Dogs can attract pests, so you must maintain high cleanliness standards to keep rats away.
Dogs attract rats due to their poop, fresh feed, and leftover food. Fresh dog food and leftovers contain nutrients and fats that rats find appetizing.
Also, dog poop contains undigested pieces of food that can sustain rats.
However, dog urine is a repellent as rats can detect predators nearby due to the scent. So, clean up dog feces from the yard and empty and clean bowls after feeding your dog.
Does Dog Poop Encourage Rats?
Dogs, such as schnauzers, are natural predators of rats.
So, rats will likely avoid your home if you have a dog. In addition, dog poop isn’t at the top of a rat’s preferred meal list.
Nevertheless, you can never rule out the possibility of rats infesting your home due to dog poop. Dog feces may contain tiny pieces of undigested food that rats find nutritious.
Dogs usually eat protein-rich foods, and rats also require these nutrients for healthy growth and development. They can get these much-needed nutrients in dog poop.
Even though dog poop isn’t on top of a rat’s food list, leaving feces around your property can lead to a rat issue. Rats are opportunistic animals and can eat anything they find.
Are Rats Attracted To Dog Food?
Like most rodents, rats are omnivorous, so they eat any food, including dog food.
Nonetheless, a rat will often opt for dog food when it has no other option. It’ll do this at night when everyone’s asleep, and the chances of getting attacked are low. Rats can sense nearby predators, so the mere presence of a dog in your home can deter them from entering your home.
According to Science Daily, pairing cats and dogs in your home can keep rats away. In light of that, a rat would be hesitant to enter a home where dogs live.
Only starvation would force a rat to go for dog food when it senses the enemy is in the vicinity.
What Could Be Eating Dog Food At Night?
If something is eating your dog’s food at night, the most probable culprit is a starving rat. Since rats are opportunistic animals, they can eat anything they encounter, including dog food.
Rats fear dogs, but this won’t stop them from raiding your dog’s food when it’s dark. Domestic dogs often sleep at night, while rats are most active at this time.
If a rat senses your dog isn’t around, it’ll forage any leftovers or raid fresh pet food stored inappropriately. Rats can chew through plastic and paper bags to access your pet’s food.
The most effective way to prevent rats from eating your dog’s food at night is to clean up all leftovers. Don’t leave any food or water in your dog’s feeding bowls.
Also, ensure you store all fresh pet food in airtight metal or glass containers and seal them with a tight lid. Rats can chew through hard plastic, so metal or glass will keep them at bay.
Can Rats Contaminate Dog Food?
Rats can contaminate dog food and leave your pet vulnerable to various illnesses.
According to the University of Florida, rats can contaminate ten times as much food as they eat. Their urine, droppings, and fur carry various pathogens that are dangerous to humans and animals alike.
Rats are renowned as disease carriers, responsible for infectious illnesses, such as:
- Rat-bite fever
- Bubonic plague
- Spirochetal jaundice
- Murine typhus
These diseases can affect humans and other animals, such as cats and dogs.
Food contamination resulting from rats can lead to poisoning. Allowing your dog to eat rat-contaminated food can be fatal. So, always clean up your dog’s food bowls immediately after a feeding session.
Ensure all trash bins have proper lids that can close appropriately to prevent rats from accessing discarded food. Starving out rats will force them to scavenge for food elsewhere.
How To Keep Rats Out Of Dog Food
Keeping rats out of dog food isn’t complicated.
Here are some practices you can implement:
Clean Up After Every Feeding Session
As mentioned, you should clean up your dog’s food bowls immediately after every feeding session, and this can prevent rats from entering your home.
Keep the area clean by wiping spills and crumbs regularly. Rats only raid places where they can find food and water, and they’re unlikely to come to your home if you maintain high hygiene standards.
Store Food Appropriately
Avoid leaving dog food in its original bag after opening it. Instead, transfer it to an airtight metal or glass container and seal it with a strong lid.
Rats have sharp teeth and strong jaws that can gnaw through softer materials like plastic and paper. Storing pet food in metal or glass containers will prevent rats from accessing it.
Avoid Leaving Food Out Overnight
Never leave any dog food out overnight if you have a rat problem.
Rats are nocturnal animals, and they’ll feast on any food while your dog is asleep. If you have to leave it out in the open, cover the food bowl with a closed container to prevent rats from smelling it.
Feed Wet Food On A Schedule
Wet dog food has a strong odor, which can be problematic when dealing with a rat infestation.
Rats have excellent olfactory systems and can smell strong-smelling food from miles away, even through walls. Leaving spills and crumbs of wet dog food may inevitably attract rats to your home.
Creating a schedule for feeding wet dog food to your pet can deter rats from entering your property.
Does Dog Urine Attract Rats?
Dog urine is a rat deterrent.
According to Harvard Medical School, rats can sense danger through a single active compound in the urine of dogs and other predators. Moreover, dogs are natural predators of rats and can sense danger by smelling dog pee.
Dog urine contains a combination of uric acid and ammonia, which are natural rat repellents. In particular, the smell of ammonia is too strong for rats. If a rat detects this scent, it’ll be startled by the presence of a dangerous predator and offended by the powerful odor.
Are Rats Attracted To Dog Feces?
Dogs tend to eat more than enough, with some food going undigested.
The undigested food usually ends up in dog feces, and rats will smell the food in dog poop and enter your home. Cleaning up dog feces can prevent a rat infestation.
Do Rats Eat Dog Poop?
Rats don’t eat dog poop but consume the food in the feces. When a dog excretes, it releases tiny bits of undigested food, which rats find appetizing. The food in the poop contains nutritious fats and proteins.
Dogs deter rats in some ways and attract them in others. So, the best approach is to clean up after your dog, as this will limit attractants for a rat and leave behind only a predator it’ll naturally fear.