Do Skunks Eat Dog Poop? Skunk Behavior and Diet + Getting Them Out

Key Points

Tom Petty famously said, “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”.  Good advice.  Here are the main points of this rather long (and hopefully helpful) article.

  1. Skunks are attracted to dog feces because it contains undigested food particles and other substances that they find appealing.
  2. While it may be unpleasant, skunks eating dog feces is generally not harmful to either the skunk or the dog.
  3. However, it’s important to clean up dog feces promptly to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
  4. To deter skunks from eating dog feces, try placing a deterrent such as cayenne pepper or vinegar around the area where your dog defecates.
  5. If the problem persists or if you have concerns about your dog’s health, it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian.

Do Skunks Eat Dog Poop?

Skunks are known for their distinct odor and their ability to spray a foul-smelling liquid as a defense mechanism. But do they eat dog poop? The answer is yes, skunks do eat dog poop. In fact, they are attracted to the smell of dog feces, which contains high levels of protein.

Skunks are scavengers and will eat just about anything they come across, including carrion, insects, small mammals, and feces.

do skunks eat dog poop  

While skunks may eat dog poop, it is not their preferred food source. They are more likely to eat fresh dog poop since it is easier to digest. If given a choice, skunks will choose other food over dog poop. It is important to note that skunks will not pose a threat to your home or lawn if they are eating dog poop.

There are a few reasons why skunks may be attracted to dog poop. Firstly, skunks are scavengers and will eat anything that contains nutrients they need. Dog poop is a source of protein, which is essential for their diet. Secondly, skunks have a keen sense of smell and can detect the scent of dog poop from a distance. This makes it easy for them to find and eat.

If you have a skunk problem in your yard, the best thing to do is to clean up your dog’s poop right away. This will not only discourage skunks from coming to your yard but also prevent the spread of diseases and parasites that can be transmitted through dog feces.

Getting Rid of Skunks

If you’re looking to get rid of skunks in your yard, there are several methods you can try. One is to use a motion-activated sprinkler system. When the motion sensor is triggered, the sprinkler will startle the skunk and make it run away.

Alternatively, you can also create barriers by fencing off areas where dog poop is commonly found or cover up any potential food sources.

Why Skunks May Be Attracted to Dog Poop

why skunks like to eat dog feces

Skunks are known to be scavengers, and they will eat almost anything they can find. This includes dog poop, which may seem unappetizing to humans but contains nutrients that skunks need to survive. Here are some reasons why skunks may be attracted to dog poop:

  • Protein Content: Dog poop contains high levels of protein, which is an essential nutrient for skunks. Skunks are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals, and they need protein to maintain their health.
  • Nitrogen and Other Minerals: In addition to protein, dog poop also contains nitrogen and other minerals that skunks need to survive. These nutrients are necessary for plant growth, and skunks may be attracted to dog poop because it helps them find food.
  • Freshness: Skunks are more likely to eat fresh dog poop because it is easier to digest. As poop ages, it becomes harder and less appealing to skunks.

It’s important to note that skunks are not the only animals that may be attracted to dog poop. Rats, raccoons, opossums, and squirrels are also known to eat dog poop, and they may be present in your yard as well. To prevent skunks and other animals from eating dog poop, it’s best to clean it up as soon as possible.

In addition, you can use predator pee products like coyote urine scent to deter skunks and other animals from coming into your yard. These products mimic the scent of a predator, which can scare away skunks and other animals. However, it’s important to use these products carefully and follow the instructions on the label to avoid harming pets or other wildlife.

Preventing Skunks from Eating Dog Poop

skunk eating dog poop, what to do

Skunks are known for scavenging for food, and unfortunately, dog poop is one of the things that they find appealing. While skunks eating dog poop in your yard may not seem like a big deal, it can actually lead to bigger problems. For example, skunks may start to see your yard as a reliable food source and continue to return, potentially causing damage to your lawn or garden. Additionally, if your dog eats skunk poop, it can make them sick.

Here are some tips to help prevent skunks from eating dog poop in your yard:

  • Clean up dog poop promptly: One of the most effective ways to prevent skunks from eating dog poop is to clean it up as soon as possible. This removes the source of food that skunks are attracted to and reduces the likelihood that they will return.
  • Use a covered trash can: If you don’t want to clean up dog poop immediately, consider using a covered trash can to store it until you have a chance to dispose of it properly. This will help prevent skunks from getting to the poop and reduce the likelihood that they will be attracted to your yard.
  • Use a deterrent: There are a variety of natural and commercial skunk deterrents that you can use to keep skunks away from your yard. For example, predator urine or ammonia can be effective at deterring skunks. However, be sure to use these products safely and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Train your dog: If your dog is eating skunk poop, it’s important to train them not to do so. This can be done through positive reinforcement training, where you reward your dog for ignoring the poop or by simply keeping them away from areas where skunks are likely to be.

By following these tips, you can help prevent skunks from eating dog poop in your yard and avoid the potential problems that come with it. Remember, skunks are attracted to the smell of dog poop, so the best way to keep them away is to remove the source of the smell as quickly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will skunks leave on their own?

Skunks are nocturnal animals that are active at night. They usually leave on their own after a few nights, especially if they cannot find any food or shelter. However, if they have found a steady source of food, they may continue to come back. It is best to take steps to prevent skunks from coming into your yard in the first place.

What time of day are skunks most active?

Skunks are most active at night, usually between dusk and dawn. During the day, they usually hide in dens or under structures such as decks or sheds. If you see a skunk during the day, it may be a sign that it is sick or injured.

What are some natural skunk repellents?

There are several natural skunk repellents that you can try, including:

  • Planting strong-smelling herbs such as lavender, mint, or rosemary around the perimeter of your yard
  • Sprinkling cayenne pepper or pepper flakes around the areas where skunks are entering your yard
  • Using a motion-activated sprinkler system to scare away skunks

What should I do if my dog eats skunk poop?

Skunk poop is not toxic to dogs, but it can contain harmful bacteria that can make your dog sick. If your dog ingests skunk poop, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. It is important to contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog has eaten skunk poop.

What are the dangers of skunk spray?

Skunk spray is a strong-smelling liquid that skunks use as a defense mechanism. It can cause temporary blindness, nausea, and difficulty breathing in humans and animals. Skunk spray can also cause irritation and burns on the skin and eyes. If you or your pet are sprayed by a skunk, it is important to wash the affected area immediately with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.

How can I prevent skunks from coming into my yard?

There are several steps you can take to prevent skunks from coming into your yard, including:

  • Securing trash cans and compost bins with tight-fitting lids
  • Removing any sources of food, such as pet food or fallen fruit
  • Sealing any openings or gaps in your home’s foundation or around pipes and vents
  • Installing motion-activated lights or sound devices to scare away skunks

By taking these steps, you can help prevent skunks from coming into your yard and potentially causing damage or spreading disease.