacks on Birdseed: Reader Question


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Q: My 8-year-old Miniature Poodle and my daughter’s 9-month-old Corgi love to eat birdseed that’s fallen to the ground. We’ve heard this seed is dangerous for dogs. Is this true? — P.R., New Richmond, WI

A: “Bird food isn’t toxic, per se,” explains Dr. Jerry Klein, a supervising emergency veterinarian Chicago Emergency Veterinary & Special Center in Chicago, IL. “Eating very large amounts of the bird seed could cause stomach upset or potentially even an obstruction,” he notes. “Another related concern could be the dog eating up bird droppings along with the seeds, which could potentially expose the dogs to parasites.”

When your dogs are outside, the solution might be as simple as offering something better for the dogs to do than scarf bird seed. Actively play with your pets by tossing a toy or a ball, or provide treats or food-dispensing toys (such as Kong Wobbler, traditional Kong toys, IQ Ball or sterilized bone).

©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services