Animals & Bones

Can A Dog Eat A Mouse?

Can A Dog Eat A Mouse? Get detailed answers and FAQs, information on good and bad ingredients for dogs, recipes and alternative food options.

It isn’t recommended to feed dogs mice but dogs are known to hunt mice. In fact, breeds known as “ratters” such as various terriers were bread to hunt rodents. One of the stray dogs I adopted proudly wields dead mice up to my doorstep when she catches one on the property. So, should your dog catch and eat a mouse on your property here is what you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  • Dogs can technically eat mice, but it is not recommended.
  • Mice can carry diseases and parasites that can harm dogs.
  • Ingesting mice can cause gastrointestinal issues in dogs.
  • Some dogs may instinctively chase and catch mice, but it’s best to prevent this behavior.
  • If a dog eats a mouse, monitor their health and consult a veterinarian if any concerns arise.
  • Keep dogs away from areas with mice infestations to reduce risks.
  • Properly dispose of any dead mice to prevent accidental ingestion by dogs.
  • Training and supervision are key to preventing mouse-eating behavior in dogs.
  • Ensure that your dog’s diet is complete and balanced to discourage hunting instincts.
  • If a dog shows symptoms of illness after consuming a mouse, seek veterinary care immediately.


Can a dog eat a mouse? Yes, a dog can eat a mouse. However, it is important to understand the potential risks and considerations involved. The rest of the article explores the potential consequences, health issues, and precautions to keep in mind when your dog encounters a mouse. Understanding these factors will help ensure the well-being of your furry companion.

1. Natural Instincts and Hunting Behavior

Dogs are descendants of wolves, and thus, retain their hunting instincts. Many dogs have a natural inclination to chase and catch small prey like mice. It is not uncommon for dogs with a strong prey drive to actively pursue and even consume mice when given the opportunity. However, not all dogs showcase this behavior, as it can vary based on individual temperament and training.

2. Health Risks Associated with Mouse Consumption

While many dogs can eat a mouse without issues, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks. Mice might carry various parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and worms, which can pass on to the dog upon consumption. Additionally, some mice may have ingested toxic substances, such as rodenticides, which can be harmful to dogs. Therefore, it is advisable to monitor your dog closely after any mouse encounters and consult a veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms.

3. Potential Dangers and Hazards

When dogs consume mice, there is a risk of injury or intestinal obstruction due to the sharp bones and fragments that may be present in the mouse. Swallowing a whole mouse or its parts without effective chewing can lead to choking or other digestive issues. It is essential to supervise your dog during outdoor activities and discourage them from consuming prey items, as their safety should always be prioritized.

4. Poisonous Mouse Species

Some mice species, such as the deer mouse, carry the potentially deadly hantavirus. This virus can cause severe respiratory problems in dogs, and even humans, if the infected mouse is consumed. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent your dog from eating mice in regions where hantavirus is known to be present. Consult your local health department or veterinarian to determine if your area is at risk for hantavirus transmission.

5. Behavioral Changes and Unhealthy Obsessions

Allowing your dog to eat mice or encouraging hunting behavior can lead to a heightened prey drive and possibly an obsession with hunting small animals. This behavior can create problems if your dog starts chasing or attacking other small pets or wildlife. Developing a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your dog is crucial to maintain their overall well-being and avoid potential conflicts and accidents.

6. Nutrition and Balanced Diet

Eating a mouse should not be a significant part of a dog’s diet. While dogs are primarily carnivores, their nutritional requirements are best met through a balanced diet formulated by professional pet food manufacturers. High-quality commercial dog food provides the necessary nutrients for your dog’s health. Feeding them properly and meeting their dietary needs will ensure they receive the correct balance of proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins for optimal growth and well-being.


1. Is it safe for a dog to eat a mouse?

No, it is generally not safe for a dog to eat a mouse. Mice can carry various diseases and parasites that can be harmful to your dog. Ingesting a mouse can lead to health issues, including bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, and potential poisoning if the mouse has consumed toxic substances.

If you are an experienced ratter and know how to train and handle dogs for ratting then you should take all of the proper precautions when dealing with rats and mice around your dogs.

2. What if my dog has already eaten a mouse?

If your dog has eaten a mouse, it is recommended to contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to provide guidance based on your dog’s size, overall health, and any symptoms that may arise. Your veterinarian might suggest monitoring your dog closely or ask you to bring them in for an examination to rule out any potential health risks.

3. What symptoms should I be worried about if my dog ate a mouse?

If your dog has consumed a mouse, watch for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Visible signs of parasites in feces or vomit
  • Unexplained weight loss

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian for further advice.

4. Can a dog get infected by diseases from a mouse?

Yes, dogs can potentially be infected by diseases when they come into contact with mice. Some common diseases transmitted by mice to dogs include Hantavirus, Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis, and Rat-Bite Fever. These diseases can cause severe health issues in dogs and may require medical treatment.

5. How can I prevent my dog from eating mice?

To prevent your dog from eating mice, consider following these measures:

  • Keep your home and surroundings clean to discourage mice infestation.
  • Seal any openings that could allow mice to enter your home.
  • Keep your dog on a leash during walks to minimize their contact with mice or areas where they may be present.
  • Train your dog to avoid chasing or consuming rodents.
  • Use mouse traps or other appropriate methods to control mouse populations in your environment.

6. Should I be worried about my dog catching parasites from a mouse?

Yes, dogs can catch parasites from mice. Mice can carry fleas, ticks, mites, and other external parasites that can transfer to your dog upon contact. Additionally, mice can transmit internal parasites like roundworms and tapeworms. Regular preventative measures, such as using flea and tick preventatives and deworming medications recommended by your veterinarian, can help protect your dog from these parasites.

7. Is it safe to allow my dog to hunt and consume wild rodents?

Allowing your dog to hunt and consume wild rodents is generally not recommended. While hunting instincts are natural for dogs, consuming wild rodents can pose health risks due to potential diseases and parasites carried by rodents. It is safer to discourage your dog from hunting and provide alternative forms of mental and physical stimulation.

If you are an experienced ratter and know how to train and handle dogs for ratting then you should take all of the proper precautions when dealing with rats and mice around your dogs.


Based on research and expert opinions, it is clear that dogs are capable of eating mice. However, it is important to note that this behavior is not common in domesticated dogs and may pose health risks. While some dogs may instinctively prey on small animals like mice due to their predatory nature, it is crucial for dog owners to discourage such behavior. Mice can carry diseases or parasites that can be harmful to dogs if ingested. Additionally, the bones of mice can be hazardous and may cause choking or internal injuries. It is best to prevent dogs from eating mice and provide them with a balanced and safe diet to maintain their well-being.

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