Dog owners urged to avoid feeding birds

Dog owners have been urged to avoid feeding birds in the gardens because the seeds can be toxic to pets.

Experts are advising owners to steer clear of bird food as it can cause sickness in their four-legged friends.

Feeding birds enhances the garden biodiversity, playing a vital role in pest control and is a great way to connect with wildlife.

Although feeding birds in the garden has many benefits, dog owners must be aware of the risks it poses to their pups.

Many ground and table bird seed mixes contain raisins, sultanas and currants, which are toxic to dogs and can cause sickness, diarrhoea and acute kidney failure.

Although it is common knowledge grapes can make a dog poorly if consumed, the dried versions, raisins, are much more toxic.

Other symptoms of raisin poisoning include a lack of appetite, blood in the urine and weakness or wobbling when walking.

In extreme cases, the consumption of them can cause extreme symptoms that could lead to death.

Besides dried fruits, there are other risks for dogs who consume bird food because of mould and bacteria.

Mouldy seeds create toxic chemicals called natural hepatotoxins which can cause liver damage in animals if consumed.

There is also a high likelihood that the bird seeds placed on a bird feeder will contain nasty bacteria and parasites from bird faeces.

If a dog consumes seeds with nasty bacteria, it could lead to discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Eating bird food in large volumes could lead to internal blockages and bloating which may require a hospital trip to remove the blockage.

A spokesperson for Garden Buildings Direct said: “We know many homeowners enjoy feeding birds in their gardens because it promotes wildlife and creates a sense of relaxation.

“Although we encourage people with a garden to feed their birds, those with a dog should steer clear.

“Consuming bird food could make dogs extremely ill, causing sickness, diarrhoea and pain leaving them needing emergency surgery.

“In extreme cases, the consumption of bird food that contains dried fruits like raisins could lead to liver failure and death.

“If your dog consumes bird food containing raisins, currants or sultanas, we encourage you to contact your nearest vet immediately.

“Dogs could also get very poorly if they consume bird food with bacteria or mould growth.

“Gardeners who still want to feed birds despite having a dog should ensure their bird feeders are screwed up high so they are unreachable and ensure they are regularly collecting any bird food which has fallen on the floor. Also, avoid anything with dried fruit.”

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