Do dogs keep rats away?
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Rats often fall prey to dogs - while running around
neighborhoods, one of the household pets will get hold of it
and usually rip it to shreds. You might think this would be
a good thing at first, but when you delve a little further
into what might happen, and does happen, you might think
twice about letting your furry friends loose at that rodent
in your home.
There are no fewer than SIX diseases that rat can pass to
dogs, most of which could prove deadly if not diagnosed and
treated in time. Even those that might not prove to be fatal
could cause long-term damage and pain for your dog, and we
are sure that this is something you will want to avoid.
That’s why we would NEVER recommend using your dog (or any
dog) to catch rats. The cons seriously outweigh the pros.
A disease that might be referred to as “lepto”,
leptospirosis is a disease transmitted from rats to dogs.
The rats will pee everywhere it runs, and this pee can
contaminate water that your dog might drink. Your dog might
actually investigate the pee, having a little lick for
itself. The dog then has the bacteria that causes
leptospirosis in its body, and it won't be long before it
starts to manifest itself in the dog’s kidneys. Initial
symptoms might include things such as muscle pain and a
fever, and also things that you might not be able to monitor
too - depression, tiredness / lethargy, and a loss of
appetite. Some pet owners might take a little while to first
notice these symptoms, and then take their dog to the vet.
In that time, the bacteria will be doing its damage and
causing the dog pain.
Rat bite fever is another disease that a rat can pass onto
your dog, and this one usually happens when the dog actually
comes into contact with the infected rodent. As the name
would suggest, it is usually passed on through actual
physical contact - something like a scratch or a bite. Dead
rodents can also pass on this disease, as can infected
matter from urine or feces.
This is a disease that will require treatment with
antibiotics, and if not treated, it can also be passed from
dogs to humans too.
There are three types of plague that rats can spread,
although the chances of you coming across an infected rat is
incredibly rare these days. Thankfully too, the introduction
of modern medicine eradicating diseases that once took over
the world. Septicemic plague, pneumonic plague, and bubonic
plague are three diseases that rats can [rarely] pass onto
dogs, but roundworms, tularemia (also known as rabbit
fever), and toxoplasmosis are pretty common. These disease
can be spread when dogs attack rats, and then eat / ingest
some of the infected rat material, through drinking water
that has been infected / contaminated with rat urine or
feces and other biological matter, and even just by sharing
food. The latter is in the case of things such as roundworm.
Now that you know about some of these diseases that are
quite easily passed from rat to dog, would you really want
to put your dog in the firing line? Let’s take a peek at a
few other things while we’re on the subject too. Things like
dogs getting their noses, mouths, or paws stuck in rat
traps, or dogs that have accidentally become poisoned from
eating poisoned food that has been left out for the rats.
These are things that commonly happen. It’s just another
thing to add to the mounting list of reasons why you
shouldn't let your dog come anywhere close to a rat, let
alone use your dog to try and capture / trap / get rid of
Give your pooch a break - the cons outweigh the pros. If you
have a dog, and you think you may have rats, get in touch
for some free advice, or make the necessary precautions to
ensure ALL of your household is safe.
Go back to the Rats in the Attic