How to Prevent Birds from Stealing Your Dog’s Food (7 Effective Approaches)

Labrador eating outside

If your dog enjoys spending time outdoors, chances are you feed them outside as well. Unfortunately, local birds may have noticed this routine and decided to help themselves to your dog’s food. Birds are highly intelligent creatures and can quickly adapt to your habits. Dealing with these unwanted visitors can be a hassle, not to mention the mess they leave behind. So, what can you do to keep birds away from your dog’s food?

In this article, we will explore seven proven methods for effectively deterring birds from accessing your dog’s food. While not every method may be suitable for your specific circumstances, we are confident that you will find a solution to keep those pesky birds at bay once and for all.

The 7 Proven Methods to Keep Birds Away from Dog Food

1. Utilize a Scarecrow

Image Credit: Pixabay

Scarecrows may be commonly associated with The Wizard of Oz or Halloween, but their original purpose was to deter crows. Visit your local home improvement or gardening store to find a selection of plastic owls, cats, snakes, and other predators that can be used to scare away birds from your dog’s food. To make this method effective, keep the scarecrow in unpredictable locations. By regularly moving it around the area near your dog’s bowl, you will keep the birds wary and prevent them from helping themselves to your pup’s dinner.

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2. Feed Your Dog in a Confined Space

Birds tend to avoid exploring confined spaces where they can’t escape quickly using their flight abilities. You don’t need an elaborate setup, but a little creativity can go a long way. Consider pushing a picnic-style table against a wall or building an enclosure using wood and bird netting. Think of it as creating a doghouse-like space where your furry friend can enjoy their meal undisturbed. Just ensure that the space is large enough for your dog to comfortably fit inside.

3. Avoid Leaving Food Outside

While it may be convenient to leave your dog’s bowl accessible throughout the day, this also makes it easy for birds to help themselves whenever they please. To prevent this, establish a regular feeding time for your dog. Serve their meals at specific intervals and promptly remove the bowl afterward. By eliminating any leftovers that may attract birds, you will force them to seek food elsewhere.

Yorkshire terrier dog eating from a bowl
Image Credit: Radomir, Shutterstock

4. Consider Electronic Feeders

For a more automated solution, you can invest in an automatic electronic dog feeder. These devices can be programmed to dispense food at specific times, eliminating the need to manually feed your dog every time. Automatic feeders offer the same benefits as a regular feeding schedule, ensuring your dog is well-fed even when you’re busy. However, keep in mind that these feeders tend to be more expensive compared to other methods.

5. Play Predator Bird Recordings

An unconventional approach is to play recordings of predatory birds such as hawks and owls in the vicinity. Birds naturally avoid areas that they perceive as having frequent predator activity. By occasionally playing these predator bird calls, you can discourage other birds from approaching your property.

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6. Provide Separate Bird Feeders

Feeding the birds can be an effective way to prevent them from stealing your dog’s food. However, make sure to take precautions. Place several bird feeders around your property, as far away from your dog’s feeding area as possible. Additionally, ensure that the bird feeders are well-stocked. Otherwise, you may unintentionally attract more birds to your property, which could lead to more problems.

7. Utilize Wind Chimes

Hanging silver wind chimes
Image Credit: Alex Andrei, Shutterstock

A simple and delightful way to discourage birds is by using wind chimes. Birds generally avoid loud noises and sudden movements, so the noise created by the wind chimes will deter them. To maximize effectiveness, regularly swap different types of wind chimes and change their locations. Birds quickly adapt to predictable environments, so keeping things fresh will help in deterring them.


Birds are excellent scavengers and can easily take advantage of your dog’s food. The tips provided in this article will help you protect your dog’s meals from unwanted feathered thieves. While using a scarecrow, playing predator bird calls, and feeding your dog in a confined space are effective strategies, you can also consider automatic feeders or wind chimes. Remember, if budget is a constraint, you can achieve similar results by feeding your dog at specific times and promptly cleaning up afterward.

Continue to enjoy your time outside with your furry companion while keeping those pesky birds away from their food!

Featured Image Credit: PixieMe, Shutterstock

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