Spring is the perfect season to get your backyard bird feeder up and running again, but what if your four-legged family member decides the seed is not just for the birds? While eating like a bird is unlikely to cause problems for your pooch, gorging on birdseed could lead to gastrointestinal obstruction. Some dogs just don’t know when to stop, and chowing down on a bag full of seeds can clog up his intestines, leading to some pretty hefty veterinary bills. Vets generally try to avoid surgery in such cases, but the cost of hospitalization for fluid therapy and enemas can really add up.
Two other rare complications can occur when pets snack on birdseed:
• old birdseed or seed that has been on the ground for a while may contain mold toxins that could cause liver damage.
• ingested birdseed could ferment in the intestinal tract, causing bloating or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Fermented birdseed might even make your dog drunk!
While it’s rare for pets to have a negative reaction from a seedy snack here or there, keep a close eye to make sure he doesn’t consider the birdseed bag his own personal feedbag. You’ll avoid having to fly your strange bird to the vet unexpectedly!