dog eating other dog

Will A Dog Eat Another Dead Dog? Dog Cannibalism Real? 

Last updated on March 20th, 2023 at 07:08 am

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Will A Dog Eat Another Dead Dog

Dogs don’t usually play nice, but it seems that when these animal pals are forced to dine on a corpse, they combine forces to make sure nothing escapes from the meal. It’s called canine cannibalism. Discovered in rare cases where dogs are raised in isolation and fed only by force, this strange phenomenon has lead some pet owners to become quite paranoid that their pups have been eating each other over the course of time. Is dog cannibalism real?

Quick Answer:

It’s been seen in very rare cases where dogs have been raised by hand in isolation and fed only by force, as well as having limited food in their environment. In cases like this dog, cannibalism is present. However, dogs eating other dogs is very rare in the modern world. 

Let’s explore this unusual topic in detail. 

What Is Dog Cannibalism? 

Dog cannibalism is the act of a dog eating other dogs. It is an extreme form of canine behavioral disorder that happens only in a very small number of cases. While rare, it is important to know what causes this abnormal behavior as well as how to prevent it if it should happen to your dog. Cannibalism is defined as the act of one animal consuming another. While it is normally seen in species that rely on instinct to survive such as lions or snakes, it can also occur in domesticated animals like dogs.

Cannibalism in dogs is not common at all. It’s normally seen in dogs who are raised in isolation. These dogs may have been abandoned or left to live in a kennel by their owners. These dogs usually have been conditioned to eat by force, as well as having limited in their environment. 

Can Dogs Be Cannibalistic and Eat Other Dogs?

The practice of dog cannibalism is quite rare, but it does happen. And yes, it does happen quite frequently in dogs that live in isolation, especially dogs that are not fed by humans on a regular basis. It is important to note that canine cannibalism is different from predatory or eating-related symptoms of depression or anxiety in your dog. Dogs in captivity may practice cannibalism and there are documented cases of dogs eating other dogs that were left for dead, or that have died from natural causes. 

Is Dog Cannibalism Dangerous For Dogs? 

No, cannabalism is not dangerous for dogs. It is actually a very rare behavior and will only occur in very specific situations.

Generally, your dog is eating the other dog because it is hungry and is experiencing a lack of nutrition and a lack of access to food. As long as your dog is eating the right diet, it will not experience any negative health effects as a result of eating another dog. A dog that is eating a high-quality diet and is receiving regular exercise will not suffer any nutritional deficiencies as a result of eating another dog. However, if your dog is not getting the nutrition it needs from food, it may try to turn to another source, namely, eating its companion. 

dog in the wild hungry

Why Do Dogs Eat Other Dogs? 3 Reasons 

We’ll go over three reasons to dog cannibalism. 

1. Hunger in Living Circumstances 

The majority of cases of canine cannibalism occur when dogs are living in conditions of severe social isolation. These dogs are not fed by people on a regular basis, and as a result, they develop severe nutritional deficiencies. It is possible that some dogs that live in such conditions are genetically predisposed to eating their companions out of hunger. And it is also possible that some dogs are experiencing some form of external stress that is affecting their eating habits. For example, some dogs experience separation anxiety when separated from their owners too long, which results in them eating their companions as a way to self-soothe. 

2. Genetics 

As odd as it may seem, there is a small chance that your dog is genetically predisposed to eating other dogs. This may sound really far-fetched, but there is a genetic mutation that occurs in dogs that causes them to exhibit predatory behavior when trying to hunt smaller animals like rabbits. Because dogs are domesticated, they do not need to hunt for food the way a wolf would, but they do have the gene to turn them into wolves when they are hungry. What this means is that some dogs may have this predatory behavior that can lead to them going after their companions if they are hungry enough. 

3. External Issues 

Cannibalism can also be caused by external factors that your dog is experiencing. Some possible external factors include: – Severe emotional distress – This is an extremely rare cause, but it has been documented when a dog experiences severe stress, it may try to eat the source of the distress. For example, a dog may try to eat a human that it fears, such as a stranger that comes to the door.

How To Prevent Cannibalism In Dogs? 

If you notice that your dog is engaging in cannibalistic behavior, the best thing you can do is to take it to a local veterinary clinic for a thorough examination. Your veterinarian can conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of your dog’s eating habits, and offer treatment options as needed. In most cases, your dog will need to be treated for an underlying condition that is causing it to eat other dogs. If a nutritional deficiency is at the root of the problem, your veterinarian can treat your dog with nutritional supplements to restore its energy and metabolism levels back to normal. 

Note: There is no real way to prevent dogs from eating each other, but you can try to prevent them from eating non-edible items. You can also try to socialize your pups as much as possible and keep them active throughout their lives. 

dog lying dead


When it comes down to it, the best thing you can do if you suspect that your dog is eating other dogs is to take it to see a veterinarian for a thorough examination. Your dog will likely need to be treated for an underlying condition, such as a nutritional deficiency or an underlying emotional issue. If your dog is truly sick and eating other dogs out of hunger, taking it to the vet is the best way to remedy the situation. It’s important to remember that your dog would not intentionally harm another dog, and if it is truly starving, it will do whatever it can to get nourishment

About The Author

I'm a content writer and researcher. But bottom line, I loveee animals. I had my first animal which was a guinea pig at age 8. Later had a bunny, dog and a lot, a lot of fish. Writing about what I know about pets will allow me to share my knowledge and love for them with everyone else. Dealing with dogs my entire life, I know a lot.

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