My Dog Ate an Entire Squirrel: Do I Care?

My SO informed me that my dog ate an entire squirrel this afternoon. He caught it and killed it, so she thought he might as well eat it.

He’s up on all of his shots etc. He may be a bit more pleased w/ himself than usual, (hard to say), but other than that he’s fine.

He’d been abandoned in a rural area as a pup. I suspect that this isn’t the first meal he’s killed himself.

We live in a rurban/subrural area and there’s plenty of mast about, so I don’t think that he squirrels around here’re trash eaters.

How at risk is he of getting parasites, disease or worse? Should I be worried about his health?

If so, what warning signs/tests should I be mindful of?

I wouldn’t worry too much. Dogs are designed to hunt and eat prey. The risk is no more than it would be for an animal in the wild. Wild dogs don’t eat Alpo™ every day, you know.

Keep an eye over him for the next couple of days to make sure none of the squirrel’s bones have punctured or become lodged in the intestines. Other than that, all should be well.

Watch for bloody stool, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, or straining continually but producing little stool.

Look for fleas, too. My doggy got a rabbit in the dead of winter and played with it for an hour, and got fleas somethin’ terrible!

She caught another rabbit a few weeks later, ate its eye but got no fleas or stomach problems.

Would you have preferred that he eat just half and put the other half in the fridge for sandwiches the next day?


I’d look out for bones, too, and I’d hope the squirrel didn’t contain rabies. If he is up on all his shots, though, the bones would worry me a lot more.

Damn. My dog is jealous! He chases squirrels all the time and hasn’t ever come close to catching one – probably because he starts yapping his head off as soon as he clears the doorway and, by the time he hits the deck stairs, all the squirrels have scampered up the trees, where they sit, thumbing their noses at him.

“Do you care?”… well, I suppose that really depends on how badly YOU wanted to eat that yummy squirrel…

My dog (18 lb. miniature American Eskimo) ate about half a squirrel he caught and got a sliver of bone stuck in his upper palate. He actually came to me to pull it out straightaway, though, and it didn’t infect.

We went squirrel hunting once and that was enough. The three we shot were absolutely covered in fleas.

Unless you want to be singing the song, you might better get your pooch dipped.

Raw bones aren’t generally an issue in regards to intestinal punctures, etc. Bones are generally pulverized beyond recognition before even being swallowed and dogs have a very short and extremely acidic digestive system, evolved entirely to digest meat and bones. I wouldn’t worry about it, except perhaps the flea issue.

I knew that his digestive system was equiped for the squirrel itself, I was just worried about the critters that might be living in the squirrel. from the story I heard, he crunched it up pretty good while it was still in it’s skin before he set about eating it. Apparently, he ate the fur, guts, skull and everything. I expected it would be different than that. I guess he doesn’t understand the niceties of just eating the muscle meat.

Jess, I suspect that he was abandoned fairly early on. He was just less than a year old when I got him, (vet estimate). HE’d been coming around my SO’s mom’s house with a group of other dogs, wild ones. She noticed that unlike the others, he had a collar on. She went out one night with some cheese when she heard them around and called and whistled. He came up out of the brush a bit. She threw some sheese at him and that began their relationship. She took out ads and whatnot, but no one came to claim him. Since she had a dog already, and we needed another dog, I took him. So, I suspect that he might’ve learned how to catch the little boogers ‘back in the day.’ Maybe he just got lucky though. He stalks birds that come to my SO’s bird feeder. He hunkers donw and creeps. There’s hardly any grass in our back yard though, poor guy.

I’d be worried that the dog might take to hunting neighborhood pets if he has a taste for frsh meat like that.

Interesting point. I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time one of them piss me off. :wink:

Our two older dogs have routinely eaten much worse than that for years. One is 12 and the other 14.

We try not to let them lick us much.

My dog (an 8 pound rat terrier/jack russel mix) has probably killed and eaten at leat 2 dozen squirrels in the past 4 years. She’s murder on them. We have 4 pear trees, a plum tree and 2 pecan trees so the squirrels just can’t resist. Our dog lays in wait at a point where she can view the entire yard and then springs into action when the squirrels come in. The grossest part of it all is that she likes to roll around in her kill and get dead squirrel scent all over her. Needless to say its a lot of baths for her.

OTOH squirrel does make a great gumbo. Throw in a couple of ducks and man oh man you have some good eatin.

No parasite problems I take it?

That’s all I really worry about?


That’s all I’m really worried about.