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Symptoms of eating goose poop

My Dog Ate Goose Poop

Is It Normal For Dogs To Eat Goose Poop?

My dog ate goose poop! Now you are wondering if you should panic?! No, you shouldn’t panic, “it is really unlikely that a dog would get sick from eating goose feces”-Dr Marie From Ask A Vet. Most of the time a dog’s intestinal tract is pretty resilient to a bacterial infection.

My Dog Ate Goose Poop

Medical Issues

There is a rare neurological disease called Canine Deterrent Palatability. This disease causes dogs to lose their sense of smell and taste. This makes it so that they eat things that are harmful because they have lost the ability to know what is bad for them.


This will usually only happen to senior dogs over the age of ten. Dogs whose teeth are missing or wearing down have a hard time chewing kibble. As a result, they want to eat things that are softer and easier to chew like goose poop, grass, or leaves.

A lack of glucose can cause your dog’s appetite to increase. This leads to excessive food intake. Also, diabetes prevents the stomach from absorbing liquids. This causes the dog to not only eat a lot but to drink a lot. Your dog might be eating goose poop because its wet, squishy and provides hydration.

It is not unusual for dogs to have parasitic worms. Most of the time this will cause them to eat their poop because the parasites are leashing the nutrients. A dog may eat poop to try to compensate for this.

This is a disease that affects senior dogs (over the age of seven). Over production of cortisol is the cause of Cushing’s disease. It increases a dog’s appetite because cortisol is a hunger hormone. This makes your dog more likely eat poop.v

Steroids increase a dog’s appetite and poop is one food source that is easy to find.

Diet Issues

Deficiency of certain vitamins in your dog’s diet is one of the main reasons why dog’s eat poop. For the past fifty years or so commercial dog food has been pre-packaged and processed. Some processed food is lacking certain ingredients found in natural foods. Experts believe that this lack of nutrients may be behind the increase rate of dogs eating poop. Some boutique kibble is not balanced and lacks nutrients. While many of the boutique kibbles are high in protein, they lack key vitamins. This could explain why dogs who eat goose poop often tend to crave other things like grass or leaves. 

Let’s start with the most common one, Vitamin A. A lack of vitamin A can cause a dryness of the mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, throat, and intestines. This makes eating poop more likely because it has small amounts of Vitamin A.

Next, we have an enzyme called Amylase. Amylase is in the saliva and helps break down starch. Starch turns into energy and dogs who lack this enzyme are lethargic. There are high amounts of amylase in grass, leaves and poop

If your dog is low on Zinc, they have a hard time breaking down their kibble all at once. This makes poop a better choice than kibble because its everywhere and they can pace themselves.


Some dogs eat goose poop due to social learning. This is especially common in puppies who use social cues to survive. If this is the case, they will usually grow out of it. 

Dog’s sense of smell is between 10,000-to-1000,00-time smore acute than ours. They can smell all the individual parts of the poop. Geese eat a diet of grass, seeds, and natural foods. This makes goose poop seem very appealing.

Curiosity has led dogs to eat all sorts of things. This includes rocks, grass, leaves, sticks, dirt, rabbit poop, deer poop, squirrel poop and of course goose poop. But this is usually only the case for puppies. Dogs usually experience it once and decide if they like it or not.

A dog can’t tell the difference between a small piece of poop and a tasty treat. In their mind, poop is kibble. They lick it up without evening tasting it (much like some dogs do with kibble).

Dogs are scavengers. When they are hungry their natural behavior kicks in. They will go after anything that might have enough nutrients to satisfy them. Therefore, you will often see dog’s eating poop, grass or leaves when it is time to eat.  

Dogs under stress will often eat their poop. This is common in both puppies and adult dogs. They are trying to calm down by stimulating their brain. When they eat their brain releases happy hormones.

My Australian shepherd will eat sheep poop when we are herding. This is because he does not understand what I am asking. It is a distraction behavior.

Why Eating Goose Poop Can Harm Your Dog?

Are you worried because “my dog ate goose poop”? Eating goose poop can be harmful to your dog because of parasites and bacteria. For the most part, dogs who eat goose poop are not at risk for any real long-term problems. They may have an upset stomach. If your dog ate enough of the parasites or bacteria he could be at harm. Medicine may be needed if the dog ingested large amounts of the parasites or bacteria.

Bacteria In Goose Poop

E. coli is a type bacteria found in goose poop.


These can cause vomiting and diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps after a dog eats it. There is a risk of toxin and infection when dogs eat goose poop.


Vets prescribe antibiotics to treat the E. coli infection. Treatment last between 5-10 days.

This is a type of bacteria that is found in both raw meat and animal poop. If your dog eats goose poop, then they could become ill with this disease.


Campylobacteria causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever.


It usually goes away on its own, but it can sometimes be fatal too. It is best to contact your vet immediately. Vets prescribe antibiotics like erythromycin

Salmonella is a bacterium that infects geese and can pose a danger to your dog if they eat their poop. Salmonella is responsible for causing food poisoning.


This leads to diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If the salmonella is not expelled from the dog’s body, then the infection will become chronic. This could cause arthritis or pancreatitis.


The antibiotic most frequently used in the Salmonella-positive dogs was metronidazole.

Since listeria is a bacterium that is found soil, water and some food sources it can be relatively easy for your dog to be exposed to and become infected.


Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and more.


This can be very serious in some cases but the good news is that the infection is treatable with antibiotics


Dogs may also contract Canine Brucellosis from eating too much bird droppings. This is a bacterial infection.


