My Dog Ate Something Dead What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 03/17/21 •  3 min read
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Dogs love to eat all kinds of things. This can include a rock, socks or other clothing, and so much more. However, there are times when dogs will eat the grossest things, such a something that’s dead. Why on earth would a dog eat something that’s died?

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Dogs Eat Dead Things

Dogs are classified as non-discretionary eaters. What does this mean? It’s a term that means dogs eat anything and everything! They have no discretion at all. If something catches their fancy, they’ll eat it! But why on earth would they eat something dead?

It’s in their genes, for one thing. Wild canines are opportunistic eaters, which means they’ll eat whatever’s around, including a dead animal they may find. Dogs are also scavengers, so it makes sense they eat dead things. While it doesn’t make sense to us, dogs have been eating dead things for thousands of years.

What about the smell? To us, the smell of something dead is awful. But to your dog, the smell may be something that smells good or at least interesting. So, we’ll just leave it at that. Some scents are more intriguing to dogs than they are to us.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

So, when a dog comes upon a dead animal, their natural instincts may kick in, even if they’re well-fed. It doesn’t matter. Your dog’s instinct is to examine this thing. If your dog likes it, then it may go down the gullet before you can even tell him to drop it!

Is It Possible the Dead Animal Can Make my Dog Sick?

Yes, it is possible the dead thing could make your fur baby ill. Roadkill and other dead animals may have been around for a while and can be infected with a wide range of bacterial and viral pathogens. These may include:

What Should I Do if my Dog Ate Something Dead?

The first thing is to stay calm. Next, take notes on when your dog ate the dead animal, how much of the animal your dog ate, and what type of animal it may have been. You may also want to include information on the location where this happened. Were you in the forest, at the dog park, or in your yard when your dog ate the dead thing?

It’s OK if you don’t have definitive information on this. Then call the vet and let them know what’s happened. They’ll want the information you’ve taken down.

From the information you’ve provided, the vet will let you know whether or not your fur baby needs to come in right away. If not, then the vet will give you information on symptoms to watch for in case your dog becomes sick.

In many cases, your dog may be OK; however, it’s always best to call the vet and get their guidance on what needs to be done next.

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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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