#include <avr/wdt.h> 

This header file declares the interface to some inline macros handling the watchdog timer present in many AVR devices. In order to prevent the watchdog timer configuration from being accidentally altered by a crashing application, a special timed sequence is required in order to change it. The macros within this header file handle the required sequence automatically before changing any value. Interrupts will be disabled during the manipulation.


Depending on the fuse configuration of the particular device, further restrictions might apply, in particular it might be disallowed to turn off the watchdog timer.

Note that for newer devices (ATmega88 and newer, effectively any AVR that has the option to also generate interrupts), the watchdog timer remains active even after a system reset (except a power-on condition), using the fastest prescaler value (approximately 15 ms). It is therefore required to turn off the watchdog early during program startup, the datasheet recommends a sequence like the following:

#include <stdint.h>
    #include <avr/wdt.h>

uint8_t mcusr_mirror __attribute__ ((section (".noinit")));

void get_mcusr(void) \
  __attribute__((naked)) \
void get_mcusr(void)
  mcusr_mirror = MCUSR;
  MCUSR = 0;

Saving the value of MCUSR in mcusr_mirror is only needed if the application later wants to examine the reset source, but in particular, clearing the watchdog reset flag before disabling the watchdog is required, according to the datasheet.