My Dog Ate a Rat or Mouse What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 02/14/24 •  5 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Dogs are hunters by nature, even if they live in the city. Your dog may be prone to hunting bugs, rats or mice. Occasionally even a city dog will eat a rat or a mouse. But could this make your dog sick?

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Health Issues in Dogs from Eating Rodents

There are several health issues that rodents can cause in your dog. Let’s take a look:

Toxoplasmosis: is a parasite that can cause a host of health issues in a dog. Some of the symptoms include:

Intestinal worms (such as roundworms): can take up residence in your dog and cause diarrhea, vomiting, poor nutrition and more.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Secondary poisoning: if the mouse or rat ate poison before being eaten, then the poison enters your dog’s system, too. The levels of toxicity will depend on the amount that the rodent ate and how many rodents your dog has eaten. Your canine companion may develop:

Salmonellosis: carried by both rats and mice, symptoms can include:

This infection can lead to death if untreated, and the dog can spread the infection to his family and other pets in the home.

Rats can also carry other diseases such as Rat Bite Fever (a bacterial infection) and Tularemia (another bacterial infection).

Rats and mice (along with other small rodents) can also carry rabies, though this is very rare.

Can Rodent Bones Hurt Your Dog’s Digestive Tract?

Mouse and rat bones are pretty small and should be able to pass through your dog’s digestive tract without any trouble. This applies to small dogs. However, a problem could potentially develop if your canine companion has eaten many rodents. In that case, the bones could collect in your dog’s system and cause a blockage.

Symptoms of intestinal blockage include:

If you notice these symptoms in your dog, contact the vet immediately. Intestinal obstruction can be a life-threatening condition. The vet will be able to advise you if your fur baby needs emergency treatment.

This is not an exhaustive list of medical issues that a dog can develop after eating rodents.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Mouse or Rat

First, never induce vomiting, unless directed to do so by your vet. This could cause additional harm or other medical issues.

If you know for sure that your canine companion’s eaten a mouse or rat, be sure to call your vet right away. Have information ready for the vet including:

This information can be very helpful to the vet. Treatment will depend on your fur baby’s symptoms and whether or not the rodent had ingested poison, etc.

With fast, early treatment, your fur baby has a happy prognosis. And your dog may not show any symptoms if the rodent wasn’t carrying harmful bacteria. Your fur baby will be OK, but it’s a good idea to make sure he can’t eat rats or mice in the future to avoid possible serious health issues.


My dog ate a mouse in the woods. How can I clean his mouth?

If your dog has eaten a mouse while out in the woods, the rodent probably did not ingest rodenticide. However, we know it can be a little gross to accept doggie kisses after your fur baby’s eaten a mouse. Thankfully, your dog’s mouth is continuously cleaned by saliva. You can get your dog to drink some water to also flush away any mouse remnants.

If your dog’s mouth still seems gross, you can give him a dental chew or brush his teeth with dog-safe toothpaste. If you have additional concerns, be sure to contact your veterinarian.

What if my dog ate mouse or rat droppings?

If your dog has eaten mouse or rat droppings in an infested area, there’s a chance the rodents could have eaten rodenticide. In that case, the poison could pass to your dog. It’s best to call your vet for advice.

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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