Will owls attack small dogs?

This is a very serious question asked by small dog owners who have been concerned about whether owls will attack their pup or not.

So will owls attack small dogs?

The simple answer to this would be, Yes. Various species of owls’ hunt for small dogs to feed on them and also their young ones.

People living in areas where aerial predators are present in the air and they have to protect their pets from them look for a direct approach to get their problems solved.

So can they protect their little puppies from the aerial predator and avoid being their pets as prey?

Keep on reading to learn more about this topic in detail:

Owl That Attack Small Dogs


The Great Horned Owls are the ones who attack little pets present in the houses. These owls are large, a little small then the size of a goose but are extremely strong. They have a thick body as compared to other predators with two prominent feathered tufts on the head. They have these broad and rounded wings which help them to grasps the whole little puppy.

Their round head and short bill help a lot during flight and helps increase their speed. These Great Horned Owls have various color tones that vary from region to region. The most common one is in mottled grey-brown color with reddish-brown shade on the face and a very white neat patch on the throat.


These owls are originally found in the woods. Usually, they’re found in young woods but can also be found in open areas if not in the woods. They can make their habitat at many places and adjust to the surrounding quickly. The places where they can easily be found are deciduous and evergreen forests, swamps, deserts, tundra edges, and tropical rainforests. They are also found in cities in the orchards, suburbs, and parks.

These owls have different color tones for every different surrounding and because of the different surrounding, they can adapt to the environment and their different color help them to survive in the environmental conditions.

Who to prey?

These Great Horned Owls, the Northern Goshawks, and the Red-Tailed Hawks go for easy targets like small puppies, or pet cats as well. They climb onto their prey and grasp them in their wings and fly away with them and have a delicious meal. These large birds can’t go for any small animal they find but they do also have some restrictions and compatibilities.

The bird can take up to a 20-pound puppy and not more than that as it will be hard for the owl to fly away with this much weight to carry. Sometimes the bird gets imbalanced due to excessive weight of its own body and the prey they have grabbed on. This imbalancing leads to loosening the grasp on the prey and results in falling down which could turn out to be really dangerous to the little puppy. The owl or hawks cannot take any animal which is heavier than them and cannot take large prey either.

See also  Dog’s Back Legs Longer Than Front - Why Is That?

How To Protect Your Dog From Owls

Look after pets

Whenever you go outside on a walk and taking your puppy with you, there should always be an eye on him, protecting him from any possible danger, in this scenario an owl attacking them. The pets should also not be left unattended. Apart from this, the pets have their playtime in the backyard of their houses where it’s open and it’s a yard of course.

There are boundary walls for security but it’s not covered from the top to protect the puppy from some unwanted aerial visitors. As mentioned before, Great Horned Owls can also be found in the suburbs of cities as it’s their natural habitat. A house with a backyard and with an Owls habitat nearby would make it risky for the pets to play around in the yard alone. They need complete supervision at all times for their own protection.

Essential covers

The backyards of houses need a proper shelter to avoid unwanted birds wandering around on the top. The backyard is the place for the pet to play and they should be completely safe in them and protected from the death traps.

Many people avoid covering up the whole place so there’s a solution for that too and it’s a natural shelter made out of trees. We can always plant trees and wait for them to grow tall, or get trees that are already grown and just cover the place and make it safer for the little puppies to play.

Appetite for them

Usually, when the pets are playing we prefer to feed them on the outside so they can eat and play and won’t get disturbed. Putting food outside for little puppies would also attract the birds as the smell would be familiar to them. This will just invite them for a feast.

We should feed the pets inside the house so the predators won’t be attracted to the food. We can keep food for the birds on the roof so they can feed onto it and stay away from the pets. If there’s a fruit tree there, make sure you pick up any fallen fruit that has been there on the ground because that will also get the attention of the predator and it can harm the pets present there as well.

Attack scenario

In an attacking case, if you witness an owl trying to hurt a puppy, try to scream and scare the owl away. If that does not work, go close and pick it up as he will be scared and won’t fight back but just fly away. Check the puppy and look for any wounds. The little pup might also have an increased heartbeat and would be very scared due to the incident.

See also  183 Science-Geek Pet Names

Proper care should be given and he must be taken to a vet immediately for any wounds and any internal health condition. If in any case the predator succeeds picking up the little puppy, look for it, follow it and watch out that it doesn’t drop down the puppy as that can result in fractures or serious injuries and even death of your pooch.


Essential knowledge should be given to the surrounding people, especially the neighbours as they identify the pets of our houses. They should know what to do if they witness anything happening in the surrounding homes and should take necessary precautions which would include scaring away the owls and picking up the puppy instantly and checking him. The neighbours should know that they can save the life of an innocent creature with the smallest effort they make.

Apart from this, a neighbour can also turn out to be toxic for our pets. If our neighbour happens to be a bird lover and tries to feed wild birds including the deadly Horned Owls, the situation could turn the tables onto us. This is a basic precaution needed to be taken to know what kind of people we are surrounded with. A wildlife conflict can’t be created it will end in bad terms and it can hurt the poor animals.


Looking out for our pets is as important as we look out for ourselves. Our pets are our family and need to be protected from every kind of danger, mainly the danger of aerial attacks, as these could turn out to be deadly. We should take necessary precautions and do aware our neighbours and the surrounding people about the mishap that can take place if the home is located in the surrounding of a wild bird’s habitat.

Although an owl taking a puppy is rare, still, there’s a chance that it can happen as many people have reported complaints against wild owls attacking and wandering around their little pets while they are just playing. Animal control has taken some necessary actions foreseeing the situation but still, we should look out for any danger to be on the safe side.

Photo of author

Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

Leave a Comment