Will Deer Eat Dog Food: Yes, Don’t Let Them

Do deer eat dog food? It’s a question that many homeowners have asked themselves when they find their pet’s food bowl empty.

The answer is yes; deer will eat dry dog food if it is accessible. And, don’t let them do it.


Why Deer Shouldn’t Have Dog Food

deer shouldn't have dog food

While deer will eat dog food, it is not a natural or recommended part of their diet. Feeding deer dog food can cause health problems for the animals and should be avoided.

Deer are herbivores and prefer plant-based foods like grasses, leaves, fruits, nuts, and bark. If you want to feed the deer in your yard, there are better options than dog food.

Deer should not have meat protein added to their diet as it can cause digestive upset. Instead, the best food for deer is hay, grasses, and other leafy greens. Additionally, they should always have access to clean water (they’ll find their own water).

Dry dog food isn’t good for a deer’s digestive system, and wet dog food is even worse. If you let a deer eat meat (found in most dog foods), it will cause them health issues.


What to Do if Deer Keep Eating Your Dog’s Food

How to keep deer out of a dogs food
  • Keep the food bowl indoors – Deer are unlikely to approach a home and risk being seen.
  • Place the bowl in an area of your yard that is inaccessible by deer – Choose an area enclosed by a fence or wall, which makes it difficult for deer to access the food.
  • Invest in deterrents – Using motion-activated sprinklers, lights, or alarms in your yard can act as deterrents for deer and other small critters.
  • Use strong scents – Sprinkling coffee grounds around the bowl can help keep deer away since they are sensitive to strong smells. Similarly, applying vinegar or a commercial product with natural animal-repellent ingredients like peppermint oil may be effective as well.
  • Feed your dog at specific times – Being consistent with feeding times can also help deter deer since they will become accustomed to when they can access the food bowl and when not to expect any food there.

How to Attract Deer

It’s important to remember that feeding wild animals can be dangerous and should only be done cautiously. If you decide to provide food for the deer in your yard, keep it away from areas where pets may come into contact with it.

Plant Healthy Food Sources They Love

Attracting deer to your yard can be achieved in a number of ways, but one of the most effective is by planting food sources they will find irresistible. Here are some plants you can add to your garden to bring deer into your yard:

  • Apples – Planting apple trees in your backyard is one of the best ways to attract deer. They love the sweet taste and smell of apples, making them an excellent snack for them!
  • Clover – Clover is an excellent source of nutrition for deer and is often used as a cover crop because it’s fast-growing, low-maintenance, and attractive to animals.
  • Blackberry bushes – Deer love the juicy blackberries from these bushy plants, so strategically place a few near any trails or areas where deer may pass through.
  • Alfalfa – Alfalfa has proteins that are essential for deer nutrition, making it an excellent choice if you want to provide food on the regular. It’s also quick-growing, making it a great option for long-term food sources.
  • Peanuts – Unlike other legumes that take months before they bloom, peanuts produce their harvest in just a few weeks – making them an ideal snack for hungry deer! They provide a good source of protein, too.

Put Out Food Deer Love

Deer love a variety of tasty food, and with the right snacks, you can easily attract them to your yard. Here’s a list of some great options for deer-friendly snacks:

  • Apples: Deer love apples as a source of natural sweetness – don’t forget to grab organic if you want to keep things chemical-free.
  • Carrots: A surprisingly popular snack, carrots are juicy and crunchy – perfect for an after-dinner treat.
  • Celery: Deer often feed on celery in the wild, and it’s a particularly healthy snack choice.
  • Corn: You can use whole corn or ground corn meal to feed these hungry animals. Be sure to check your local regulations before feeding wild deer corn.
  • Pumpkins: Pumpkins are fantastic treats for deer – they provide plenty of flavor as well as vitamins and minerals.

Providing these types of snacks for deer is not only entertaining but also helps ensure their health and well-being. Make sure to monitor the amount you give them – too much food won’t necessarily do more good!

Putting Out Food Attracts Unwanted Animals as Well

Never leave out large amounts of food, as this could attract predators or cause overcrowding in your area.