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How to Keep Birds Away from Dog Food: 7 Easy & Effective Ideas

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

adorable border collie dog drinking from a water bowl

How to Keep Birds Away from Dog Food: 7 Easy & Effective Ideas

If you are someone that feeds your dog outdoors, you are bound to have some trouble with the local wildlife scavenging for their share. Birds are intelligent creatures that are built for survival. When they pick up on an easy food source that is regularly available, they will keep coming back for more.

Birds have the advantage of quickness and flight unlike most of your average four-legged scavengers. You may have to get creative to keep the birds away from your dog’s food. We’ve gathered a list of the best tips and tricks to keep your feathered friends out of the kibble. Have a look:

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The 7 Tips for Keeping Birds Away from Dog Food

1. Feed Your Dog in a Secure Area

Birds aren’t going to be as keen to swoop in and steal your dog’s food if it is in a more confined area. A confined space will make a bird feel trapped and they much prefer scavenging food that is out in the open. If you feed your dog in a secured area, birds will be much less likely to brave the confined space to knab some food.

Feeding your dog in the house may be the obvious choice, but if that’s not going to work there are plenty of other ways to get creative with this idea. You can either buy or even build your own structure or enclosure specifically for feeding your dog.

Labrador dog eating
Image Credit By: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

2. Feed Your Dog on a Routine

It comes highly recommended by veterinary professionals that dogs be fed twice a day. If you can keep your daily feedings on a specific routine, it will be more likely that your dog not only finishes the food they’ve been given but will also keep you on a routine of cleaning up after them.

Of the different feeding methods you can choose for your dog, the free choice method is hands down the worst option for feeding a dog outdoors. This won’t just attract birds, but any other animal feeling hunger pangs. Even if pesky birds don’t pose a problem, keeping any dog on a regular feeding routine is ideal for their overall wellbeing.

3. Don’t Leave Food Sitting Out

This may be the most obvious tip for keeping birds away from your dog’s food, but leaving food sitting out is only going to entice the birds to keep coming back for more. As mentioned, birds are highly intelligent. If you regularly leave food out, they will simply take advantage of the free and easy meal. It’s just a simple crime of opportunity.

Another reason not to leave dog food out is that it can quickly go bad, especially in hot temperatures, which can lead to rancidity. If dry kibble is left out for too long, it becomes stale and loses its aroma. Canned food or fresh food will go bad much more quickly if left out uneaten.

dog food in plastic container
Image Credit By: APN Photography, Shutterstock

4. Keep the Birds Well Fed

If you enjoy having backyard birds but prefer to keep them from the dog food, try getting ahead of the problem by placing some bird feeders around your property. Birds will gravitate toward the feeders since they are up and out of the way and will likely stop by the feeder before they stop by the dog food bowl.

You will want to keep the feeders well stocked, as the birds will get used to the food availability just like they do with dog food laying around. You can also keep bird baths with fresh water in the yard to keep them entertained. Keep in mind that this will attract birds to your yard, so if you are looking to deter birds entirely, then there are some better ideas on the list to help with that.

Some backyard bird observers will even purchase dog food to place in bird feeders. Of course, if you opt to keep them out of your dog’s stash by giving them their own, keep in mind that it can be a choking hazard and you will want to provide size-appropriate food and even consider moistening it before offering it up to the birds.

5. Use Deterrents

You can always resort to some scare tactics to keep the winged opportunists at bay. Scarecrows exist for a reason, to keep birds away. You don’t have to opt for your typical run-of-the-mill scarecrow, either. You can also purchase artificial predators to sit out and keep the birds under control. You can look into fake owls, snakes, cats, and others that can make great deterrents.

Birds will quickly conclude that the scarecrow or the faux predator is no threat, so you will need to mix it up and move them around for dramatic effect. You can also try to play the calls of predatory birds on some speakers. This also works as a deterrent but is much noisier.

Scarecrow in the garden
Image Credit: John Collins, Pixabay

6. Try Wind Chimes

Certain birds won’t be too fond of coming close to the sound of wind chimes. A loud, noisy object that is moving will make some birds uncomfortable. This is another trick where you’ll need to keep changing things up, as even the most fearful birds will be observant and eventually realize the wind chimes do not pose a danger.

Wind chimes are probably best used along with other deterrents, as some of the bolder birds may not be affected at all. Regardless, it’s another good reason to go out and get yourself a beautiful wind chime you can enjoy.

7. Use an Automatic Feeder

Automatic dog feeders can be a huge help for dog owners. Since these feeders dispense food as needed, it’s easier to ensure no other critters are getting into the dog’s dinner. With the advancements in technology, a lot of automatic feeders are now electronic. They do come at a higher price, but most of the high-tech feeders now allow you to control the time and amount of food being dispensed.

If you have a chronic bird problem, do some research on the available feeders on the market. You are bound to find one that suits your needs, and it takes some extra chores off your plate.

dog automatic feeder
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Do All Birds Like Dog Food?

Not every species of backyard bird may be drawn to dog food, but many species will. You see, most species of backyard birds are omnivorous such as the American Crow, Common Grackle, Bluebirds, Starlings, Sparrows, and many more. These birds will have no problem having a feast of dog food.

Is Dog Food Good for Birds?

Dog food is made up of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and other minerals to give it the right balance for our beloved canine compadres. It’s recommended to feed only high-quality dog foods that are designed to meet a dog’s unique nutritional requirements. High-quality dog food can also be nutritionally beneficial for birds if they were to snack on it.

Lower-quality dog foods are best avoided for good reason.  Low-quality foods are typically much less e

expensive and contain questionable ingredients such as unnecessary fillers, artificial coloring, flavors, and preservatives. It’s much healthier for your dog to be fed the best quality foods and it’ll be a good thing for the birds as well. Make sure to talk to your veterinarian about choosing the right dog food.

measures a portion of dry dog food using an electronic scale
Image Credit: O_Lypa, Shutterstock

Keeping Pet Birds Away From Dog Food

Keeping pet birds out of dog food will be much easier than keeping their wild cousins from eating up what’s outside. For pet birds, take a look at these simple suggestions:

  • Keep the dog food in a secure storage container
  • Always make sure your pet bird is locked in their cage when the dog is eating
  • After your dog finishes, pick up any remaining food and dispose of it properly

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Birds will always be fluttering about and taking any opportunities to grab up a quick meal. If your dog eats outside regularly, there are plenty of ideas you can try to keep the birds out of your dog’s food. The easiest way is to keep food picked up and even try feeding your dog in a more secured area. If not, you can always try out a number of different deterrents, but good luck outsmarting your witty feathered friends.

Featured Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock

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