Believe it or not, “my dog ate a mouse, what do I do” is often asked. You would never expect your companion to eat a dog, but it does happen. There are some pairings of animals that are assumed, enemies. Lion and zebra, cat and mouse, fox and rabbit. If you’d put them together in a room, you know for a fact they wouldn’t get along. While most dogs are typically gentle and loving animals, they do come from a long line of predatory animals, such as coyotes and wolves, which are all about hunting. Depending on the breed of dog, your dog may also have a desire for tracking and catching small rodents or other animals they see as prey.
Rodents like mice can often find themselves in danger in a house with either a dog or a cat present. Some dogs have even been trained to catch mice and other rodents to keep the home healthy and safe. And sometimes, the experience between a dog and a rodent goes beyond just seeing. Dogs with a strong predatory instinct and are known hunting breeds may be interested in eating up a mouse one time or another. Especially if you live in an area where rats and mice are frequently found roaming in the backyard, some dogs can’t just help but chase, catch and eat these tiny rodents.
Yet just because a dog has an innate sense of hunting and catching doesn’t mean you’ll want them to eat up an actual mouse. While they can be nice to get out of the house, mice don’t make great meals for dogs. What happens when your dog takes matters into its own hands and eats up a mouse? Whether the mouse was dead or alive, you may be in for some unfortunate consequences. To help you take care of your pet in the best possible way, here we share some things to know if your dog has eaten up a mouse.
Are Mice Bad For Dogs?
Dogs have a strange tendency to eat things that they really shouldn’t. From trash to old leftovers to much more, they have a fascination and curiosity for tasting things to identify what they might be. The same goes for a mouse. Especially if they’ve caught it themselves, they may be proud of their find. They may end up wanting to consume their kill. Typically, the mouse itself isn’t what’s the issue. While small dogs certainly shouldn’t consume a mouse, larger dogs may have no trouble eating it.
However, some potential dangers result when your dog eats a mouse. Perhaps most importantly is the possibility of the mouse being poisoned or sick with other diseases that then transfer to your dog. Keep in mind that these dangers apply to both the mouse itself and any mouse droppings that your dog may have wanted to snag up as well. Take great attention and care to ensure your dog doesn’t get sick from their experience with a mouse.
Danger: Rodent Poison
Most people don’t like mice or other rodents in their house, so they may choose to use a type of rodenticide poison in an attempt to get them to stop being a bother. Mice may take a while to die from the poison, so even if the mouse is alive when consumed, there’s still a chance that they are poisoned. These poisoned mice can cause serious concerns for the dog that consumes them. If a dog finds a mouse that is already dead, chances it is – it has the poison inside its gut still. This can still be a danger even if the amount of toxin is small. A little bit of tox can make your dog sick or worse.
Danger: Rodent Diseases
In addition to having poison in their system, mice may also carry harmful diseases and illnesses that can be passed to your dog as well. Other parasites can also live in mice, which are then transferred to your dog when your dog eats the mouse. Parasites such as toxoplasma can make your dog very sick. Roundworms can also be transferred from mouse to dog. Thirdly, illnesses like leptospirosis are bacteria-causing sicknesses that can turn out to be very lethal. With the potential for diseases like these, it’s essential to prevent your dog from consuming the mouse.
Danger: Gastrointestinal Issues
Even if the mouse isn’t filled with toxins or diseases, the processing of the mouse for your dog may cause some abdominal and stomach pain. Mainly if your dog isn’t used to eating odd foods aside from dog food, they may experience some challenges in properly digesting a mouse. Carefully monitor their health to ensure they are doing well in digesting the mouse. Ensure they have access to water and that they don’t become even sicker. Ensure that no mouse bones become stuck in their stomach or intestines as the mouse passes through. It may be helpful to check their feces after they’ve entirely given the mouse to ensure they are free of it.
My Dog Ate a Mouse: What Do I Do?
One of the most important things to do when your dog decides to eat a mouse is to determine whether a poisoning is possible. This happens when your dog eats a mouse that has been poisoned with a rodenticide. If this is the case, it’s essential to connect with your veterinarian right away. In any case, a quick call to the veterinarian may be a helpful check-in to ensure you are caring for your dog the right way. If poisoning is possible, your veterinarian may want to induce vomiting to get the mouse and the poison out of your dog’s system.
While this may not be the most pleasant experience, it’s vitally important to get that toxin out of your dog’s stomach. Other toxin-neutralizing steps may be recommended by your veterinarian. If your dog at a mouse that was sick or carrying some other disease, it’s also vitally essential to induce vomiting and neutralize the sickness. Be alert of what your dog consumes and take appropriate action as soon as possible. It’s also necessary to monitor your dog’s health as they digest and process a mouse if they are not induced into vomiting.
While your dog should be able to handle the mouse’s small bones, be alert of signs of choking or other punctures to the intestines. If your dog ate a mouse outdoors, such as camping or hiking, the chances are that the mouse wasn’t poisoned but may still be carrying an illness. In any case, you’ll also want to clean out their mouth. Making your dog drink a lot of water and wash their mouth out can be an effective way to refresh their mouth. You can also give them a dental chew to freshen their breath and prevent any other dental concerns.
Conclusion For “My Dog Ate a Mouse”
Having a dog catch mice can be an effective way to get rodents out of your house. However, ensure that catching doesn’t turn to eat. Not only will you have the potential for a big mess on your hands, but your dog may also be subjected to dangerous toxins or other parasites and illnesses that can cause a severe compromise to their health. To prevent your dog from eating mice, be sure to keep an eye out for them, especially if you live in an area known to have a lot of mice running around.
While catching them can be a helpful task for you, make sure your dog doesn’t take the next step in eating the mouse as their reward. By being intentional about keeping your dog healthy, you can encourage them to live their best life in both having fun while also staying free from harmful toxins and illnesses. Love your dog, not the mice they eat and care for their health.
For more dog-related articles, check out:
- Dog Ate a Sponge: What Do I Do?
- My Dog Ate a Sock but Is Acting Normal?
- Why Is My Dog Eating Grass All of a Sudden?
(Graphic) To see hunting dogs in action, watch “Dog Eat Field Mouse” from Animal Facts down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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