My Dog Killed A Rat Should I Be Worried?

“My dog killed a rat should I be worried?” this question is not as uncommon as you might think, given the large population of rodents even in urban areas. Read ahead, because this situation can be dangerous for your dog.

Dogs are hunting animals by instinct. So, if your sweet little furball has killed a rat, you shouldn’t be too worried about his behavior. However, it could pose major risks to its health.

If your dog has eaten or even killed a rat, the dog is exposed to the chance of having parasites and bacteria transmitted to his system – this can lead to many health problems, including rat-bite fever, Lassa fever, roundworms, and in some cases, rabies

Thus, it is urgent to take your dog to a vet as soon as he kills the rat or eats it so that any sign of transmission done with the rat’s body can be detected and, thus, taken care of. 

My Dog Killed A Rat Should I Be Worried

My Dog Killed a Rat Should I Be Worried?

Yes, as mentioned above, rats carry the bacteria and parasites related to rat-bite fever, Lassa, roundworms and even rabies.

You should be very worried if your dog has killed a rat, primarily through their mouth. As explained in the above sections, moles carry a variety of viruses, parasites, and bacteria in their bodies, which can be easily transmitted to your furry friend through touch, bite, and other bodily fluids. 

As per the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some of the diseases transmitted by rodents to dogs include:

  • Rat-bite fever
  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Roundworms
  • Lassa fever 
  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
  • Lymphocytic Chorio-meningitis (LCM)
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome

In most cases, the contamination happens through the mouth, but the bacteria can also transmit via the animal’s skin. In many cases, it is also possible that the virus or parasite can travel to you from your dog. Thus you have to remain cautious about letting your dog get close to wild animals, in this case, rats or moles.

My Dog Killed a Mole Will He Get Sick?

Moles carry the rabies parasite.

Moles are small, dark brown colored rodents found in most of North America. They mainly cause damage and nuisance in people’s homes, gardens, and property.

Moles are also dangerous for dogs if the latter kills or eats them, if they carry disease-bearing parasites or bacteria in their bodies – it can be easily transmitted to the body of the dog who killed or ate them. It is rare but entirely possible for the mole to bite your dog to protect itself. What we mean is that it might be so that the bite has exposed your dog to the risk of rabies

My Dog Killed A Rat Should I Be Worried


The symptoms of rabies include fever, disorientation, seizures, and foaming of the mouth, amongst other things. If you see your dog behaving funny, vomiting, or showing signs of diarrhea, then it is possible that he might have killed or eaten a mole and is now getting sick. 

However, an upset stomach and vomiting can be a sign of many other issues, and only a thorough check-up should be done at medical care to confirm anything. 

What should I do?

It is best to clean his mouth with a toothbrush before taking him to the vet for a thorough examination. In most cases, the vet will run an x-ray of your dog’s body to make sure there aren’t any pieces stuck in your pet’s throat or stomach, and in case there are any, they will be removed. 

How Much d-Con Can a Dog Eat?

0.2 milligrams to 4 milligrams of brodifacoum for every kilogram of body weight.

D-con is a popular rodent poison in the form of pellets. Many cases of dogs eating rat poison and getting violently sick have been reported in the past few years. Dr. Aubrey Tauer, CEO at Azul Scientific, states that d-Con can be hazardous to dogs even in small quantities.

The lethal dose of d-Con for a dog is usually around 0.2 milligrams to 4 milligrams of brodifacoum for every kilogram of bodyweight of the dog. The substance used in d-Con is classified as warfarin and can be highly toxic for dogs to the point that it can kill them. 

Starting 2018, d-Con switched its main poison to cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3),  instead of brodifacoum, due to EPA regulatory guidelines. This has unfortunately made d-Con even more potent since simple decontamination and giving your pet Vitamin K medication will not be enough to save him.

My Dog Killed A Rat Should I Be Worried

Symptoms of d-Con Poisoning

If you think your dog has swallowed and ingested d-Con or any other rat poison, look for the following symptoms: 

  • Blood in urine, stool, or saliva
  • Pale gums 
  • Rapid breathing 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Weakness
  • Bruising on the body 
  • Low body temperature 
  • Loss of coordination of the body 

How much is lethal? 

Keep in mind that your dog can die due to d-Con ingestion, and thus, you should get it to vomit the minute he consumes it. However, the effect of the poison also depends on the size of the dog and the dosage of the poison. For example, if your dog weighs 10 pounds, it is likely to get affected quicker than a dog that weighs 100 pounds. 

Similarly, the dosage consumed also plays an important part in measuring the effects of d-Con on your dog. Calculating your dog’s 50mg of poison per kg weight is the easiest and quickest way to know how much poison your dog would have consumed to become sick. 

Thus, if you have seen your dog swallow d-Con for rodents, it is recommended to take him to the hospital as soon as possible. Also, take the rat poison that your dog ingested for the vet to learn about the type of medical care your pet requires. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my dog get sick from killing a rat?

Yes, there are many bacteria and parasites including roundworm and rabies that they could catch.

Yes, your dog can get sick from killing a rat, and however, the chances of your dog getting sick are less likely if he has been vaccinated or dewormed. Thus, as a dog owner, your responsibility is to keep your furry friend safe from rats’ unwanted yet deadly diseases by keeping them protected via vaccination.

In many cases, even if one’s dog is vaccinated, he can be affected by a rodent-transmitted disease and show symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, strange behavior, lethargy, etc. Thus, if your dog has killed a rat, it is best to visit a vet and get a thorough examination.

What should you do if your dog killed a rat?

Try to get your dog to vomit, and meanwhile talk to ASPCA and the vet.

If your dog has killed a rat, the first thing you should do is make him vomit. Yes, many a time, if a dog kills a rat, he also eats it since dogs evolve from wolves and have hunter instincts. If there are any stuck pieces of rat, they will come out from his body.

Once it has been done, you must clean his mouth with a good quality toothbrush and continue with it twice a week, at least for a week after the bite or kill. After cleansing his mouth, you must immediately take him to a vet and get a check-up done.

What happens if my dog catches a rat?

Behaviorally you can train this habit out of the dog. But the greater risk is of disease.

Dogs evolve from wolves, and it is quite natural for them to follow their hunting instincts once in a while. However, since they have been bred as domesticated animals for centuries now, their immunity is just not the same as before. 

So, if your dog catches a rat and, in many probabilities, kills it, it can be exposed to transmittable viruses, parasites, and bacteria that can harm his health.

My Dog Killed A Rat Should I Be Worried

A Few Final Words

You should rightfully be worried about your dog’s health if it kills or eats a rat. However, if your dog is not showing any symptoms of disease, you should not jump to the conclusion that since your furry friend has swallowed a rodent, he will be infected with rabies and will struggle. 

While you should take him for a check-up, do not worry because usually, everything is alright with the dogs, and if there seems to be a problem, you should immediately take it to the vet for further inspection and medication. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope you found the answers that you were seeking. If you had more queries, please write to us in the comments so that we can revert to you. 

We have written about other pests that your dog might kill such as groundhogs and rabbits, and what you should do in such cases. Do read to keep your dog safe!