Do squirrels eat dog food?

If squirrels have been sealing your doggy treats then you may have an issue on your hands. You may have noticed that whenever you leave the bowl out, squirrel’s popup out of nowhere and make off with the dog food. We know squirrels to eat acorns and nuts but in fact, their diets vary quite a bit, this article looks into if squirrels eat dog food

Squirrels do eat dog food. These animals are optimistic feeders and will eat anything they can get their paws on, including dog food. When living in human populated areas squirrels will look for food where available and this can sometimes be out in the open in your pet food trays.

Do squirrels eat dog food?

In fact, squirrels do eat dog food. Squirrels are opportunistic feeders. These small animals will eat what they have access to. They won’t think twice about grabbing a snack of any kind if it’s within their reach, even if its dog food.

These animals are classified as mainly herbivores and thus eat plant matter such as nuts, shots, fungi berries and even bark. That being said, when food sources are scarce and a squirrel is hungry it will eat animal matter and if in the vicinity of pet food it will eat pet food. In fact, they really seem to love it.

They may love it but dog food isn’t necessarily good for them. Dog food may be good for dogs but it contains animal byproducts and chemicals that squirrels aren’t used to, dog food is also processed and thus may not be good for squirrels.

The unfortunate thing is that these wild squirrels can carry diseases to your dog. What’s even more alarming is that these diseases can be passed on from your dog to your family and to the wider community.

How do you keep squirrels out of dog food?

There are a couple of steps you can take to keep squirrels out of dog food. The first option of course is to change the dog food bowl location to inside the house. Or, rather than always leaving food in the doggy bowl, put it out during feeding times when you feed your dog, remove it once the dog has finished eating.  

Next, make sure that the bowl is empty and clean if ever left outside. As an added measure sprinkle some cinnamon around the house, turns out squirrels hate the smell.

What squirrels like to eat most?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that squirrels eat dog food, even the dry, crunchy variety but they prefer plants and veggies and like nuts the most. They won’t pass up any available meal.

Sure, squirrels prefer fruits, plants, herbs, and a variety of nuts, but they are opportunistic enough to eat anything they can get in their stomachs. Squirrels will eat insects, bugs, eggs, roadkill carrion and even junk food if they can get it.

Are squirrels dangerous to my domestic pets?

Yes and no. Squirrels are not aggressors; they don’t go in search of animal prey. But if they should feel threatened or cornered, they will attack with their super sharp teeth which can make them dangerous to your pets.

In addition, squirrels have been noted as carriers for several different fungi, bacteria and even viruses. Therefore, wild squirrels can transmit illnesses onto your pets if bitten or if they share certain food sources. For example, squirrels are known to carry leptospirosis. Leptospirosis can be spread through urine into water and thereby contaminate other animals and be passed on to humans.

Can I keep a squirrel as a pet?

Yes, squirrels can be great pets. Squirrels are awesome creatures. They simply need regular veterinarian check-ups, clean safe spaces and healthy nutrition, this reduces the chances of them becoming a health risk.

Most animal agencies caution about choosing them as pets because of their susceptibility, but they also acknowledge that they’re friendly and cute pets when domesticated.


In conclusion, squirrels eat dog food and they enjoy it very much. Unfortunately, the food may not be good for them because it can contain chemicals and animal by-products that are not good for the little animal. In addition, squirrels can carry diseases to dogs.

Squirrels are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything. Squirrels can bite and infect domestic animals giving them diseases but if kept under the right conditions they can make great pets.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other squirrel related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Do squirrels eat fish?, Why does my squirrel nibble on me?, Do squirrels attack rabbits?, Why are squirrels so twitchy?

Do squirrels eat dog food?
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