Can Dogs Keep Mice Away?

When you think about a rodent infestation, you probably think about cats as good rodent repellents, rather than dogs. We personally do not recommend any kind of domesticated household pet near rodents, or places that rodents inhabit. There are just too many disease threats, and those disease threats then have the potential to work their way around the other household members, wreaking havoc. This is definitely the case for something like salmonellosis, caused by bacteria transferred from mouse feces, urination, or direct contact with the animal or contaminated material.

Rat Baiting

In the early parts of the 20th century, there was actually a sport dedicated to dogs killing rats, known as rat baiting. One dog would be placed in a hole or pit, with a number of rats or mice, with bets being taken for how many of the rodents people thought the dog would be able to destroy or kill. Some bets would be based on length of time, such as, how long the dog would take to kill at rodents in the pit or hole.

Dog Breeds

A number of dog breeds are suggested for the prevention, killing, or removal of rodents and other wild animals — rats, mice, foxes, badgers, voles, moles, and plenty more. The problem with this activity is that the dog usually causes more mess attempting to get to the animal than the animal actually caused in the first place. This is definitely the case for dog breeds such as terriers and dachshunds, which can destroy a patch of land in the pursuit of a burrowing animal.

A Note of Caution

Although it might seem like nature working its magic when domesticated pets like dogs and cats chase down, kill, and prevent rodents and other critters, the reality is usually far removed from this. We have personally owned a number of cats that have been scared of mice, and would actually run out of a room if a rodent (mouse or rat) was present.

All of this is taking the potential disease risks out of the equation, too. Both rats and mice, as well as a host of other rodents and critters, carry with them a vast array of diseases and disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. It takes the transfer of just one of those organisms in order to get the disease train moving, and when everyone lives in a close space — like, in your home — the spread of disease doesn't take long.

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