Are Beavers Dangerous To Humans?

Are beavers dangerous to humans? The beavers, which are under nature and species protection, are pure herbivores, but not as harmless as you might think. Beavers also pose a serious danger to dogs.

While researching this exciting topic, I found many surprising facts, which were completely unknown to me until then. I noticed that I had been very careless during some hikes and canoe tours in beaver areas.
So that this does not happen to you and also your dog no unpleasant acquaintance, with the rodents makes, I have collected all important facts for you. Promised.

Have fun with it. Let’s go!

Are beavers dangerous to humans?

Yes, beavers are dangerous for humans. Not only do they have very sharp teeth and aggressively defend their territory, but the construction of beaver castles also poses dangers to humans.

Gnawed trees can then suddenly fall on walkers and seriously injure or even kill them.

Why are beavers dangerous to humans?

1) Danger of falling for vehicles due to undercut soil in the riparian area.

2) Danger from falling trees
3) Danger for road traffic

4) Aggressive territorial behavior

Crash hazard for vehicles due to undermined soil in the riparian area.
Since they live near the banks and build beaver castles there, they sometimes undermine the ground near the water. If you enter this area, it is possible that the ground will give way and you will fall.

When driving construction equipment and cars in beaver areas, keep a distance of 20 meters from the bank! The danger of collapse is simply too high.

Danger from falling trees

Beavers need trees and branches to build their castles. With their sharp teeth, they gnaw trees and cause them to fall. Sometimes the tree doesn’t fall right away, but it threatens to topple at any time. A deadly danger for walkers.
You should avoid walking in areas where beavers are active. In the worst case you could be killed by a tree!

If you see beaver tracks on tree trunks, inform the forester who is responsible for this area. The forester can initiate tree felling operations to protect walkers from falling trees.

Danger for road traffic

Humans and beavers also encounter each other in road traffic. Because beavers are crepuscular and nocturnal and also move very slowly on land, it is common for them to be hit by a car while crossing a road.

Not only are beavers regularly fatally injured in these actions, but you also run the risk of an accident if you are startled and try to avoid the wild animal.

Drive at a reasonable speed at night, even if the roads seem quiet and empty!
Aggressive territorial behavior
Beavers are very territorial animals that defend their territory against intruders. If you swim in a lake, pond or river where there is a beaver lodge, the probability of getting acquainted with aggressive beavers is quite high.

The animals will not shy away from attacking you. If you consider that beavers can cut down trees. Then you know about the biting power of the animals. Serious injuries can be the result.

Can beavers bite people?

Yes, beavers can bite people. The rodents have razor-sharp teeth that grow incessantly.

If a bite injures important arteries, the worst case scenario can be death by bleeding to death. Especially when beavers have offspring, they react very aggressively to intruders.

The teeth as a weapon

The teeth of a beaver can be called a weapon. They are also aware of this and use them when danger is imminent. Especially in spring, beavers can react aggressively to humans, as they have offspring at this time and defend them.

Attention when coming into contact with beavers
If you come too close to the beaver family and they feel threatened, the beavers will drive you out of “their territory”. During the bathing season you should pay close attention to whether you are in a beaver area.

If you discover a beaver burrow near the shore (unmistakable by piled up branches and twigs) or if you see feeding traces on the trees, better decide to go to another bathing place. This is the only way to protect yourself!

If you like fishing, you also run the risk of meeting a beaver or its family. It is best to change the fishing spot if you suspect beavers in the vicinity.

For the sake of your health, you should always be careful in beaver areas and move cautiously.

Can beavers transmit diseases to humans?

Yes, beavers can transmit diseases to humans. While they are not disease carriers per se, a bite can be really dangerous. Humans can become infected with rabies from a beaver bite.


This disease is transmitted to humans exclusively through the saliva of the beaver. When bitten, the deadly virus enters the organism. Once the virus has broken out, action must be taken quickly.

Initially, symptoms such as pain and itching of the bite wound, loss of appetite, increased body temperature and headache may be signs of rabies.

If rabies is suspected, vaccination must be administered immediately. This can prevent the pathogen from traveling toward the brain.
Since this virus can be fatal, it is therefore imperative to act with utmost urgency in the event of a bite!

Are beavers dangerous for dogs?

Yes, beavers are dangerous for dogs. Especially free running dogs are at risk. During their exploration tours, they can track down beavers.

This is a big problem – not for the beaver, but for your dog. Where there is a beaver, there are usually other beavers nearby, which can attack your dog abruptly.

Due to its immensely sharp teeth, beavers are capable of injuring a dog so severely that it will not survive the attack.

Keep an eye on your dog
If you like to let your dog run free, please keep an eye on him. Check the area you are walking in carefully and walk with foresight.

A simple walk in a beaver area can be life-threatening for your dog. To give you an idea of what can happen, let me give you a few examples.
Incidents in which dogs were injured or killed by beavers
1) In 2019 a dog was killed on a paddock in Lanzenbach (North Rhine-Westphalia). He was roaming the pasture ground unobserved by his owners and was attacked by a beaver. The herding dog dragged itself home with severe injuries and bled to death there.

2) In Meissen (Saxony) a dog, which went swimming in the Elbe, also had a painful experience with a beaver. The latter defended its young when the dog approached its burrow and attacked directly. The dog was seriously injured.

3.) In 2018, a dog succumbed to its severe injuries, which were inflicted by a beaver. The dog only wanted to quench its thirst at a stream in the district of Schwäbisch Hall (Baden-Württemberg). This became his undoing. A beaver probably felt threatened and bit the dog twice directly in the throat.


Considering that a single beaver is capable of gnawing 50 cm of tree trunk in just one night, one knows about its biting power (this is up to 6 times stronger than that of humans).

Are beavers in the field dangerous to humans?

No, beavers in the field are not dangerous for humans. You are right to ask yourself what a beaver is doing in the field, since it is a water-loving animal. Quite simply, it is looking for food.

Energy-rich grain is incentive enough for the rodent to go to the field. However, since the field does not correspond to its territory and it leaves its young in the beaver’s lodge, it is unlikely to react aggressively when encountering humans.

Sufficient escape opportunities are also provided in a field.

If you want to learn more about beavers, you can do so at Wikipedia.

How old do beavers live?

In nature, the animals, which are about 1 meter tall and weigh 25 kg, live for 10-12 years. In captivity, beavers can even reach an age of up to 20 years.

Do beavers hibernate?

No, beavers do not hibernate. Even in the cold season, they forage nightly both in the water and on land. To avoid going hungry in the winter, beavers build up a supply of twigs and branches in front of the beaver lodge.

How big is a beaver family?

Beaver families are characterized by having offspring of two generations living next to the parents. Every year 2-4 young animals (in exceptional cases even 6) are born, so that a beaver family amounts to 6 – 10 animals on average.