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How to get rid of rats when you have dogs

Updated April 17, 2017

Getting rid of rats when you have dogs can prove tricky. Rats gather where dogs live because they can often find food and water. Methods used to kill rats can be harmful or even fatal to pets. Keep your beloved Fido and rid yourself of rodent company with a few home maintenance and rat extermination techniques.

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  1. Remove all clutter from yards, garage and storage sheds. Look for signs of mice or rat infestation as you clean. Thin shrubbery and vegetation that is growing close to the house with yard shears.

  2. Inspect the outside of home for openings in the brick, siding and around windows and doors. Use caulk to seal any opening on home larger than ¼ inch. Seal openings around utility lines, pipes and drains. Fit any opening you cannot caulk with screen mesh. Wrap mesh around opening and secure with wire tie. Hire a professional to install spark arresters--chimney caps that prevent fireplace debris from flying onto the roof and rodents from entering the home.

  3. Set out rat poison approved for interior use in areas where dogs cannot access, such as the attic or behind appliances . Rat poison comes in blocks for rats to chew on and in a powder form you can mix with food. With poison, there is a high likelihood the rats will crawl away and die inside walls where they cannot be reached for removal.

  4. Set mouse traps instead of using poisons. Use peanut butter to bait the traps. Set traps under the sink; behind large appliances, such as the stove or refrigerator; in the attic and any other place dogs cannot access and where mouse activity is suspected. Use multiple traps in different areas of the home.

  5. Apply glue boards in pet inaccessible areas. Place glue boards in areas rodents are known to travel. Place two or more glue strips side by side to increase the likelihood of trapping rats. Using glue boards in conjunction with mouse traps increases your chances of eliminating the rat population in your home.

  6. Dispose of dead rats immediately. Wearing rubber gloves, remove dead rat and place in plastic sack. Soak the rat and inside of bag with disinfectant spray. Tie the bag closed and place in another plastic bag. Tie and dispose of in outside trash container. Reset the trap. Wash gloves with disinfectant and wash hands with soap and water.

  7. Tip

    Set mouse traps so they will snap at the slightest amount of pressure. Keep your house rat-proofed by making it difficult for them to enter, nest and find food and water. This will help prevent reinfestation. Store all pet food in metal containers with lids. Mice and rats will chew through plastic containers. Keep home trash free. Empty inside dustbins every day and remove to outside dustbin with a tight fitting lid. Make it difficult for rats to find food and water indoors. Store all food in airtight containers with lids, including bread. Do not leave food on cabinets or in other areas of the home. Keep sink areas dry.


    Never use poison or traps in any area that can be accessed by children or pets. Never remove dead rats with bare hands. Always clean gloves and hands with disinfectant and soap and water.

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Things You'll Need

  • Yard shears
  • Caulk
  • Caulking gun
  • Metal or mesh grates
  • Spark arresters
  • Metal containers
  • Food storage containers
  • Rat poison
  • Rat traps
  • Glue boards
  • Gloves
  • Disinfectant
  • Plastic bags

About the Author

Donna McFadden has been writing articles for business and consumer audiences for 14 years. Her first book was published in 2003. She currently writes for Demand Studios with expertise in business, crafts, society, and healthy living categories. She holds a Master of Business Degree in Business Administration from Amberton University.

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