Will a Groundhog Attack a Dog?

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Groundhogs may look a bit dangerous, with their long teeth and bulky little bodies.

This begs the question, will a groundhog attack a dog?

Generally, groundhogs will avoid dogs out of fear. Not always, however. There have been instances in which, yes, a groundhog has attacked a dog. Groundhogs have sharp teeth and can also carry diseases (such as rabies), so this is certainly something you’ll want to keep in check!

Will a Groundhog Attack a Dog?

Most of the time, groundhogs will not attack dogs.

Groundhog sharp teeth
Groundhog teeth

But it does happen. For this reason, if you have groundhogs in your yard, and a pet dog, you’ll want to keep an eye on the situation.

If you like groundhogs, you may simply want to observe for a while.

Fights between dogs and groundhogs aren’t crazy common, since groundhogs usually know who’s the bigger fighter!

You see, dogs have often killed groundhogs. Groundhogs are quite small and vulnerable in comparison.


Pay Attention: It’s just the nasty, possibly-infected bites you need to worry about. Otherwise, to dogs, groundhogs are not very harmful.


Are Groundhog Bites Dangerous To Dogs?

Groundhog bites are indeed dangerous to dogs.

How to Keep Groundhogs Away From Your Dog and/or Garden
Dogs vs groundhogs

They can easily carry infections, including dreaded rabies (although this is not super likely).

Fleas and ticks are also a possibility, in close contact, which can mean Lyme disease risk. The bites are also painful, so this is something you will probably wish to avoid altogether!

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to protect your dog and garden alike.

Will Dogs Keep Groundhogs Away?

Fortunately, dogs will often encourage groundhogs to stay away.

Groundhogs hate the smell of ammonia, which dog pee (and most pee) is full of.

In fact, if you also have cats, it’s a known deterrent to sprinkle soiled cat litter in their burrows.

Groundhogs fight
Groundhog bites dog

Dogs will not always deter groundhogs, however! This goes doubly if you have a particularly nice, produce-filled garden.

So, how do you fend groundhogs off?

How to Keep Groundhogs Away From Your Dog and/or Garden

First and foremost, to deter groundhogs from your garden, you can set up decor.

Groundhogs find spinning pinwheels to be particularly confusing and intimidating, as well as other moving, colorful objects. 

Ammonia

Ammonia is also an excellent way to deter groundhogs, as touched on above.

Sprinkling this around the perimeter of the yard can do the trick. You can purchase ammonia at the store, and it should be super-effective.

Tips for Keeping groundhogs away
Keeping groundhogs away

It’s also possible to make ammonia yourself, with two tablespoons of detergent to ¼ cup of water, mixed with two cups of ammonia. This should make an effective solution.

Ammonia (as touched on above) is also found in urine, so soiled cat litter can also be quite effective.


Where should you put it? Inside the burrow and around it, and anywhere you think groundhogs might be a problem (around where the dog hangs out if you think your dog has been at risk).


Garlic and Pepper 

Along with ammonia, you have garlic and pepper.

Groundhog looking for food
Groundhog

These are a couple of other scents that groundhogs hate and avoid.

With garlic and pepper, you can spray not only the burrows but also your garden produce directly.

Be generous with this spray, and it might just do the trick!

A Fence

If you’re serious about getting groundhogs out of your property (and away from your dog), a fence is probably your best answer.

This should be made from chicken wire and 5-foot poles.

The chicken wire should be underground as well as aboveground so that the groundhogs don’t simply try to burrow under.

Additionally, the fence should be bent inwards/the top bent outwards, so they can’t climb over!

What if My Dog Gets Bitten By a Groundhog?

If your dog has been bitten by a groundhog, you’ll want to take them to the vet promptly.

Comfort your dog with words on the way there, since they will probably be a bit upset.

Dog having fun
Dog can gets bitten groundhog

Groundhog bites are not pleasant, as they’ve got those sharp front teeth. Fortunately, the bites rarely prove deadly, as long as you seek prompt veterinary care.

The vet will make sure that your dog doesn’t get rabies, Lyme disease, etc.

They will apply disinfectants and possibly administer shots to stave off disease. It’s important that you act quickly, or disease can set in before you get a chance to see the vet.


Think positively, but act practically: Your dog will probably not get sick if you’re duly careful. 


Final Thoughts

So, will a groundhog attack a dog? Possibly, yes, a groundhog may attack your dog.

Fortunately, there are some highly effective measures you can take to keep groundhogs away.

If your dog has already been bitten, it’s important that you seek veterinary care promptly, as groundhogs can carry illnesses (most notably rabies and Lyme disease).

If you’re having a groundhog problem, your best bet may be a fence when it comes to keeping them in check!

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