What to do if my dog ate a rat ?

It is quite common and natural for the dogs and the cats to catch rats. But if in the case when your dog eats the rodent, it might have undesirable consequences. The reason for the danger of eating rats by dogs includes the infection of intestinal worms that might be present in the stomach of the rat and other parasites like toxoplasmosis. The consumption of the rat by the dog also has the risk of suffering from secondary rat bait poisoning.      

What are the dangers of eating rodents in dogs?

The accidental consumption or eating of the rat by the dog might have several undesirable consequences for our pets. Some of these are:

Intestinal worm infection

There are chances that the rat in your house or surrounding eaten by your dog has some intestinal worm infection. And, when your dog eats this rat, the worm infection will infect your doggo as well, which is highly undesirable. 

The intestinal worms generally present in rats include several types of roundworms and some tapeworms and flukes. The roundworms, flukes, and tapeworms, when they reach in your fido’s digestive system, are equally hazardous for their health as well. The intestine of the dog will eat on the intestinal content and compete with your four-legged canine friend for nutrition. This will lead to emaciation in dogs and can have even more severe consequences in some cases.    


Toxoplasma is a kind of protozoa that can also infect dogs and cause several diseases. This kind of protozoan organism is very commonly found in rats and, when eaten by the dogs, will infect dogs as well. They in dogs lead to the formation and development of cysts in their muscles and can cause several other digestive symptoms in dogs also. 

Besides making dogs ill, they cause diarrhea, liver disease, pneumonia, ad many other diseases in dogs. Sometimes, its infection can be even more severe and lead to nervous symptoms and dogs. 

Secondary poisoning due to ingestion of poisoned rat

When eating a rat that has eaten the rodenticide, the dog will lead to the development of secondary poisoning in dogs. Though its chances are very rare but can not be avoided. 

The level of secondary poisoning depends on the amount of the poison consumed, age of the dog, seasons, and the type of rodenticide poison.

What to do if the dog eats a rat?

In the case when you saw your dog catching a rat and then eating it, immediately take action to prevent the consumption of the rat. But in the case when you suspect that your dog has eaten the rat, then visit your vet as soon as possible. 

Or, in the case when the rat that your dog ate was dead, then the visit to the animal doctor becomes even more important and urgent. If you have intoxicated rats in your house with rodenticide and then your doggo eats on that intoxicated rat, there is a need to contact the veterinarian as soon as possible. You should tell your veterinarian about all the incidence and the type of toxin you used to kill rats. Based on your information, the veterinarian will start the treatment and avoid the occurrence of the several outcomes. 

Even in the case when you have not spread any rodenticide, still the visit to the veterinarian is urgent in the case when the dog has eaten the rat. The reason is that the rats have any kinds of infections, protozoan infections, roundworms, flukes, tapeworms and many more that are hazardous for dogs.

The bottom line

In the case when you suspect your fids have eaten any rat, whether intoxicated or not intoxicated, the visit to the veterinarian is very important. Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

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