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Referred to as ‘man’s best friend’, dogs are affectionate, deeply loyal, and sweet.
The human-canine bond is one of the strongest out there.
There are people that place their doggies way above their spouses or siblings. Can you blame them?
Their dogs love without judging, are always up for snuggles and kisses, and protect them with their dying breaths. Very few humans can do half of this.
With this in mind, it is virtually hard to imagine a dog feasting on the body of its dead owner.
How can they turn on you like that?
Yet, there are plenty of stories (with evidence) of canines scavenging on the bodies of their beloved owners.
What a worrying thing to think about as a pet parent?
In all honestly, can your doggie eat you when you are dead?
The Scary Reports
The whole idea of dogs feeding on their owners is a rather disturbing topic for dog enthusiasts.
Cats are notorious for the habit. Felines are hunters and sometimes when it comes down to eating their dead owners’ body, they will gladly do it to survive.
At that point, nothing matters more than staying alive. The mental torture of eating the very person that has been caring for you doesn’t register much with them.
Dogs, on the other hand, are known to be more intelligent, sweet, and loyal to the point of death.
Well, after many reports of doggies feasting on the flesh of their dead owners resurfaced, the narrative has changed.
In 1997, a 31-year-old man slipped into a garden behind his mom’s house and committed suicide.
He did that by pulling a trigger and splashing his brains all over the place.
There was no one else at home except his dog – a German shepherd breed.
When neighbors found him 45 minutes later, most of his neck and face were gone. There were visible tooth marks around the wound edges as well.
At the time, no one suspected that the dog had had a taste of his flesh. However, the pooch later vomited some of his dead owner’s tissue including beard hair and his skin.
The interesting thing is that the doggie cooperated with the commands of the officers.
What’s more, there was a bowl of food just next to the scene of the crime.
In a separate incident, a Virginia woman named Bethany Lynn Stephens was found in a pool of blood with her two dogs enjoying chewing through her flesh.
The 21-year-old was the sole caretaker of the pups.
The beasts were discovered gnawing at the woman’s ribcage. The police discovered multiple dog bites all over her body.
They were forced to euthanize the poor animals later on.
If you thought that dogs only eat their owners when they are dead, think again.
The story of this study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology shook the world to the core.
The dog in question began biting the face of a middle-aged woman only after she’d passed out after a heavy drinking episode.
Only 16 hours later, the canine went all out and munched on her dead owner.
Do Dogs Eat Their Owners?
From the reports above, it is clear that dogs can indeed eat their owners.
Please note that the reports above are only a sample. There is much evidence of canines eating the flesh of their beloved human parents after death.
The waiting period varies with different canines. Some do it as soon as they sense you are unconscious.
Others wait until you stop breathing before they descend on you. Some take a while longer before they touch your body.
Additionally, some dogs feast on their dead owners even when their own food is available.
Why would these otherwise loving creatures scavenge their owners in the first place? Let’s find out…
Reasons for Eating Owners’ Dead Bodies
Experts have weighed in on the issue of dogs feeding on the bodies of their dead owners and found interesting reasons for the behavior.
One such expert is Carolyn Rando, Ph.D., a forensic anthropologist at the CASE Academy and the UCL Institute of Archeology.
She takes a keen interest in animal scavengers including pets that eat their owners.
According to her, dogs partake in this ghastly behavior simply out of instinct.
Despite being domesticated, dogs are scavengers by nature. When you stop breathing, your dog will nudge you to try and wake up.
If you don’t, they will start licking enough to draw blood. Once they see blood, biting and eating your flesh will happen automatically.
The smell of blood and flesh initiates the downward spiral.
There’s also the issue of hunger. Stanley Coren, a famous psychologist says that dogs sometimes feast on their dead human parents just because they get hungry.
He spoke to National Geographic and made the following statement.
“If the owner passes away and leaves no food for the doggie, what do you expect the canine to do to survive? They are going to dig in and eat whatever source of food is available at the moment.”
These claims are true as there are certain reports of dogs waiting too long before eating their owners’ bodies.
In this case, the doggies went for a month without food and finally decided to eat what was available.
They were so famished that they devoured the body leaving the skull and some bone shards.
Would My Dog Eat Me If It Was Starving?
We just highlighted a case of two dogs that waited a whole month before eating the body of their dead owner.
At least the pups were kind enough to wait for the owner to die and further held back before eating her.
In another disturbing incident, a man from Indonesia was eaten alive by seven starving dogs when he came home after a 2-week holiday.
The beasts were extremely hungry that they decided to attack the 50-year-old and eat him.
His skull was discovered days later in the kitchen while the remains of his body lay in the front of his house.
So, yes if you were dead and your doggie couldn’t find any food, he may feed on your flesh.
Canines are hunters and scavengers and they will do anything to survive – including killing their owners and eating them.
Thankfully, these cases are not commonplace. Many dogs love their owners too much to do something so despicable.
Still, why wait to find out? Get enough food for your dog at all times.
We love dogs and all but they will never reason as we do.
If you think that your pup is too sweet to eat you when you are gone, don’t be too confident.
Instead, keep people close if you live alone. They can pick your body up before the dog has a chance to go cuckoo on your body.
Related Post: When A Dog Howls, Does It Mean Death?
Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.