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Rats tend to be even-tempered, neither aggressive nor docile. Rats can, however, become very aggressive if cornered, injured or protecting a litter. Run-ins between rodents and pets are inevitable especially considering that dogs and cats have it in them to chase down, kill and even consume small wildlife. This shouldn’t be much of a problem for larger dogs but a small dog can sustain considerable injuries from a rat attack.
Protecting Your Pets around Rats
The real danger that rats pose to your pets is rarely from direct attack but rather from secondary concerns. Apart from the unlikely event of a fight between a rat and your pet where the rat comes out victorious, you should be mindful of the following scenarios;
The fact that rats carry numerous diseases is well documented but these can be transmitted to your pets and even to you in an unfortunate chain. Cats and dogs chase down rats given the opportunity and may kill and eat the rat. Dogs are especially susceptible to toxoplasmosis, a disease that rats carry. The disease is then passed on to the dog and causes symptoms such as diarrhea and nervous system problems.
Rats also carry parasites such as fleas and ticks which also carry diseases. These parasites are easily passed on to your pets and finally to you. Roundworms are also a concern if your pet consumes contaminated food or water or eats an infected rodent.
Pets are curious and will sniff around everywhere including under rocks and any other places where you might have laid poisons or traps. Traps and poisons are indiscriminate and are equally fatal or injurious to your pets.
There are strict rodenticides controls and regulations in Toronto because of cases of accidental poisoning. You could be charged and fined if you are found to be using rodenticides inappropriately so make sure that you are familiar with your local regulations before attempting to poison rats. In fact, it is best to just leave the job to a rat exterminator.
Signs of accidental poisoning in pets include;
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Foaming or excessive salivation at the mouth
- Laboured breathing
Visit a vet immediately you suspect that your pet has consumed rat poison.
Competition for Food
Although it is unlikely that your pets will starve from having their food taken away by rats, pet food and rats is still a serious concern. Keep in mind that pet food including bird seed attracts rats. The rodents may also contaminate the food.
The pet food also increases the chance of an encounter between your pets and rats which in turn increases the likelihood of transmitting diseases and parasites or attack.
Hire an Exterminator to Get Rid of Rats
Rats on your property are a danger to you and your pets so it’s an issue that needs to be addressed urgently. Keep in mind that you could be charged for irresponsible use of rodenticides and rat traps.
Hire a rat exterminator in Toronto to take care of your rat problem. The expert will also clean out rat debris including toilets and nests which carry many potential diseases. Do not handle rat feces or rat nests without proper protective gear complete with a respirator. This is toxic material and an infection could be potentially fatal. Rat debris also contains pheromones which can alert other rodents to an ideal nesting site. These opportunistic invaders aren’t just restricted to rats and may include raccoons and squirrels.
The exterminator will also remove whatever is attracting the rats to your home in the first place and seal appropriately to prevent the critters from breaking in again.