Can Birds Make Dogs Sick? Risks of Every Situation and What to Do

As a dog owner, I worry about taking my pup to the park due to the many small animals there and despite the fact that they will drive my dog nuts, that wasn’t my biggest problem.

I worry that one of the many birds there may make my dog sick because I didn’t know if birds can carry diseases and transmit them to dogs or not so naturally I started reading about the issue and here is everything that you need to know.

Can birds make dogs sick? Birds can make dogs sick but only if your pup licks or ingest the bird’s poop, they can get Avian flu or parasitic disease, however, that doesn’t mean that any physical contact with a bird will get your dog sick and just to be safe, prevent your dog from eating or drinking from bird’s water or food.

Keep reading to learn more about how birds make dogs sick? And what diseases can birds transfer to dogs?

How Can Birds Make Dogs Sick? 

sick dog to show how can birds make dogs sick

Birds can make dogs sick by the Histoplasmosis Capsulatum fungus, dogs tend to ingest that fungus which usually exists in bird poop or in soil.

Your dog can get infected by that fungus by inhaling it as well because it will enter their intestinal tract then their condition may become even worse and that’s why you should take your pup to the vet as soon as possible. You can learn how to stop your dog from eating everything here.

What Diseases Can Birds Transfer to Dogs? 

Birds can transfer to dogs diseases and infections such as salmonella spp, Giardia spp, Histoplasma capsulatum, cryptococcus neoformans, mycobacterium spp, chlamydophila psittaci, avian influenza, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, aspergillus spp, and cryptosporidium spp (SPP stands for Species pluralis which is a Latin abbreviation for multiple species, meaning it can infect more than one species). 

Can Bird Droppings Make Dogs Sick? 

Yes, bird droppings can make dogs sick, there is a kind of fungus that can be found in bird droppings and contaminated soil, it’s called Histoplasma capsulatum fungus.

Your dog can get the fungus by not only eating but also by inhaling it when the fungus enter’s their intestinal tract, it’s going to make your dog feel unwell so you can expect your pup to vomit or have diarrhea. 

Can Dogs Get Parvo from Birds? 

Yes, there is a great possibility of your dog getting parvo when they have any direct interaction with a bird stool but only in that matter so it doesn’t mean that any interaction with a bird will get them sick or if your dog drinks from the bird’s water.

What happens if your dog eats a bird? 

Most dogs will not eat a living bird so if they are going to eat a bird, usually, it’s going to be a dead bird.

So what happens if your dog eats a dead bird? Well, first of all, you should definitely take them to the vet, or at least call their vet to let them know what happened because they already know about your pup’s history and their advice will be based on that.

However, if your dog did eat a bird you should expect one or a few of these signs.

  • Appetite loss
  • Diarrhea 
  • Dehydration 
  • Weakness 
  • Signs of abdominal pain 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lethargy 

There are multiple health risks if your dog eats a bird.

One: if the bird ingested a poison or any kind of toxins then the bird could still have the toxins in their digestive system and it will affect your dog but it depends on your dog’s size and the amount of the poison.

Two: botulism (in ducks and gulls), histoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, chlamydia psittaci, or worst of all salmonella.

What happens if your dog eats bird food? 

When a dog eats bird food, it upsets their stomach, and the seeds can cause a blockage in their intestinal tract.

The bird food can also lead to bloat which needs attention from their vet as soon as possible.

If you have a bird and are worried about your dog eating their food, maybe you should consider a couple of things: let them eat in separate places or get your birds one of the special bowls that will not allow your pup to eat from.

Can dogs and birds live together? 

Yes, dogs and birds can live together if you can take some precautions such as never leave your bird with your dog alone (without supervising), however, if you introduce your two pets in the right way and find a proper activity for both of them to share.

Both of the pets need to be properly socialized together so they can get along well. You can get step-by-step instructions on how to help dogs and birds to live peacefully together in the same house in my guide on golden retrievers and chickens here.

Yes, the same instructions will still apply for any dog, I just happen to write about goldens and chickens coz that’s been my own experience.

How do you stop a dog from attacking a bird?

Most dogs can be easily triggered by small animals such as squirrels or birds and unless your dog is trained when they are puppies to not run after them then your dog can easily leave you in the park to chase a squirrel or attack a bird.

So how do you stop your pup when you notice that they are going to attack a bird, first of all, you should immediately say leave it or stop and ask them to come (only if your dog knows the basic commands) but if they are not trained, you can distract them with a toy or treats.

You can learn how to help your dog live with smaller animals here in much more detail.

If you liked this article and found it useful then please share it with your friends and family, also, if you have any questions about your pup, don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you want 😀

Related Questions 

Do Birds attack dogs? 

Yes, some birds do attack dogs, especially small puppies or miniature breeds, however, birds don’t just attack dogs for fun, they will only do it if your pup comes close to their nest or your dog attacks them first.

Do Birds carry rabies? 

No, birds cannot carry rabies, rabies is mostly in wild animals and not in small animals like snakes, squirrels, rats, mice, and hamsters because rabies is an infectious disease of warm-blooded animals so birds and cold-blooded animals will not be infected.

Helpful Resources 

Fungal Infection (Histoplasmosis) in Dogs

Disease transmission from companion parrots to dogs and cats: what is the real risk?

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

Recent Posts