Prairie dogs are a rodent that belong to the ground squirrel family. They are native to the continent of North America and can be found in the United States, Canada and Mexico. There are five species of prairie dogs. They get their name from the fact that their warning call sounds similar to the bark of a dog. Prairie dogs are an important prey species for many larger animals. If you want to know what these creatures eat, keep reading to find out.
What do prairie dogs eat?
Prairie dogs are considered to be herbivores (plant eaters), but they are known to eat insects such as grasshoppers. Their diet consists mostly of a wide variety of grasses, but they often switch to flowering plants during fall. They also eat seeds, roots, weeds, buds and fruit. They are considered to be a pest in some agricultural situations where they may eat crops like alfalfa or corn. Interestingly, during winter a pregnant prairie dog will eat snow for the water content.
What do prairie dogs eat in captivity?
Prairie dogs are not often kept as pets because they are susceptible to diseases that can be transferred to humans. When in captivity prairie dogs are fed diets of specific grass and hay. They may also be fed fruits, vegetables or supplements to meet their nutritional needs.
Watch this video of the prairie dogs eating at the Staten Island Zoo.