My Dog Ate a Dead Squirrel in the Yard (Do This ASAP!)

My Dog Ate a Dead Squirrel in the Yard

We all know that dogs love discovering disgusting things, dead squirrels not excluded! But when your dog eats a dead squirrel in your yard, it can cause you to think of the worst-case outcomes. So, what do you do if your dog eats a dead squirrel in your yard?

If your dog ate a dead squirrel in your yard, you should take them to the vet immediately. Dead squirrels can harbor many dangerous bacterias and parasites that can greatly affect your dog’s health.

However, not all cases cause you to run straight to the vet. Yet, we want to mention that it is always better safe than sorry!

Either way, let’s break down why your dog likes to play with dead animals in the first place and what you should do when your dog eats one. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Preventing a dog from eating a dead squirrel can be very tricky, especially if they love hunting and getting into gross things!

But, having a proper mouth cleaning kit on hand can help you clean up the mess after.

Here are some of our favorites from Amazon:

1. Electric Toothbrush – Perfect for getting into those hard to reach places

2. Brushless Toothpaste Treats – For those sensitive pups who don’t like having their teeth brushed

3. Oral Hygiene Water Additive – To keep their breath fresh after the big cleanse

Why Dogs Like Dead Animals

It can be hard to comprehend why such adorable creatures like to eat the most disgusting things.

One second your dog is giving you puppy eyes asking for a quick belly rub and the next they are ripping through a bloody, dead squirrel. But, WHY?!

Why Are Dogs Attracted to Dead Animals?

A dog’s strong sense of smell makes them curious about dead animals, given their pungent smell. A dog will want to explore any new smells to them so a dead animal is a perfect opportunity. 

A dog’s main sense is their smell. They use it to assess people and other animals, to understand their surroundings, and to also explore and have fun. 

When they smell a dead animal, it is very exciting for them since it is a new smell. It’s also a very strong smell that they can really indulge in. 

Why Do Dogs Want to Put Dead Animals in Their Mouths?

When a dog puts a dead animal into their mouths, they are exercising their predatory instincts. Dogs evolved from hunting animals, so, when they find a dead animal, they want to show off that they hunted something.

You may be confused why a dead dog would want to put something so disgusting in their mouth, but, they are actually very happy to do so.

When they find a dead animal – or kill one – they are very proud of their accomplishment and want to show it off. They specifically want to show it off to you because you are their person. 

How lucky!

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Dead Bird

Why Do Dogs Use Their Nose and Mouth to Explore Dead Things?

Dogs use their nose and mouth to explore dead things because their sense of smell and taste are some of their strongest senses. They are able to determine if something is safe or not, depending on their sense of smell.

So, they use their sense of smell to explore something new to them. Whether or not it smells bad to them, doesn’t really matter. 

Humans and dogs have different ideas of what smells good and what smells bad. Typically, what smells bad to us, smells good to a dog.

And what smells good to us, such as lavender or cinnamon, smells terrible to a dog.

Is Playing With Dead Animals Dangerous for Dogs?

It is indeed dangerous for dogs to play with dead animals. Dead animals can contain dangerous parasites while they are alive and also, produce dangerous bacteria after they died because of their rotting carcasses.

Therefore, it is important to rid dead animals from your yard. Also, steer your dog away from finding any dead animals if you are in a park or at a beach. 

You never know what that animal could host, bacteria-wise, so it is important to your dog’s health to keep them away from it- even when they want to eat or roll in it. 

My Dog Licked a Dead Squirrel

If your dog licked a dead squirrel, you should keep an eye on them for the next few days. It is no need to worry yourself, but making sure that they are not showing any troubling symptoms is important. 

It is likely that your dog will be totally fine if you only saw your dog lick the dead squirrel.

However, it is still possible that they consumed something that was on the squirrel, so, you should monitor their behavior over the next few days. 

My Dog Has a Dead Squirrel in His Mouth

If your dog has a dead squirrel in his mouth, you should try to remove it as soon as possible. Dead squirrels can carry bacteria and parasites that can cause a lot of harm to your dog’s health.

