There seems to be little information available on which wild birds will eat dry dog food.  However, I suspect the list of birds that dine on dry dog food is longer than we may realize. The problem is few people have experimented offering this food to their feathered neighbors.   

         I have rarely intentionally fed dog food to birds. However, on a number of occasions I have seen American crows and common grackles toting off chunks of dog food left behind by our family dogs.  In some cases, the birds carried the food to a nearby birdbath where they thoroughly doused the chunks of food in water before trying to eat them.

        Others have reported house sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, common ground doves, eastern bluebirds, blue jays, and European starlings will eat dry dog food. 

American Crow feeding on dog food.

        I honestly believe if dry dog food were offered more often in feeders, the list of birds known to eat this unusual food offering would be considerably longer. 

       When you think about it, there is no reason why dry dog food should not be popular with wild birds.  Major brands of dog food contain protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.  In fact, some dog foods are probably more nutritionally balanced than some of the food they typically consume.   

        Why don’t you join me in this mini experiment?  Perhaps we will learn something about the merits of feeding dry dog food to birds. 



  1. I like this idea. Once or twice I have seen sparrows stealing cat food from under my carport where I feed the feral cats.

  2. Many years ago, i raised up a fledgling american crow by feeding him a mash made from Purina puppy chow and water. He grew up to be a great free range pet until the end of that summer, at which time he moved off to known whereabouts.

  3. I filled my sunflower seed feeder with regular dog kibble and I have ruffled titmouse, chickadees and junco. Nov.09 2019. A good way not to waste dog food as mine has a skin allergy and needed special food.

    • Birds come up on our porch and eat the dry dog food. Cardinals, blue jays and many other kind. I’ve even had a cardinal to come to my window to let me know they were out. So much fun to watch them. The dog doesn’t bother them

  4. I just observed an American Robin eating dry dogfood that had been softened by the rain. It surprised me as I only thought crows ate it.

  5. Every end of Spring / beginning of Summer we have Common Grackles that will eat our dry dog food all day everyday. It is so hilarious to watch. My boys get a kick out of it and say “the bird is stealing our dogs food again”. The Grackles land on the railing of our deck and scope pf the area around first to make sure no one is watching and then the get closer and closer to the food and finally grab a piece and fly away only to come right back for more. These Grackles have been chowing down and eating them dry. We have the Canadae All Stages of Life dog food.

    • Wow, That is quite a story. I have never heard them eating so much food over such a long period of time. While grackles sometime eat dog food here, American crows are the birds that eat the most.

  6. We go to the park where everyone feeds the birds and water turtles bread. We accidentally bought a large bag of puppy food instead of our dogs normal food. So i brought it to the park and ducks, ibis, seagulls and other birds couldn’t get enough. They were fighting over it, stepping on the turtles backs to get it. I don’t think the poor turtles got any.

    • That is a great story–it makes me convinced that gull will just about anything. I will add sparrows and gulls to my list of critters that eat dogfood. Thanks for sharing it.


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