Dogs and Chickens: Can Fowl Friends Make Your Pup Sick?


Living in the countryside means having a variety of animals as neighbors and friends, including dogs and chickens. However, it’s essential to be aware of any potential health risks when keeping animals of different species in close proximity. In this guide, we’ll explore whether chickens can make your dog sick and discuss the possible disease and contamination risks associated with chickens.

Can Dogs Contract Diseases from Chickens?

It is possible for dogs to fall ill if they come into contact with chickens carrying certain diseases. Typically, diseases are transmitted when dogs consume chicken feces, but there are other potential scenarios as well. While the risk is relatively low, it’s crucial for dog owners to be informed about chicken feed, feces, and possible disease or contamination that can affect their furry companions. The likelihood of chickens making your dog sick is minimal as long as the chickens are healthy.

Possible Diseases that Can Be Transmitted

In rare cases, diseases can be transmitted between chickens and dogs. Ingesting chicken poop is the most common way for diseases to spread between the species. Airborne transmission is also possible, but it’s rare. If your chickens and hens are healthy, the chances of them making your dog sick are slim. However, let’s explore some of the potential risks:

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Marek’s Disease

Marek’s disease is an avian disease that affects only poultry such as chickens and turkeys. Dogs cannot contract Marek’s disease from chickens, so it does not pose a risk to them.


Chickens can get parvovirus, and if infected chickens pass their feces, dogs may contract the virus if they eat the contaminated poop.


Salmonella is a common bacterial disease that dogs can catch from chickens. If dogs ingest infected feces or droppings around a chicken coop or run, they can become sick.


Chicken worms, such as hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, can infect dogs if the dog consumes poultry feces.


Dogs can contract giardia from chickens through the ingestion of feces. Giardia parasites thrive in environments contaminated with fecal matter.

Is Chicken Feed Harmful to Dogs?

Unless the chicken feed contains medication, it is unlikely to make dogs sick. The un-medicated food given to chickens is generally safe for dogs unless they consume a significant amount of it. Medicated food for chickens should not be fed to dogs as it is not approved for their use.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Live Chickens?

While it is well-known that dogs can be allergic to chicken meat, there is limited documentation regarding dogs being allergic to live chickens. Dogs living in close proximity to chickens may develop allergic reactions due to molds or fungal pathogens present in compost piles, stables, or barns. Fungus like aspergillosis and histoplasmosis, which can grow in damp chicken pens or soil rich with chicken poop, may cause allergies or infections in dogs.

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In conclusion, if you keep a small number of chickens in your yard or garden, it is unlikely that your dog will get sick from being around them. To reduce the slim risk of disease transmission, ensure that your chickens are healthy and their coop and run are clean and disease-free. If your dog enjoys the taste of chicken, consider giving them some nuggets without the batter. Remember, maintaining a healthy environment for both your dogs and chickens is key to their well-being.

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Dogs can be prone to unusual illnesses and ingest strange objects. Check out some of the weirdest reasons dogs might get sick that I’ve researched this year: [link to related article]

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