Why Do Dogs Eat Bird Poop?

As a dog owner, you’ve likely caught your pup happily eating some type of unappealing waste or garbage on occasion. One common target is bird droppings or poop. Though disgusting to us, many dogs seem attracted to the smell and taste of bird feces.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Dogs eat bird poop because it smells intriguing to them, provides a tasty snack, and allows them to gain nutritional benefits they naturally crave.

Smells Intriguing and Tasty

Have you ever wondered why your furry friend seems to have a fascination with bird droppings? While it may seem unappetizing to us, dogs are often drawn to the smell and taste of bird poop. There are a few reasons why this might be the case.

Powerful Sense of Smell

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, much more powerful than humans. They can detect a wide range of scents, some of which are undetectable to us. When it comes to bird droppings, dogs can pick up on the strong odor from a significant distance away.

This heightened sense of smell makes even the most unpleasant smells intriguing to them.

Appealing Scent Components

Bird droppings contain various components that emit smells that are attractive to dogs. These scents can result from the bird’s diet, which may include berries, seeds, or insects. The combination of these ingredients can create a unique aroma that dogs find irresistible.

Additionally, the digestive process of birds can alter the scent, making it even more appealing to our canine companions.

Enjoys Novel Flavors

Dogs are known for their love of exploring new tastes and textures. Bird poop provides a novel flavor experience that they may find intriguing. It’s like a new treat waiting to be discovered. This curiosity, coupled with their natural scavenging instincts, can lead them to indulge in the unusual delicacy of bird droppings.

While it’s important to understand why dogs may be attracted to bird poop, it’s crucial to discourage this behavior. Bird droppings can carry harmful bacteria and parasites that can make your dog sick.

It’s best to prevent your dog from coming into contact with bird droppings and provide them with safe and healthy alternatives to satisfy their taste buds.

For more information on the topic, you can visit the American Kennel Club website, where you can find helpful tips and advice on dog behavior and health.

Nutritional Benefits

It may seem strange to us humans, but there are actually several nutritional benefits that dogs can gain from eating bird poop. While it may not be the most appetizing snack for us, dogs have different dietary needs and instincts that drive them to seek out certain nutrients.

Here are some of the reasons why dogs are attracted to bird poop:

High in Protein

Bird poop contains a surprising amount of protein, which is an essential nutrient for dogs. Protein is crucial for muscle development, growth, and overall health. Dogs are naturally drawn to sources of protein, and bird droppings provide a relatively easy and accessible option for them.

While it may not be the cleanest source of protein, dogs seem to be willing to overlook that in favor of satisfying their nutritional needs.

Provides Vitamins

Bird poop also contains various vitamins that can be beneficial for dogs. Birds have different diets than dogs, often consisting of berries, insects, and seeds. As a result, their droppings may contain trace amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin D. These vitamins are important for maintaining healthy eyesight, a strong immune system, and overall well-being.

While dogs primarily get their vitamins from their regular diet, a little extra boost from bird poop can provide some additional benefits.

Satisfies Natural Cravings

Another reason why dogs may eat bird poop is that it satisfies their natural cravings and instincts. Dogs are descendants of wolves, who would scavenge for food in the wild. In the wild, wolves would often consume the entire carcass of an animal, including the droppings.

This behavior is believed to be instinctual, as it ensures that no potential sources of nutrition are wasted. While dogs are domesticated, they still retain some of these primal instincts, which can explain their attraction to bird poop.

It’s important to note that while dogs may find nutritional benefits in bird poop, it’s not necessarily the healthiest or safest option for them. Bird droppings can contain harmful bacteria, parasites, or chemicals that can be detrimental to a dog’s health.

It’s always best to discourage this behavior and keep a close eye on your furry friend during walks or outdoor activities.

Preventing the Behavior

Dogs are curious creatures, and sometimes their curiosity leads them to engage in behaviors that might seem unpleasant to us, such as eating bird poop. While it might be challenging to completely eliminate this behavior, there are several steps you can take to help prevent it.

Proper Supervision

One of the most effective ways to prevent your dog from eating bird poop is by providing proper supervision. Keep an eye on your dog when they are outside and redirect their attention if you see them heading towards a pile of droppings.

By doing so, you can intervene before they have a chance to indulge in their scavenging behavior.

Distraction and Deterrents

Another strategy is to provide distractions and deterrents to divert your dog’s attention away from bird poop. You can do this by engaging your dog in interactive play or providing them with toys that keep them mentally stimulated.

Additionally, there are products available, such as bitter sprays or repellents, that can be applied to areas where birds frequent, making the droppings less appealing to your dog.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is not only beneficial for your dog’s overall well-being but can also help discourage them from seeking out bird poop. Ensure that your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients from their food, as a balanced diet can reduce their desire to scavenge.

If you have concerns about your dog’s diet, consult with your veterinarian to determine if any dietary changes or supplements are needed.

Remember, while it may be frustrating to see your dog eat bird poop, it’s important to approach the issue with patience and understanding. Implementing these prevention strategies can help minimize the behavior and keep your furry friend healthy and happy.


Though unpleasant for owners, many dogs eat bird droppings simply because they find the smell and taste intriguing. Bird poop also delivers natural nutrition dogs crave. With vigilance and training, you can curb your dog’s undesirable habit of feces consumption.

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