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Can Rodents contaminate your dog’s food? The simple answer is yes they can! Has your dog ever gone off his food for no apparent reason? Of course, illness is often the cause of loss of appetite and should always be ruled out by your vet. However, if your dog turns his nose up at his favourite kibble but still enjoys treats and other foods and is fit and healthy then it could well be that your bag of dog food has been contaminated by rodents. Rats and mice are all around us, but we rarely hear or see them. Mice are attracted to the smell of dry dog food and can easily gnaw through a bag of dog food. Mice tend to urinate and defecate as they feed and you may well spot rice like droppings amongst the kibble. Contaminated dog food may have a distinctive musky smell and you may even notice holes in the bag of dog food. Rats and mice carry many nasty diseases such as leptospirosis, so contaminated food should not be fed to your dog and should always be thrown away.
If like most dog owners, you buy large bags of dog food then storing it safely away from rodents is crucial. Many owners store food in their garage, shed or outbuildings where humans rarely visit making them ideal places for vermin to gather. When you buy a new bag of dog food it’s a good idea to remove the food from its packaging and place the kibble in either a metal, glass or plastic container to protect it from mice and rats. Always check recently bought bags of food for tears and holes as it is possible they could have been contaminated in stores and warehouses!
Always pick up your dog’s bowl especially if they have left some kibble after feeding to reduce the risk of attracting rats and mice. Wash bowls after feeding as even small traces of food can attract rodents. Never feed your dog outside as again this will encourage mice and rats.