Do Possums Eat Dog Poop: Why & The Risk Involved

Possums are a marsupial species of mammal that are native to Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands but have been introduced to many other parts of the world. They are nocturnal animals that spend most of the day sleeping in trees or other elevated areas.

Possums have an interesting diet and do not pose a danger to dogs. Possums are omnivores and have a wide diet that includes insects, fruit, and flowers, but they also eat small mammals including mice and rats. Possums do eat dog poop, but they do not necessarily eat it exclusively.

Possums are known to eat dog feces because they contain undigested food that is easy to digest. Dogs poops contain nutrients like vitamins A and B12 as well as protein in them that can be nutritionally beneficial to Possums.

Risk Associated with Possums Eating Dogs Poops

Possums are attracted to dog feces because of their smell and the nutrients available in the poop. The ingestion of dog feces by possums can lead to disease transmission, so it’s best to keep dogs and possums separated as much as possible.

Possums can carry several diseases and parasites. The first thing you should know about possums eating dog poop is that they carry parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. These parasites can be passed on to humans through contact with possums or with their feces.

Possums are also known to carry diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, salmonella, and raccoon roundworm disease. Some of these diseases can be fatal if left untreated. They are also known to carry fleas, ticks, and lice which can affect your dog.

While possums aren’t harmful to dogs, they can be harmful to humans. Possum urine and feces can contain harmful bacteria. The possum poop can also cause leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. The poop smell of possums is a distinctive, foul, and unpleasant ammonia-like odor. Possums aren’t a serious threat to dogs, but they may infect people with leptospirosis.

When Possums bite or scratch, they can spread dangerous illnesses like rabies, tuberculosis, leptospirosis, and spotted fever. Also, Possums are known to defecate in pools and water sources. Hence, this can spread infections or parasites to humans when they come in contact with polluted water bodies.

Read More: How To Tame A Wild Possum


Appearance and Behavior of Possums

Possums live in woodlands and are found in many parts of North, Central, and South America. They live in secluded areas, where they often use abandoned dens of other animals as a nest. Possums are also found in urban areas where they scavenge for food. Their diets vary from region to region, as the prey animals and vegetation in each area are different.

The possum is a medium-sized animal that measures between 15 and 20 inches long and weighs around 14 pounds. It has long, coarse, grayish-white fur. Possums have long, pointed faces and rounded ears. Their long, hairless tails are prehensile and used for grabbing objects and branches.

Possums are nocturnal animals that move from place to place in search of food. They have opposable thumbs and prehensile trails, which help them climb trees, forage insects, and attack birds and other small animals. Possums have about 50 teeth. They use their sharp claws to dig up food, and their long, flexible noses are useful for tracking garbage.

Facts About Possums

Here are some interesting facts about possums and dog poop.

#1. Possums Play Dead

Whenever Possums are threatened or cornered they will often play dead. Possums are known to evade predators by mimicking the appearance of dead bodies. To make this look real, Possums expel a foul-smelling liquid from their mouth.

#2. Possums are scavengers

Possums are scavengers and will eat any plant matter, dead thing, or leftover food from the trash. They love to rattle waste bins and dump sites in search of leftover foods, worms, and small insects.

#3. Possums are nocturnal

Possums are generally nocturnal and active at night, making them a difficult nuisance in the daytime. Because they sleep in the trees and burrows of other animals, they are most active at night. When you notice a possum in your yard, you may be able to find the problem by leaving crumbs and food outdoors overnight.

#4. Possums eat small prey animals

Possums can feed on small animals, like mice and rats. They have also been known to eat road kill and scavenge in urban areas. Other prey species include insects and snakes.

#5. Possums are not aggressive to dogs

Possums are not aggressive toward dogs, but they may play dead if your dog threatens them. Most possums will avoid homes with dogs, however, they can infest garbage cans and compost bins containing leftover dog food. Most dogs finish their meals and leave no leftovers, but you should still remove food from the dog’s bowl to prevent possums from getting to them. Possums will also eat dog poop if they find it around.

#6. Possums carry diseases that can be transmitted to dogs

One of the most dangerous diseases that opossums can transmit to dogs is Leptospirosis. This is a bacterial infection that can cause recurrent episodes of fever. Possums are also known to harbor Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), which is a serious disease in horses. Possums can also transmit Lyme disease, toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. Vaccinations are not always enough, and you should discuss this with your veterinarian.

#7. Possums pee in the same area they poop

Possums often pee in the same place they poop. Possum feces can cause a wide range of illnesses in humans and animals. Possum urine carries Leptospirosis bacteria. Leptospirosis causes flu-like symptoms and can cause fatality in people with weak immune systems. You should protect your family and pets from them by closing off any water source.

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End Notes

Eating dog poop and other animal wastes is not harmful to Possums, instead, it serves as a source of nutrients like proteins and vitamins. Possum’s digestive system is sophisticated enough to break down this waste and convert it to a beneficial source of nutrients.

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