If your dog is well trained, you can use the “leave it” or “drop it” command to attempt to get the dog to drop the squirrel.

If they will not drop the squirrel, you should put on plastic gloves and remove the squirrel yourself if you are comfortable doing so. 

You can also tempt your dog with a treat so that it may drop the squirrel in order to eat the treat, instead. 

What to Do When Your Dog Eats a Dead Squirrel

Now that we have determined why a dog enjoys a dead squirrel, let’s discuss exactly what you should do when this happens. Remember to always trust your gut if you suspect that your dog is not feeling well.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats a Dead Squirrel?

If your dog ate a dead squirrel, you should take them to the vet immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health.

It is important to take your dog to a vet after eating a dead squirrel because you have to consider why the squirrel died in the first place. 

If a squirrel was poisoned, your dog very well may have ingested the poison, as well. If the squirrel died from a parasite or bacteria, it, also, may have been passed on to your dog.

Therefore, taking your dog to the vet and letting your vet know exactly what happened will allow them to do the appropriate tests to ensure your dog is still healthy.

My Dog Ate a Squirrel Head. What Should I Do?

If your dog ate a squirrel head, you should consider taking your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Squirrels can harbor dangerous bacteria and parasites that will harm your dog’s health if they ingested them. 

But, before you go to the vet, you should take a look at the squirrel that your dog ate.

Although it is not a pretty thing to look at, especially if it’s missing a head, it is important to tell if the squirrel has any obvious parasites such as maggots or worms. 

This information will be important to pass on to your vet so they can run the appropriate test and suggest the best course of action.

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Steals Your Dog

How Do You Clean a Dog’s Mouth After Eating a Dead Animal?

The easiest way to clean your dog’s mouth after eating a dead animal is to add a special cleaning solution to your dog’s water. There are specific solutions that are safe for dogs that you can add to their water that they actually enjoy drinking. 

If there is a more serious amount of gunk in your dog’s mouth, you can attempt to wipe it clean.

You should wrap a cloth around your finger, soak the cloth in saltwater, and wipe it up through the inside of your dog’s mouth.

After, you can brush your dog’s teeth to ensure everything is out of their mouth. Following all the cleaning, you can give them a dental bone to really freshen up their mouth. 

My Dog Ate a Dead Squirrel With Maggots. What Should I Do?

If your dog ate a dead squirrel with maggots, it is a safe idea to bring your dog to your vet. If the dead squirrel has maggots, it’s possible that they have some other harmful bacteria or parasites that you need to ensure your dog did not ingest.

However, it can be very expensive to take your dog to the vet.

So, if you do not want to take your dog to the vet right away, you can monitor your dog for any unusual behavior such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. 

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, you should start to think of taking him to the vet. 

Health Complications of Eating a Dead Squirrel

As we have mentioned, squirrels can carry many harmful bacterias and parasites. Let’s discuss how these diseases can present in a dog. 

What Happens if My Dog Eats a Dead Squirrel?

If your dog eats a dead squirrel, they could be perfectly fine or they could get pretty sick. You should inspect the dead squirrel and try to see if they have any obvious parasites such as worms or maggots. 

In general, dogs have a very strong immune system. Also, if they are dewormed and up to date on their shots, they will likely be just fine after eating a dead squirrel.

However, squirrels can die from being poisoned. So, if your dog eats the dead squirrel that had poison in them, it is possible that your dog also ingested the poison.

In this case, it is important to take your dog to the vet this soon as possible. You can also take your dog to the vet to be safe and ensure that they are still in good health. 

Should I Be Worried if My Dog Killed a Squirrel and Ate It?

A dog eating a dead squirrel is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, in some cases, a dead squirrel can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can get transferred to your dog if they eat it. 

You should always consider why the squirrel died in the first place. If your dog simply attacked the squirrel and ate it after, it is likely that the squirrel was in good health.

