Do Dogs Eat Rats? (And Why or Why Not!)

It’s common to let your dog out into the yard and then see it chasing rats, mice, and all sorts of rodents from one end to the next. This can be a concerning sight for dog owners that want to make sure their dog doesn’t end up bringing the rat indoors and/or eating it. However, you will want to start by asking, do dogs eat rats?

Dogs enjoy chasing rats as it is a natural instinct associated with their prey drive. While dogs do prefer running after rats, they will rarely eat one. Dogs do not eat rats as it is bad for their digestive system and can lead to significant health concerns including intestinal worms.

It’s highly recommended to observe your dog when it runs after rats. Make sure your dog is not trying to take a bite as that may lead to serious consequences.

The consequences include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain/Discomfort
  • Vomiting

Anyone that is thinking about asking, “Do dogs eat rats?” should realize everything a dog chases doesn’t mean it will also consume it. For example, your dog may run after a tennis ball, it doesn’t mean the dog is going to munch into a tennis ball too!

The same applies to a dog running after rats indoors or outdoors.

Yes, your dog will catch rats from time to time but that is all it is going to do. The idea of an animal running around is going to activate the dog’s prey drive and that is what will want it to run after the rat.

To learn more about this, here is a look at the question, “Do dogs eat rats?” along with what the benefits are of dogs chasing rats outdoors or indoors.

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Benefits of Dogs Chasing Rats

1. Keeps the Rats Away

When asking, “do dogs eat rats?” you will want to think about the main advantage of a dog hunting rats.

In general, dogs have long been used as a way to eliminate rats on farms, in houses, and everywhere else. They are great at hunting rats and can spot them quickly due to their strong hunting skills.

While dogs shouldn’t eat rats, it is still okay for them to act as a rat repellant of sorts!

The rats will not want to come near the dog and that is a good way to ensure the area remains rat-free.

Do dogs eat rats

2. Keeps the Dog Active

The dog needs to move around during the day.

Their body won’t know whether this is a dog running through the dog park or hunting rats. It is the same for the body and that is the same logic you should apply as a dog owner.

If the dog is running after rats, let it.

Dogs with pent-up energy can lead to significant destruction at home and it is always best for them to use their energy up chasing rats.

This will bode well for the dog’s energy levels and will keep it healthy too.

This is essential for those who want to ensure the dog is as fit as possible.

Do dogs eat rats

3. Helps Maintain Prey Drive

A dog’s prey drive cannot be underestimated.

You have to realize dogs do have a natural instinct to run after animals that are on its territory. This would happen in the wild naturally.

However, it can get subdued when they are a pet at home.

Dogs have a natural prey drive that has to be kept sharp for them to stay psychologically healthy and this is a good way to activate that drive naturally.

By letting dogs run after rats, you are going to make it easier for them to maintain that type of instinct.

This goes a long way in keeping the dog healthy and that alone is never a bad thing.

Related Questions

1. Will a Dog Kill a Rat?

Dogs are more than happy to kill a dog if given the chance to do so. For years, humans have used dogs to hunt rodents around the house as dogs love chasing after them and will naturally look to eliminate them from their territory.

2. How Do I Know If My Dog Ate a Rat?

Dogs will often display signs of consuming a rat such as vomiting, nose bleeds, weakness, fatigue, and/or a long list of additional symptoms.

3. What is the Best Dog to Kill Rats?

Most dog breeds will do well chasing rats but specific breeds that are best for killing rats include – Rat Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

Final Thoughts

Do dogs eat rats?

Dogs will not mind running after rats and even killing them but it is rare for a dog to eat rats. It is not good for their digestive system.

It can lead to significant health issues due to the presence of intestinal worms that are caused by the rat.

Here is more about dogs for you to read – giving breadfruit to a dog at home, quality gyro meat for a healthy dog, managing bowed legs in dogs, and napping puppies in crates.