We all like to see the birds in the yard, and many of us have set up feeders in the yard to watch them and offer up good things to eat. One thing though that we should be aware of is that the food is for the birds and not good for our dogs.
Dogs often too much of it at one time, potentially causing an upset stomach or even an obstruction. Too much is irritating and very space filling in the intestinal tract. When things potential block the guts, then we also worry about bloat (twisted intestines or stomach), which is a very serious concern needing immediate veterinary care.
Seeds are tougher to digest, especially in copious quantities and if they are mixed with any suet, could again be an issue, due to all the fat the body will be trying to digest. Wet or old seeds can easily harbour mold, another source of possible gut irritation.
Where there are birds eating seed, there are likely to be bird droppings as well. We don’t want the dogs to be eating these, as they may contain any number of bacteria and parasites that could be passed on to dogs. The most common being salmonella, these can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
The best way to avoid this is to keep your dog away from the feeders and that area and remember, it is just “for the birds.”
Written by Manitou Animal Hospital