My Dog Killed A Groundhog Should I Be Worried?

My Dog Killed A Groundhog Should I Be Worried?

Many years before dogs were domesticated, they hunted small animals to sustain themselves.

Now that dogs are domesticated, some habits hardly go away.

If your dog killed and ate a groundhog, you might wonder if your dog is at risk.

Will he get sick?

Here is everything you need to know.


My Dog Killed Groundhog Should I Be Worried?

If your dog killed a groundhog, he might be at risk of getting fleas, roundworms, ticks, rabies, and tularemia, which these rodents carry. As soon as you find out, you should take him to your vet for a quick checkup. Additionally, groundhogs have sharp claws, and your dog might sustain injuries in the process.

Watch: German Shepherd Vs. Groundhog

What Is A Groundhog?

A groundhog is also known as a woodchuck. They are herbivorous as they feed on vegetation and are known for burrowing in the yard. They have strong front teeth to cut through the woods. When cornered they can be aggressive.

Do Groundhogs Carry Diseases?

Groundhogs carry diseases but not as much as the other rodents in his family. These diseases include;

Ticks and Fleas

When your dog is fighting with the groundhog, the ticks and fleas can jump on him. If these parasites are not treated in time, they can lead to skin irritation, rashes, or infections.


Tularemia is a bacterial disease that affects both humans and animals. If the groundhog was infected and your dog comes into contact with it, he will contract the disease.

Tularemia can lead to lethargy, chills, headaches, fever, skin ulcers, swollen, painful lymph nodes, and more.


Groundhogs are known for carrying rabies. If your dog came into contact with the saliva or brain of an infected groundhog, he will get infected with rabies. This is a fatal disease and it requires immediate medical attention.

My dog Ate Groundhog What Should I Do?

The first thing is to take the remains of the groundhog away if any. Take your dog away and lock him where he cannot go back to the carcasses. Ensure that you put the remains where the other pets cannot reach.

If your dog is up to date with his vaccinations, you should not be worried because the chances of contracting rabies are low. If he had missed any of his vaccinations, take him to a vet immediately.

If he sustained injuries from any attack with the groundhog, you should wash the injured places with hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol.

Dig a deep hole and bury the dead groundhog, ensure it is deep enough because your dog or other wild animals can dig it up.

If you live in an apartment, you might not have anywhere to bury it. Wrap it with two plastic bags and dispose of it properly. Remember to wear gloves before picking as a dead groundhog.

How to Get Rid Of Groundhogs

Epsom Salt

Sprinkle Epsom salts around the entering or exiting areas used by the groundhogs. You can also bait it with a pie sprinkled with Epsom salts which should be replaced after the rains.

Castor Oils

Pour castor oils inside the groundhog’s burrows or around it. You should not pour when the groundhogs are inside because they will stay inside. Ensure that they have gone out to search for food and pour it.

Human Hair Clippings

You can get hair clippings from a barber or a hairdresser. Place them in netting to prevent them from being blown away by the wind. Keep them near the entrance of the burrow, they dislike the human smell, and they will run away.

Kitty Litter

Used kitty litter will make the groundhogs think that there is a predator around. Pour it around or in one of the entrance burrows, leave an exit area.

Offensive Scents

  • Cayenne pepper – groundhogs detest the taste of cayenne pepper. You should sprinkle it on the entrance of the burrows and use some to make a pie. You should replace the pie on windy and rainy days. Sprinkle cayenne pepper solution on the plants to stop the groundhogs from chewing
  • Garlic-    place crushed gingers in the entrance of the groundhogs’ burrows. They will be irritated by the smell hence escaping.
  • Lavender- we all love the amazing lavender smell but it irritates the groundhogs. Plant them in your garden and you will be free from groundhogs invasion.

Use a Trap

You can set a trap near the entrance of the burrows and bait them with a carrot, pie, or sweetcorn. Keep on checking the trap from time to time to set free any other animal that might be trapped.


If your dog killed a groundhog, you should take him to the vet for a medical checkup. Groundhogs can transmit diseases like rabies, tularemia among others.

There are many natural ways of preventing groundhogs from your garden to minimize the chances of your dog attacking them.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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