Your canine companion may be your best bud, your protector and even lifesaver from time to time, but there are some uncomfortable features of life as a dog owner. Wouldn’t it be great if on top of all of that they also kept mice away? Especially given the skittish nature of rodents and the aggressive nature of dogs. Many homeowners believe that with their canine companion around, the animal control issues on their Scarborough properties will be eliminated. But is this true?
The Dog-Mice Relationship
Logically you’ll wonder whether your dog is repelling or attracting mice, especially if since your furry friend joined the family you’ve been seeing more rodents around. We already know that there is a natural dislike between cats and rodents as they have a predator-prey relationship. Dogs are pretty terrifying to smaller animals and have a strong hate/fear relationship with cats, the predators of rodents. So it should stand to reason that rodents would be terrified of canines.
But are dogs as scary to mice as their feline nemesis? Some University of Florida researchers decided to look for definitive evidence on the matter by examining the behaviour of the species in question in several African villages. They found that rodents stayed away when any household pets (cats or dogs) were present, but also that they tended to venture back into the space if there was a dog present. If a cat was present, the rodents would not come back into the home. In fact, they also found that the rodent repellent impact of dogs seemed greater when there was a feline presence. Animal behaviour experts explain that this may be because the natural dislike between cats and dogs creates a hostile environment that mice, being the skittish safety loving foragers they are, shy away from.
So if Dog’s Don’t Really Repel Mice, Do They Attract Them?
Dog poop is an unpleasant but unavoidable part of canine-human relationships. Dog poop not only smells bad but is attracts undesirable pests such as flies. Which may lead you to wonder, “Is my dog’s poop also attracting mice?” The truth is, while dog poop is unhygienic (it is a reservoir of bad bacteria like E.coli) to keep around and should be cleaned up thoroughly and promptly, it is not all that appealing to rodents.
Mice might eat dog feces because, believe it or not, there are some nutrients (fat, proteins, and carbs) sitting in that mess, but it is definitely nowhere near the top of the list of their favourite foods. They’ll probably only go for what your dog deposits when none of the more palatable options (such as fruits and human food) are available. In fact, dog poop is so far down on rodents preferred meal list that they’re more likely to eat their own feces or their own offspring before going there. So while dog poop gets a bad rap, it shouldn’t be blamed for rodent infestations.
What might attract rodents is the food your pup leaves uneaten in his bowl or scattered around it. If you want to prevent your dog from becoming a rodent attraction, you should make extra effort to keep it clean. This may mean feeding your pup smaller portions (just enough to keep the dog satiated and reduce the likelihood of leftovers.)
It is true that many wildlife animals will shy away when they encounter a dog (especially the bigger canine species). But this is not a foolproof wildlife prevention solution. So don’t be so quick to sign of on your canine friend being the only animal control strategy for your Scarborough property. Contact Skedaddle today.