Is Chicken Poop Bad for Dogs to Eat? (How Harmful Is It?)

is chicken poop bad for dogs

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Many of my friends started rearing chickens in recent years, setting up small scale pens in their yards and in their gardens. That is all well and good, but a lot of these friends of mine also own dogs ; having both animals comes with a lot of challenges and possible risks, particularly when it comes to the chicken poop.

Rearing chickens is tasking and requires a lot of hard work as their poop needs to be cleaned out every day. If you do not do this, it can greatly increase the risk of your dog eating the chicken poop and it has subsequent risks on the health of your dog.

If you have both or you are planning on getting both, you need to know what these  major risks are, and how it can affect your dog negatively for your dog to eat chicken poop. Here is all you need to know in one very helpful guide.

Is chicken poop also bad for chickens?

 It can be quite harmful for dogs to eat and digest chicken poop, but at low risk If your chickens are really healthy and are free from worms, salmonella, and disease then it is highly unlikely that little chicken poop will harm your dog or make them sick.

Is chicken poop toxic to dogs?

Anyone that owns a dog will know how care free they can be when it comes to eating things. I have seen my own dog eating slugs, chew on horse dung, and once even try to eat a dead rat.

If you own chickens and dogs by chance,you need to be readily prepared for your dog to attempt to eat some of the faeces which let us face it, is never going to be in tiny quantities.

 Just how toxic is it for dogs to actually eat chicken faeces?

Note that chicken faeces by itself is not as toxic to dogs, it may contain many forms of harmful elements which could make a dog fall sick and not just from eating the poop. Dogs can also get really sick with germs that could go airborne from the poop and then it gets inhaled by a dog.

But the risk is quite low  or quite moderate and is totally dependent on if the chickens and hens are sick or carrying any form of disease or parasites.

The possibility of harm from the following illnesses that transfer via animal faeces will always be present

1. Possibility Of Salmonella

But the most major risk where chicken poop can make a dog really sick is when it is eaten, as it can eventually pass salmonella from the chicken to the dogs when eaten.The Salmonella bacteria is excreted from the chicken via faeces and can then infect the dog once it is eaten.

2. Possibility Of Giardia

There is also a big possibility of a dog getting sick by eating chicken poop caused by giardia.

The CDC states that giardia can be contracted by the dogs when they roll and play in any contaminated soil or drinking water that has already been infested with the parasite. All the things that you could possibly see as being likely in a chicken pen environment.

Giardia is a tiny microscopic parasite, so you will not be able to see it in your dog’s poop.

Though the risks are quite low, chicken poop can actually still hurt dogs, especially if the chickens are not fine health wise.

3. Possibility Of Worms

Dogs could also get  various types of worms from eating poop by chickens, including these really awful ones listed below.

  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms

All these types of worms above can be passed from one animal to another animal through the infected faeces. This means that if a chicken possibly has worms, a dog that eats the infected faeces containing worms’ eggs will also become a host for the parasites. It could also happen if a dog was to kill a chicken, and eating fecal products.

4. Possibility Of Parvovirus

There is also a chance in one of dogs getting parvovirus from eating chicken faeces. I have talked about parvovirus before, where it is possible for puppies to contract it on beaches. It is a highly contagious disease and is usually spread when dogs eat the poop of a parvovirus infested dog.

My initial belief that it could also be transferred through chicken poop is actually based on a research paper I read back in 2013 that explains how chickens can get parvovirus . Based on that, if you have ill chickens, it does not take too much of a jump in faith to think it is possible for parvovirus to be contracted through chicken faeces eating.

If your chickens are disease free and are parasite free, it is very unlikely that a dog will get sick from eating the chicken poop, as all that it is really coming through then it is the chicken feed.

However, you have totally have  no guarantee that there will be a parasite or any possible infectious element present in the chicken faeces that the dog eats, so you will need to prevent it from happening.

Is It Possible For Dogs Get Coccidia From Eating Chicken Poop?

Coccidiosis, while present in both animal,birds and dogs, is basd on species and is specific. This means the poultry carrying the of virus strain  cannot be passed to dogs and vice versa.

What to do if my dog should eat chicken poop?

If you should see your dog eating any chicken poop, I would discourage them a lot from doing that, at the same time do not panic or throw tantrums.Though it can be bad for them to eat it, a few pellets here and there might not be necessarily be harmful.

The bottom of the line is this; if you have chickens that are sick and who have disease and parasites, then absolutely, your dog has a far higher chance of contracting any disease from eating poultry faeces.

With salmonella being at the top of list of possible illnesses, here are the major signs to look out for with salmonella poisoning

When it comes to dealing with worms, in most cases you will actually see them in your dog’s faeces. Other symptoms actually include weakness, severe weight loss, swollen stomach, loss of appetite, and  constant vomiting.

How can you stop a dog from ingesting chicken poop?

Though the risks of possible illness are quite low, you should still try so much to prevent your dog eating chicken poop. Here are some selection of tips to help you do this better.

1. Use Cayenne Pepper Or Chili Sauce

I have not tried this with chicken faeces, but our dog used to ingest our cat’s faeces until I started pouring chili sauce and cayenne pepper on top of it.

I would go out pretty early in the morning, find the faeces, and add my own unique ingredients to it. After some few attempts, our dog named Claude realized he would get quite a bad taste so soon stopped the dirty habit.

Try the same with chicken faeces, as hot chili or cayenne pepper is something that dog’s hate the taste of.

2. Adding Of Pineapple To Your Chicken’s Diet

I have no known evidence that this could work, but it is worth a shot as it is dogs hate the taste of pineapple. so if it is in your chicken’s faeces it should prevent your dog wanting more to eat it.

Just like the cayenne pepper mix, it could be something you can do for about a week until your dog finally makes the decision, then you can eventually stop feeding it.

3. Keeping The Pen And Run Area Very Secure And Clean

The possibility of harmful bacteria is in  chicken faeces, you will need to block access to that area. The very best way to stop diseases being spread between dogs and the chickens is to ensure that their enclosure spaces are completely separate.

Aside  these few tips, you can try keeping your dog distracted, keeping your dog supervised at  all times, and getting your dog trained for obedience all of which are too obvious for me to list .

Is dog faeces bad for chickens?

The answer is yes, it could also be the other way around, with your chickens which could possibly eat your dog’s faeces. The risks are quite the same,in reverse.

However, I do believe dogs are more at risk to develop diseases and sickness in their faeces due to their wider exposure they have to the world. They usually go on walks and runs where they could be  exposed to a wider and more frequent volume and strains of possible illnesses.

For me that means it is going to be very likely that a chicken would get ill from eating dog faeces, rather than the scenario being switched..


Having spoken to a vet doctor last week for confirmations on my findings, she agreed with me that chicken poop can in fact be bad for dogs, but it is a very low risk. She said that it most times goes without saying, but that you should try to avoid it happening as much as you can.

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