Can dogs eat squirrels?

In this brief discussion, we will answer the question “can dogs eat squirrels?” We will also talk about are squirrels safe for dogs? Are squirrels healthy for dogs? 

Can dogs eat squirrels?

Yes, dogs can eat squirrels. Dogs are omnivores and it is their natural instinct to hunt for food. a squirrel is one of the animals dogs prey on. In most cases, Dogs hunt the squirrels and eat them. 

However, sometimes dogs can also eat squirrels that are poisoned to death. In this case, eating squirrels is very harmful to dogs since it can make your dog seriously ill.

Are squirrels safe for dogs?

No, squirrels are not safe for dogs. If your dog hurts a squirrel himself and eats it, his chances of getting sick are low. However, if your dog eats a squirrel that has been poisoned to death or that died due to natural causes and is rotting for some time, his chances of getting sick are very high. Eating poisoned or rotten squirrel meat can cause serious health consequences in dogs.

Either way, raw squirrel meat is highly unsafe for dogs since it can be infected with dangerous pathogens or contain worms that highly deteriorate your dog’s health.

Are squirrels healthy for dogs?

No, squirrels are not healthy for dogs. Squirrel meat is not good for your dog’s health even if it is free from contamination. This is because it is difficult to digest by dogs and causes stomach problems including diarrhea and vomiting. 

Moreover, raw squirrel meat is highly unhealthy since it may contain parasites that can make your dog seriously ill.

So far we have discussed whether dogs can eat squirrels and if they are safe and healthy for dogs as well as the health benefits of squirrels. Now let us discuss the potential risks of feeding squirrels to dogs.

What are the potential risks of feeding squirrels to dogs?

Squirrels are not a safe food option for your dog. It is highly unhealthy and puts your dog at risk of serious health consequences. Here are some of the potential risks of eating squirrel meat:

  • It is difficult to digest and can cause abdominal discomfort in dogs including stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Squirrel meat can be infected with dangerous pathogens, especially the ones that can cause leptospirosis in dogs. This can make your dog seriously ill.
  • Squirrel meat might also contain parasites such as coccidia which is a roundworm and causes gastrointestinal infection in dogs. Moreover, once the eggs of coccidia mature, they begin to feed off nutrients in your dog’s intestine. This leads to malnutrition.

Can dogs eat cooked squirrels?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked squirrels. Cooked squirrels are much safer than raw ones because the process of cooking gets rid of most of the dangerous pathogens and parasites. However, the risk of indigestion still remains a concern since dogs’ stomachs are not used to squirrel meat. 

If you plan on feeding squirrel meat to dogs make sure it is cooked thoroughly without seasonings to ensure their maximum safety. But it is still advised to avoid feeding squirrel meat to dogs since its cons outweigh the pros.

Can dogs get Lyme disease from eating squirrels?

Yes, dogs can get Lyme disease from eating squirrels. Squirrels spend most of their time in trees where ticks and fleas are present in abundance. If your dog eats or comes across the blood of a squirrel carrying lyme-infected ticks, your dog is likely to get Lyme disease as well. 

Lyme disease is considered very harmful for dogs since it can cause kidney and heart failure in a very short time span. Following are a few signs and symptoms of Lyme disease:

  • Your dog can develop a fever
  • Your dog might appear weak due to a loss of appetite
  • Joint swelling and stiffness are also seen in dogs with Lyme disease.
  • Limping can also be seen in infected dogs.

What to do if your dog eats a squirrel?

At first, you need to find out if your dog hunted the squirrel himself. In such cases, look for any wounds or scratches on your dog’s body and clean them with a disinfectant. If this is not the case, you need to identify if the squirrel had died of natural causes or poison. 

If the squirrel died due to natural causes, your dog is most likely not going to get sick. Mild diarrhea might be seen in some cases. However, if your dog has eaten a poisoned squirrel, chances are he might get poisoned as well so you need to get your dog checked as soon as possible.

Conclusion:

We answered the question “can dogs eat squirrels? We also talked about Can dogs eat cooked squirrels? Can dogs get Lyme disease from eating squirrels? And what to do if your dog eats a squirrel? 

References: 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.