Should you let your dog eat a squirrel?

Yesterday my neighbors dog caught a squirrel in their backyard. The owner saw it and made the dog give it up.

Question: Would it be good or bad to actually let the dog eat the squirrel? Would they get sick or anything?

You do know that dogs are predators, right? And that squirrels are much closer to their natural diet than bags of dried chunks made from grain and offal?

Sure. Predators also live sad, hungry, short lives. Sometimes because they eat wild prey with one or several of the terrible diseases they carry.

So I’m going with no. Eating wildlife is a ticket to the shit lottery.

I’d be more worried if my dog got a hold of an olde squirrel carcass and wasn’t up to date on her shots. But as for catching one and eating it, not really.

Then if you want to avoid having your dog interact with nature in any way make sure that you either 1.) lock it in your house 24 hours a day or 2.) quit your job and follow your dog around outside at all times. Heaven help a dog acting like a dog.

Wait, you leave your dog outside with no supervision?

Not a dog person, but people who do have dogs around here absolutely do leave them outside without supervision 24/7, either in a fence or on a runner–either of which allow squirrel access.

I do have cats that are inside/outside that sometimes bring parts of squirrels from the outside to the inside.

I wouldn’t let my dog fully consume a squirrel. I’m sure they wouldn’t be interested in eating ALL the bones and fur but I don’t want them eating bones and fur, period.

My current dogs and past dog have killed over a dozen animals that I can think of, and the only real fallout I’ve noticed is the time my Dolly got fleas from killing a rabbit in the winter (fleas live on rabbits in the winter!) As far as I know, no one has gotten to the point where they’re chomping on bones (I do a lot of cleanup…)

In this past week my Grady has killed a bird, a turtle and some baby bunnies. All of them within my fenced-in yard. It suuuuuuucks, but that’s life. I know that he’s eaten some organs. He’s been ok.

When our dog caught a squirrel I made her drop it (it was still alive and ran up a tree, minus half its tail). I would have no problem with her eating a country squirrel, but not a city squirrel.

Squirrels can have a form of mad cow disease so I wouldn’t let my dog eat one.

I have a Parson Russell Terrier and they were breed over many years to chase down small furry animals. When I take him out daily for a walk in the woods he is ALWAYS on the lookout for something to chase, and whether it’s a mouse, squirrel or fox doesn’t matter. 99 times out of 100 the prey escapes by either going up a tree or down a hole, but once is a great while he is able to corner one. The last time this happened was with a chipmunk in my backyard and I was there to watch it. I let him catch the prey, but when he had it pinned to the ground I called him off and the chipmunk headed up the nearest tree. Hunting, chasing and catching are fine, but eating is another thing. Since he is well fed it’s not like he’s hungry and needs the extra protein in his diet, plus as has been mentioned previously small critters sometimes carry disease.

There is a difference between letting your dog interact with nature and letting it eat random wild animals. Odd are they will be fine, but a) squirrels can carry diseases like tularemia and leptospirosis which are transmitted via bodily fluids and can kill your pet and b) dogs used to a steady diet of dog food may find their stomach doing flips. Mother nature doesn’t care if a dog is barfing or has a massive attack of diarrhea in your living room, but quite a few owners do.

The Killers chank one down now and then, and yes, sometimes it makes them sick, but usually not. Mostly mice, pack-rats and little ground squirrels.

If I can prevent it, I don’t let them. But sometimes they are just too fast. Doxie is the worst. He won’t let them loose. The rest are pretty cool with just killing them, and once dead, will let me take them away.

Dixie whacked two in about 10 minutes just the other day. Good Girl!

If you really want to see something funny, watch one taste a toad.


Just now, I’m sitting here reading the thread about the worst cartoons, and Doxie is sitting in his cardboard box under the table (we are worried he might be backsliding on the IVDD :eek: ) when he LEAPS out of the box, and nails a mousy-mouse! Right here in the house!*

He gave it up, and got a treat in exchange an a hearty, “Atta-Boy!”.

Good Dog!

*Wife be Buggin’!

Ol’Doxie the cat! I hope his back calms down. I can’t imagine leaping out of box is a good thing. But, he’s a good weenie!
My dogs can’t catch a leaf in the breeze.

My dog killed a possum then drug it into his crate so I wouldn’t find him. He did such a good job of picking those bones clean that the thing didn’t even smell when I eventually found the skeletal remains in his crate.

That said, I wouldn’t just let him eat a critter if I found him doing so.