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Dog jumping up to catch dog treat in air

Can birds eat dog food

If its good enough for your precise pet dog then dog food is sure to benefit wild birds that visit your garden with highly beneficial nutritional value.

If supplies are short its safe and very welcoming to feed visitors to your garden fresh dog food. Wild birds can and will eat dog food but its not guaranteed, they can be fed the wet gravy or dry pellet kind. Serve small quantities at a time but serve it high off the ground as it will attract cats or dogs into your garden.

Benefits to feeding dog food to birds that frequent your garden on a daily basis is vitamins, protein and fibre, among others.

But I have to say if you can be sure to prioritise the recommended bird feed such as peanuts, fat balls or seeds if you can.

When feeding dog food to wild birds its up to you to create a safe feeding area; so only serve dog food high up off the ground.

If feeding them the wet, gravy soaked messy kind then its recommended you use a wild bird purpose dish or bowl. Ideally with a low lip but a cereal bowl can also be used.

Bare in mind instructions outlined here can be followed to serve cat food to wild birds but strict personal hygiene must be followed at all times.

Make use of supermarket-branded dog food or try the more high quality variety if you wish; from the likes of Cesar, Lams, Bakers or Pedigree.

Life will be easier if you serve up the dog food formulated for smaller dogs.

To serve wild birds dog food remove the tin dog food from the metal, knife sharp cans and into a bowl, dish or onto a suitable surface in the garden.

Pouches will also need to be decanted but you can leave the dog food that is served in safe, aluminium trays as is.

Do not use bird feeders as it will make things more difficult than they need to be; its also worth noting you should only serve up a little dog food at a time to prevent waste and reduce the smell.

Eating dog food footage

Proof if proof is needed that garden birds, such as this daring Jay, will feed on dry dog food out of a stainless steel dog bowl.

And notice how the Jay prefers to bite on the dry dog food out of the bowl, rather than first tackle the food in the actual bowl.

To feed garden birds dog food in your garden, dry food or the wet type - its imperative to offer it in a bowl to maintain a clean feeding area.

To be sure to offer all common garden birds dog food, it would be a good idea to throw a little on the ground near by as to cater to ground feeding birds as well.

Dog food health benefits

Knowing you'll be feeding an unusual variety of food to the visiting birds to your garden requires one vital element, that is it needs to be nutritious.

Rest assured as you'll be feeding the wet or dry dog food to birds; all options contain important nutritional value.

What nutrition's is sure to benefit them the must is the all important protein and fibre; so they are set to benefit with energy to get them through the day.

What else you'll get out of feeding dog food - if you can persuade them to eat it - is vitamins and minerals.

What that means for wild birds is that there immune system is sure to work at keeping them healthy.

Types of dog food to offer

You won't be limited to a single type of dog food to feed wild birds in your garden as the variety in use depends on what you feed your pooch regularly.

Most people will for sure serve more of the gravy soaked, wet tinned dog food over say the pouch kind.

Its this type of dog food that will for sure benefit wild birds the most in terms of nutritional value if they eat away at the chunks.

Having said that all types of dog food can be used, whether its in tins or pouches, its the wet kind or dry rounded pellets.

Ingredients plays a vital role too as the tasty filling can either entice or discourage wild birds from ever trying it, so it will be a matter of trial and error.

What you might see less of is birds feeding on vegetable based dog food all while the beef, chicken or pork based dog food might be more successful.

How to serve it to wild birds

To serve the wet dog food kind to birds in your garden will require its own special bowl or low edge dish where birds are free to feed out of.

For example a simple flat small plate would be ideal for birds to perch around the rim but if not, can stand on the surface to feed.

Standard cereal bowls might be an overkill as food sat deep in the bowl could make it hard for birds to feed with ease.

So with that in mind, make sure the dog food is easily accessible to small or large birds.

Never serve dog food out of a can that needs to be opened with a tin opener. The edging can pierce skin so therefore can cause harm to birds who feed.

Therefore if it comes in a can you will need to decanter it into a bowl or dish; or on a rare occasion simply empty it onto a flat service in the garden.

That is true if serving dried food or dog food that comes in a pouch as the only course of serving up the food should always be with accessibility in mind.

Food setup in garden

Forget about serving dog food to wild birds in the garden out of the metal can that requires a tin opener to open - as I've already established.

In which case you will want to find a nice flat spot in the garden where a pile of dog food can be left alone, safe from predators but inaccessible to say a child in the garden.

If you have one be sure to take full advantage of a bird table on a stand; its hard to reach for predators - including cats and dogs - and well out of reach of children.

Alternative to that is a hanging bird feeder or a hanging bird tray open to the elements.

If its not in use very often you can also make use of a bird bath by spreading out dog food nearby, but not in a way that will contaminate the fresh drinking water.

If making use of the dog feed in trays in the form of gravy soaked or pate; simply serve up the food by lifting off the lid, while keeping it in its original packaging.

When serving dry dog food such as pellets or dog treats, be sure to crush them up a little to help the birds digest the food a little easier.

Don't make life difficult by filling up peanut or seed feeders with dog food for two reasons, one; it might discourage birds from feeding, and two; it could create a bacterial nightmare.

Bird safety applies

Feeding dog food to wild birds out in your garden is not without its drawbacks. That is where there's enticing, smelly food, it can bring unwanted predators to the garden.

Its up to you to serve the dog food in a way that is sure to not put the birds making use of your goodwill in harms way.

So what you'll need to do, and as a rule of thumb, is set up the dog food high up.

Fencing or a high wall that separates your garden from the neighbours might not be high enough as it could be a wall or fence cats occupy on a daily basis.

So think again with a hard to climb tree in the garden or a post that sits your washing line, for example.

But its products made for feeding birds that will come in more useful as they're designed to not only keep predators at bay, but are designed to take on all sorts of food.

Make use of a bird table that stands up high above the ground, or bring the dog food over to a hanging bird bath or table you might have setup elsewhere.


You can feed dog food to wild birds as its set to benefit them in times of need, but more importantly offer valuable nutrients that is sure to keep them healthy.

With the variety of dog food available you only need to offer them what you feed your own dog, but its not going to guarantee interest, or even a nipple.

Instead you can try an assortment of dog food including the kind that is wet, and soaked in gravy, or the dry type that is in pellet form or small rounded dog treats.

Ideally you will want to crush up the pellet or dog treats or biscuits so it can be digested with ease.

How you serve dog food is basically decanting the wet dog food out of a can that needs a can opener to open, as it can cause harm to the birds themselves.

If bought in a pouch it will also need to be emptied into a bowl or dish, or why not pour it out directly onto a flat surface.

If making use of a small, yet cheap tray variety then you would be fine serving it directly out of the lightweight, yet safe from hazards tray.

Avoid making life hard on yourself and the visiting birds by NOT serving dog food in bird feeders intended for specialist bird feed.

Instead simply pile up small quantity of dog food on a flat surface - preferably in a shaded area - while allowing the birds to freely come and go.

Bird safety is paramount so make sure your personal setup is high up and away from predators such as cats and dogs on the ground.

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