But, if your dog found a dead squirrel, then it is likely that the squirrel may have died from a parasite or bacteria. The squirrels part guests can also develop harmful bacteria after it dies.

Therefore it is important to inspect the squirrel, if there are still remains of it, to determine its cause of death and how long it has been dead.

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Dead Mouse

Can My Dog Get Sick From Killing a Squirrel?

It is possible for your dog to get sick from killing a squirrel but it is also likely that they won’t get sick. Either way, you should monitor your dog for any usual behavior and take them to the vet as soon as they present with symptoms.

If your dog’s health is already compromised, you should take them to the vet right after they eat a squirrel. It’s possible that they may not be strong enough to handle any bacteria or parasites that they may have ingested.

If your dog is in good health, de-wormed, and up-to-date on all their shots, your dog should have a pretty good chance of not getting sick from the squirrel.

However, it is important to keep an eye on their behavior and act as soon as you notice anything unusual. This can appear as being extra tired, panting a lot, or not eating or drinking.

Can a Dog Get Sick From Eating Dead Animals?

Although dogs have stomachs of steel, eating dead animals can pose a different sort of risk. Depending on how long the animal has been dead, a certain bacteria can begin to grow on the carcass which can be extremely harmful to dogs. 

A carcass that has been contaminated by a bacteria called clostridium botulinum can cause a dog to become extremely ill.

Although botulism is rare for a dog to contract, it can have very serious side effects, including death.

Therefore, it is better to be more safe than sorry and take your dog to the vet if they have eaten a dead animal. 

Can a Dog Die From Eating a Dead Animal?

Although it is rare, it is possible for your dog to die from eating a dead animal. If the dead animal contains any harmful bacteria or parasites, or if it has been dead for a long time, this will increase your chances of your dog dying. 

If you notice your dog showing any unusual behavior, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible. You are the expert on your dog and know how they usually act.

If you notice anything unusual, do not be afraid to act upon it and bring your dog to the vet. 

Here are some signs that indicate your dog does not feel well:

  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Not eating or drinking
  • Retreating to their “safe place”
  • Panting excessively
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Appearing disoriented or “out of it”

Can Dogs Get Diseases From Squirrels?

Dogs can certainly get diseases from squirrels, but it is not always guaranteed. Regardless, squirrels can be known to carry ticks and fleas that can carry infectious diseases. 

For example, ticks can carry many dangerous diseases to dogs, sometimes deadly. Ticks can transmit certain diseases such as Lyme Disease, ehrlichiosis, and American canine hepatozoonosis.

Additionally, fleas can carry bartonellosis, tapeworms, and more.

All of these diseases can severely impact your dog’s life. The treatment course is typically very long and doesn’t always guarantee getting rid of the disease completely. 

Can a Dog Get Rabies From Licking a Dead Squirrel?

Although it is possible for your dog to get rabies from licking a dead squirrel, it is very unlikely. Rabies is not common in the western side of the world and typically, most dogs have rabies shots to protect them from this.

However, if you live in an area that has a lot of rabies, such as India, and your dog does not have a rabies shot, then it is likely that your dog may contract rabies from a dead squirrel.

If your dog is more at risk for contracting rabies, you should take a trip to the vet as soon as possible. 

Do Squirrels Carry Leptospirosis?

Squirrels do indeed carry leptospirosis. They spread the disease through their urine. If they urinated in a puddle, someone or something can contract it if they consume that water. 

Therefore, dogs are capable of contracting leptospirosis if they eat a dead squirrel. Leptospirosis is a serious disease that affects the livers and kidneys of a dog.

If it is left untreated, it can be fatal. 

What Are the Symptoms of Leptospirosis in Dogs?

Leptospirosis affects the kidneys and the liver of a dog. Therefore, common symptoms associated with acute kidney and liver failure will present when your dog has contracted leptospirosis.

