My Dog Ate Blood Will He Get Sick?

By Julie •  Updated: 01/25/21 •  3 min read
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Have you been out walking your dog and come across something horrible? We’re talking about coming upon a dead animal carcass, which has blood and all. Some people have experienced this, with their dogs heading off to the carcass with lightning speed. Nothing will draw a dog faster than what might be a meal to them. Yuck!

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What happens if your dog licks up some of the blood from that dead animal? Will your dog get sick?

Wolves in Nature

Let’s take a look at wild canines, such as wolves. Living in nature, wolves usually don’t have access to dog food, treats, and more. Instead, they must hunt for their food. When a pack of wolves kills prey, they will begin to eat it, blood and all.

Eating all parts of the animal carcass is necessary for wolves. When wolves eat the entire carcass, they don’t become ill, even from the blood. At least in most cases.

Dogs & Wolves Have a Lot in Common

Remember that your dog and wolves share about 99.9% of their DNA. Your dog’s wild ancestors were wolves. They caught and killed prey, eating most of the animal to survive. So, dogs may still have this drive, too.

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While dogs are well-fed and cared for, they still share that DNA with wolves. Dogs will be attracted to dead animals and blood. There’s no way to get around that fact. It’s only natural when a dog rushes over to a dead animal and tries to eat it, blood and all.

Can My Dog Get Sick from Eating Blood?

In most cases, the answer is no, especially if your dog is healthy. However, it is possible your dog could pick up a bacterial infection, parasites, and viruses from the blood and the carcass. It just depends on if the dead animal was a carrier or not.

If your dog has too much blood, it’s possible he could develop gastrointestinal issues. This includes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This should be short-lived.

However, if your dog were to develop any concerning symptoms after drinking blood, then it’s time to call the vet. And always call the vet if you have any concerns, even if your fur baby isn’t showing any strange symptoms.

Remember, it’s always best to keep your dog on a leash when out walking. That way he won’t be able to go over and snack on a carcass in the woods! You can control him with the leash and hopefully walk by without too much trouble.

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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