It causes chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, depression, fever, and muscle aches. It can lead to abortions if contracted by pregnant dogs. It can also cause liver damage if contracted during the first trimester. It may also lead to meningitis in humans.


In dogs, brucellosis is difficult to cure, and relapses are frequent. You will need to spay or neutering your dog. In addition, vets will administer antibiotics for several months. Vets will also perform frequent blood tests to track treatment progress.

Intestinal Parasites (Giardia and Coccidia)

Intestinal parasites can cause your dog to have chronic diarrhea, weight loss, gas, and frequent visits to the bathroom. This could last for several weeks or months. It may go away but you should take them to their vet for some tests.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is found in goose poop.


Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and a lack of energy.


It is important to note that cryptosporidium cannot be cured. According to CAPCVET “few drugs are consistently effective against cryptosporidium.  This means that if your dog has contracted this parasite then they will have it for the rest of their life. Your vet may prescribe medication to slow down the symptoms but there is no cure for this disease.

This is a protozoan that lives in the intestines and can cause serious disease if ingested by your dog. You can find it in water sources and in dried up goose poop. However, giardia is very host specific according to Dr Marie. This means that even if a dog ingested it, they would not get sick. Therefore, if your dog did end up getting giardia it was most likely from drinking water. My dog Loki got giardia from drinking from the Fox River which is not known for its quality.

Can Affect Humans

Giardia is dangerous because it can spread to humans or other animals.


Your dog will likely become very thirsty. This is because this parasite takes out a lot of the moisture in the intestines leaving them dry and hard.

Poop Color & Texture

The stool may contain blood which can make it sticky and slimy like glue or paint. It also may have a green tinge.


Vets will prescribe medicine to flush the parasites out of your dog’s body. Fenbendazole and metronidazole are the most frequent Giardia killers. Vets prescribe these drugs for 10 to 14 days to treat giardiasis. 

Coccidia is a parasite that can live in the intestines and cause your dog to have diarrhea for months. This is another protozoan that comes from eating poop contaminated by bird droppings. Like cryptosporidium, it needs feces to infect a dog.


Coccidia causes dogs to have chronic diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, gas and must use the bathroom frequently.


Vets treat coccidiosis with sulfamethazine or ponazuril. Treatment usually last 5-25 days. Proper sanitation is also necessary to clean the infection from the surrounding environment

Dogs who have eaten duck or goose droppings could contract parasites. If they bring it home to their owners, it can cause the owners to become very sick. These are the most common parasites people worry about in goose poop. These are the common parasites found in goose poop

Other Diseases Caused By Eating Goose Poop

Goose poop is grass and water. It may also cause them to develop Gluten Sensitivity. This is also known as canine Celiac Disease. Most vets put dogs on an elimination diet to determine if the dog does have celiac disease.

This is the inflammation of the pancreas. This causes abdominal pain along with vomiting and diarrhea. If the pancreatitis swells your dog could have an obstruction. This will require surgery to remove the blockage so that food can pass through the system.

Symptoms Of Goose Poop Ingestion

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Mild Fever
  • Weigh loss
  • Excessive Drinking
  • Frequent Bathroom Breaks

Should I Call The Vet?

If you notice any of these symptoms take the dog to the vet immediately. If you do not notice any signs or symptoms, then you can check their poop for color and consistency. Make sure that they are moving their bowels regularly and looking healthy. If there are any changes in the feces, then bring your dog to the vet.

Can Dog's Die From Eating Goose Poop?

It is very unlikely for a dog to die from eating goose poop unless it has eaten too much at one time. This is because the above parasites and bacteria have overtaken the immune system. The dog will become sick and show symptoms. If you see excessive vomiting’s or diarrhea for more than 24 hours you need to contact your vet.

9 Ways To Stop Your Dog From Eating Goose Poop

If there are certain areas where geese migrate too, avoid it.

Do not allow your dog to roam off leash where geese roam. This area will become a buffet for them

Use a traffic leash which has two handles. One handle is near the clip. This allows you to keep your dog close to your body and not scavenging for goose poop.

You could provide antibiotics and a vitamin supplement to your dog. Yet, it is hard to say which one as you would need to do test to determine which vitamin your dog is deficient in. You could provide a general supplement like this one.

Changing food away from unregulated boutique food could help. Move away from highly processed food. This would prevent your dog from needing to outsource his dietary needs.

Asking your dog to look at you while you heel is called a focused heel. A focused heel is useful when you want to get pass a goose minefield. Instead of looking down your dog engages with you.

Teaching your dog to ignore something should be the first command they learn. To teach leave it follows the steps below:

Both tools can prevent a dog from scavenging. Muzzles completely prevent the dog from picking up food. Gentle leaders keep the dogs head up.

If your dog is eating geese poop because he is hungry you should feed him before going on walks. This will help prevent eating out of hunger.

What Should I Do When My Dog Is Trying To Eat Goose Poop?

Use Your Training & Then Pull Them Away From It

Your first step should be to command leave it or look. I understand that this is not a great solution for even the best trained dog. This is because teaching leave it creates a value system. We are asking them to turn down a $100 bill (the poop) for the $1 bill (the treat). If that is the case, you need to pull them away from the poop. Therefore, we use harness on walks. Harnesses are not training tools. We use harnesses to prevent injury.

Final Thoughts

My dog ate goose poop and he is fine. However, its important to keep any eye out for symptoms of serious diseases. The most important part is managing your dogs behavior. This is by using one of the nine techniques described above.  

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