Common symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs include:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Not eating 
  • Drinking excessively 
  • Severe weakness that can present as sleeping more than usual
  • Muscle pain that can present as whining when they stand up
  • Blood in their stools or urine
  • Nosebleeds

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Neighbor Tried to Poison Your Dog

Can a Dog Survive Leptospirosis?

A dog can survive leptospirosis if they are in good health and receive the right treatment. It is important to catch leptospirosis quickly before it develops into a more serious form.

Leptospirosis affects a dog’s liver and kidneys, two very important organs necessary for survival. When one organ starts to become compromised, it can affect the rest of the dog’s system.

Therefore, it is very important to treat leptospirosis in your dog as soon as possible and continue with the treatment until it is completely over. 

Do Squirrels Carry Roundworms?

Squirrels do indeed carry roundworms- not all squirrels, but many. They carry a roundworm called Viola Securus that is typically passed on through eggs in their feces.

Therefore, if your dog eats an infected squirrel with roundworms, it could possibly ingest them, as well. However, there are many medications that you can regularly give your dog to prevent roundworms. 

Symptoms that may indicate roundworms include:

  • Potbelly
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dull coat
  • Weight loss
  • Malnourishment

Do Squirrels Carry Coccidia?

Squirrels do indeed carry coccidia and transfer it through their feces. Coccidia is a single-celled organism that can cause an intestinal tract infection in your dog. 

Since coccidia affects a dog’s intestinal tract, you should look out for signs of gastrointestinal issues.

Common coccidia symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration presented as pale gums
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Abdominal discomfort and tenderness
  • Weight loss
  • Not eating or very little appetite

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Dead Squirrels

Although it may be very difficult for your dog to not get attracted to a dead animal, there are some strategies you can use to minimize the risk it will cause them.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Eating Dead Animals?

The best way to prevent your dog from eating dead animals is to teach them the “leave it” or “drop it” command. This will prevent them from keeping the dead animal in their mouth for longer than they should. 

Additionally, if you frequently take your dogs out to parks where they are so good at finding dead animals, you can also teach them a “return” command. 

When your dog starts sniffing out their next disgusting snack, you can utilize the command to have them return and then put the leash on them until you are away from the dead animal. 

Apart from basic commands, you can ensure that your yard is kept clean of dead animals before you let your dogs out. 

Can I Teach My Dog to Not Eat Dead Animals?

You can teach your dog basic commands that will help you when they find a dead animal. The “leave it” and “return” demand will work great in your favor when your dog inevitably sniffs out their next dead animal.

Keeping a dog from sniffing out a dead delicacy is pretty difficult since it is engraved in their very nature.

However, you can introduce your dog to basic commands that will prevent them from eating the dead animal and even from getting close to it.

The “leave it” command, if taught properly, will force your dog to drop the animal as soon as they put it in their mouth.

Additionally, the “return” command will force your dog to run back to you when you notice them starting to sniff out a dead animal. 

You might also enjoy our post on What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Dead Frog

My Dog Ate a Dead Mouse. What Should I Do?

If your dog ate a dead mouse, you should monitor their behavior as close as possible for at least three days. If you live in an area where mouse poison is frequently used, you should bring your dog to a vet as soon as possible.

If a mouse has been poisoned, it is likely that your dog also has ingested the poison. You should call your vet immediately and listen carefully to their instructions.

It’s possible they may have you induce vomiting before you bring your dog to the vet. 

Why Did My Dog Bring Me a Dead Squirrel?

Dogs evolved from wolves, who are born hunters. When your dog brings you a dead squirrel, they are showing off to you to prove they are also born hunters- even if they are not.

Either way, your dog is very proud of their dead squirrel and wants to show it off to their favorite thing in the world- you! 

Final Thoughts

It can be very stressful when your dog eats a dead squirrel causing you to spin into a panic. Most times, your dog is strong enough and won’t become ill from the dead squirrel.

However, it is possible that they will get sick so there is no shame in taking your dog to the vet even if nothing is wrong.

You are the expert on your pet so do what you think is best with their best interests always in your heart. 

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