You may have noticed your dog sniffing around and eating the remains of other animals including rabbits, ducks, and chickens.
Consensus says that it could be harmful for your dog to ingest chicken excrement due to the types of bacteria that are found in chickens. From them, diseases and viruses could invade your dog via the chicken’s potentially unhealthy remains.
Ingestion of the animal feces could render it harmful to your dog, so keep reading to learn more about why it can be bad for your dog to eat chicken poop.
Is Chicken Poop Toxic?
Yes, chicken poop is toxic and your dog should not eat it. It’s best to keep your dog away from eating chicken poop; why? Because of the level of toxicity that the chicken poop has.
At full capacity, the remains of a chicken has the capability to accept, grow, and house various types of bacteria and viruses that can manifest themselves within the feces. Once released from the chicken, although the poop is no longer viable, the microorganisms that cause the chicken poop to be toxic still live.
These microbes are all different and can either strengthen or weaken the effect it has on its new potential host – your dog! If you are experiencing your dog eating chicken poop, be aware of the symptoms that they can receive from their stinky meal because it could all be related to the chicken feces that it has recently ingested.
If you don’t see it happening, then there isn’t much you can do to stop it, but be sure to always give your dog plenty of water to help flush out the bacterium from their system.
Can a Dog Get Sick From Eating Chicken Poop?
If chicken poop is toxic and your dog eats the toxic poop, will it get sick? You can bet your bottom dollar that your dog can get sick from eating chicken poop.
As stated earlier, chicken poop is toxic because of the microbes that live in the feces that create bacteria and viruses that make your dog sick. If this is your previous or current experience with your dog eating chicken remains, you’ve probably witnessed the symptoms of your dog’s ailment.
Some of the symptoms of your dog eating chicken poop include loss of appetite or refusal to eat, excessive drinking of water, and an upset stomach; while other symptoms include sudden regurgitation of the poop itself. These effects are not harmful to your dog as they will clear out within a day or two.
If your dog continues to ingest the feces, they could become sick with illnesses like coccidia and parvovirus, which is highly contagious. You can relax because these diseases aren’t spread from human to dog, but illness is an observable reason to take your dog to their veterinarian as soon as you can.
Can My Dog Get Worms From Eating Chicken Poop?
Yes, your dog can get worms from eating chicken poop.
How? Either the remains from the chicken carried significant microbes that allowed for worm eggs to grow and hatch in your dog’s intestinal tract, or the eggs were transferred from the feces of the chicken to the dog. The latter insist that it was the chicken that had worms and that the little buggers were still alive in the poop when your dog ate it.
Let’s go a little deeper; unfortunately, your dog can develop various types of worms from one helping of a chicken’s fecal matter! One of the worms that can develop in the body of your dog after it enjoys its meal are hookworms, which have small, sharp teeth-like appendages that latch onto your dog’s intestines.
There’s also the tapeworm, which will drive your dog to want to ingest as much food as it can to nourish itself. A third type is the roundworm, which is the most common.
Luckily, these worms can be taken care of with antibiotics from their veterinarian.
Can Dogs Get Giardia From Chicken Poop?
Unfortunately, it is possible for your dog to obtain giardia from chicken poop. You may be thinking to yourself “what is giardia?” Well, allow me to explain.
Giardia – better known as giardiasis – is a parasite that starts off as a weakling, but with nutrients and stability on the intestines, the parasite has the capability to grow strong enough to overrun your dog’s immune system!
The parasite is typically passed from chicken to chicken by way of the roosters and hens pecking at their poop, which is most likely infected with the parasite. And if the dog then comes into contact with the fecal matter, the parasite will then travel to its new host.
Also, by “contact” I mean touching anything that has the parasite in it, like poop, biological fluids, drinking water and even the soil that your dog plays in. Fortunately, the disease cannot be passed by blood because the parasite cannot access the bloodstream.
You should know that this parasite can be spread from animals to humans, so use proper protective equipment when cleaning poop from your dog’s affected areas.
Does All Chicken Poop Have Salmonella?
Most chicken poop, along with other birds such as geese, ducks, and pigeons, carry the salmonella germs. In chickens, you can find it on their feathers, on their skin, their intestinal tract, as well as in their stomach and on their beaks.
Salmonella is a bacterial disease that lives in and affects the gastro-intestinal muscles of many animals, especially birds. It’s approximated by the Minnesota Department of Health that nearly 40,000 cases of salmonellosis is reported in the United States, with most cases coming from chicken incidences.
As you can see, your dog is at stake of contracting such a disease if it even attempts to take a piece of that poop! Salmonella is the largest risk of disease to be concerned about if your dog has been ingesting dog poop, mainly because it’s so abundant within chickens and it takes form in your dog faster once it is ingested.
To tell if all chicken poop has salmonella in it is nearly impossible, but to be on the safe side, it’s better to presume that it does and keep your dog away from it.
What To Do If My Dog Ate Chicken Poop?
If you have noticed your dog sniffing around the coop and licking up dark substances, chances are that is chicken poop and there’s not much you can do to stop it once it’s on their tongue.
After you’ve confirmed that they did ingest chicken poop, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on your dog’s behavior for any changes in their daily activity. Some changes that may occur is moaning and whining from having an upset stomach, and lethargy from not feeling well.
You can also check for vomiting and diarrhea, which are two major symptoms of possible illness from ingesting chicken poop. If these symptoms persist more than two days, take your dog to their veterinarian to have them checked out for any of the diseases or worms that I mentioned earlier.
If there is an issue, your veterinarian will prescribe the proper medication to help alleviate your dog of their illness and lessen the strength of their symptoms in the meantime.
Why Does My Dog Eat Chicken Poop?
Surprisingly, there are several reasons as to why your dog enjoys chicken poop. For starters, it’s their natural instinct to eat feces to cover their scent to prevent their predators from hunting them.
Let’s also add the fact that your dog may simply be bored and left to their own devices while left outside alone. Another reason why your dog will eat chicken poop is for the nutrients. Dogs can lack in the B1 vitamin or potassium, which they think they will receive from the remains of another animal that may carry what they are looking for.
Interestingly, like many humans, dogs can have anxiety too! Their way of ridding themselves of it is to clean up their area by using their tongue and mouth as their very own broom and dustpan.
Additionally, there’s attention; dogs are known for being defiant to receive the least bit of interaction from their caregiver, even though they are unaware of their health being at risk. In the end, dog’s just like to eat chicken poop and it seems to be a disturbing, yet natural process for them.
How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Chicken Poop?
The easiest way to keep your dog from eating chicken poop is to keep your dog away from chickens and their living coops. Dogs are playful and instinctual, and will do what they will for interaction and sustenance, including eating their fellow animals poop.
Another way of refraining your dog from ingesting chicken poop is to clean around the coops – and poops – of the chickens. Before letting your dog outside, scan the area and discard any loose fecal matter that you can find.
You can also engage your dog with exercise to tire them out and keep them focused on you, while obedience training is an option to enhance their listening skills for when you give them a direct order.
For nutritional purposes, you feed your dog a banana or two for extra potassium and provide them with B1 supplements for increased mineral value. If all else fails, you can always place a friendly muzzle on your dog while they are outside alone to keep them from feasting on chicken poop.