Can A Dog Get Rabies From Eating A Dead Animal? 2022 Guide

Can A Dog Get Rabies From Eating A Dead Animal? Rabies is the leading cause of death in domestic animals all around the world. Dogs are mostly affected by this disease. Mainly rabies is spread by the bite of an infected animal, but most of the owners get concerned if their dogs encounter a dead animal.

Generally, people believe that it is very rare for a dog to contract rabies by eating a dead animal, but this is not entirely true. In some cases, a dog can get rabies by eating the infected part of a dead animal or by coming in contact with the saliva of the infected dead animal.

Owners with dogs, habitual of eating or licking every object they find, tend to ask whether can a dog get rabies from eating a dead animal. If you too are sailing in the same boat, then this article is a must-read for you.

What I Will Learn?

Can A Dog Get Rabies From Eating A Dead Animal?

Yes, a dog can get rabies from eating a dead animal. However, it happens only if the dead animal was infected by rabies, and the saliva of the dead animal enters the body of your dog. If the dead animal had rabies, then the saliva can transfer the virus from the dead animal to your dog.

But if the dead animal had no rabies, the chances of your dog getting infected with this disease from eating a dead animal are very negligible.

How Long Does Rabies Stay In A Dead Animal?

Generally, rabies stays in a dead animal for around 24 to 72 hours after death. During this time, the rabies virus can transfer to another animal or person through saliva.

The period in which the virus can stay in a dead animal and is transferred to another creature varies according to the type of climate. In hot climates, rabies is known to be present in a dead animal for around 5 days after death. But in cold climates, the time can extend up to 2 weeks.

What Are The Early Signs Of Rabies In Dogs?

There are many early signs of rabies in dogs. Owners need to keep an eye on their dogs and should take them to the vet immediately after noticing any of these signs in their dogs. Some of the early signs are given below:

Change In Behavior:

Most of the mammals infected with rabies show signs of change in their behavior. Dogs become more irritable and aggressive. They try to avoid others and act as if they are hiding from something.

Trouble While Swallowing:

Dogs start having trouble swallowing food or water. They may drool continuously due to this problem, and sometimes they stop eating.

Constant Barking:

Constant barking without any reason is also an early symptom of rabies in dogs.

Sudden Weakness:

This disease makes the animal very weak, and they cannot stand properly. They may collapse and fall after standing for a short period.


Whining without any reason is yet another symptom you should watch out for in your dog.

Change In The Appearance Of The Eyes:

The eyes of an animal with rabies become red and appear cloudy due to inflammation of the iris.

Change in appearance of teeth: The teeth of a rabid animal become very dark and look like needles.

How To Protect A Dog From Rabies?

Prevention is always better than cure. You can protect your dog from rabies by :


Always take your dog for vaccination twice a year. This will protect him from many deadly diseases and will keep him healthy and fit.

Keep Your Dog Leashed:

You should always keep your dog on a leash when in public places, to control his movement and prevent contact with any unknown animal.

Neutralizing The Bites:

If some animal bites, your dog then you should wash the wound thoroughly. This will help him to neutralize the virus if any.

Keeping An Eye On Your Dog:

You should always keep an eye on your dog, and take him to a veterinarian as soon as you notice any sign of rabies.

How Do You Know If A Dead Animal Has Rabies?

As mentioned earlier, if a dead animal is rabid, then he can transfer the virus to your dog through the saliva. So it is important to know how to test a dead animal for rabies. You can test the dead animal by taking its brain tissue sample and sending it to a lab. If the test results are positive, then immediately take your dog to a vet.

Is Rabies Curable In Dogs?

If a dog is vaccinated properly, then he can be protected from rabies. But if an unvaccinated dog is infected with rabies, then the doctor may recommend putting the dog to sleep as there are high chances that he will not survive this disease.

Being a pet parent it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is vaccinated and is not exposed to any infected animal.


By reading this article, we hope that now you have a clear understanding of Can A Dog Get Rabies From Eating A Dead Animal? A dog can get rabies if he encounters a dead animal that was rabid, but if the animal was not rabid, then there is nothing to worry about. Also, make sure to take your dog for rabies vaccination twice a year to prevent him from getting rabies.


Can My Dog Get Sick From Eating A Dead Animal?

Yes, your dog can get sick from eating a dead animal. His body will not tolerate all the germs and bacteria that are present in that dead animal’s body. It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ache in your pet.

Can Rabies Be Transmitted From Dead Animals?

Yes, rabies can be transmitted from infected dead animals’ saliva and brain tissues.

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