Can dogs eat rat food?

In this article, we will briefly answer the query, “Can dogs eat rat food?” along with other questions like what are the symptoms of rat food poisoning? How to tackle rat posing? And how to prevent it?

Can dogs eat rat food?

No, dogs cannot eat rat food. They are poisonous to your dogs. Rat food or rat bait is flavored food that is used to attract the rodents towards the trap. In the case of a household, dogs are also vulnerable to rat poison, so it is advisable to keep this in mind.

What are the harmful effects of rat bait poisoning?

Dogs are the animals that love to lick anything that is new to them. Dogs have a good sense of taste and smell.

It is very common in the house that your dog will ingest rat poison. You should take care of this deadly poison which is there to attract the rodents and rats.

Following are the clinical signs of rat bait poisoning:

  • The most dangerous of everything is the internal bleeding; internal bleeding leads to other clinical signs
  • Wobbliness
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums from anemia.
  • Coughing and difficulty in breathing due to accumulation of blood in the lungs.
  • Accumulation of blood in the abdomen causes a distended abdomen.
  • Organ damage 
  • cardiac problems
  • Neurological problem
  • Death

So far, we have discussed rat bait poisoning. Now let’s dive into the details of rat poisoning. When your dog ingests rat poison, what can you do in that situation? First, we need to know what types of rat poison are available in the market.

What are the types of rat poison available in the market?

Your dog will lick the rat bait that is on the floor. It is very common, and it is very difficult to prevent. So it is very important for you to know what type of rat poison you are using in your home.

Following are some common types of rat poison available in the market:


The first one on the list is cholecalciferol. The major problem with this rat poison is it increases the calcium level in the body. Calcium has a vital function in the body. The major is the contraction of muscles, especially the heart muscles. 

An abnormal level of calcium can lead to cardiac abnormalities. Acute renal failure is one of the major organ damage in this case. It takes 12 to 36 hours for your dog to show such clinical signs.


The next on the list are anticoagulants. As we have discussed earlier, internal bleeding is the major and deadly clinical sign of rat poisoning. 

Anticoagulants are of many types like chlorophacinone, diphacinone, brodifacoum, and bromadiolone. They are the favorite of dogs. They are the most common poison ingested by dogs.

Anticoagulants interfere with the function of vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for the clotting of blood in the body. This is the reason internal bleeding happens in the body. It could take two to seven days for your dog to show clinical signs.

Zinc phosphide

Zinc phosphide is not a very common poison available on the market. They are out of reach of the public; only professionals have access to this poison. However, It is still toxic and deadly for your dog.


Bromethalin is last on the list of rat poisons. It is also deadly if consumed in large amounts. The main organ it affects is the central nervous system of the body. The central nervous system is an important organ of the body.

It increases the sodium level in the body. Sodium has one important function, and that is it regulates the flow of water into and out of the cell. Suppose the sodium level in the cell increases, the water from the outside moves in, and the cell swells. The swelling of cells leads to the bursting of cells.

This eventually causes the death of your dog. It takes one to two weeks for your dog to show clinical signs of rat poisoning. 

What is the treatment for rat food poisoning?

The first thing you should do is visit the vet. The vet is the only person that is capable of diagnosing and treating the prevailing condition.

Your vet will examine your dog. The first thing he will do is to induce vomiting if your dog recently ingested rat food. The most common method is giving your dog activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is a compound that induces vomiting in dogs.

Vomiting will remove rat food from the stomach and intestine if it is not absorbed from the intestine into the bloodstream. After that, your vet will perform a necessary test to see if there are any kinds of toxins in the blood of your dog.


In this article, we answered the query, “Can dogs eat rat food?” We also discussed other questions like what are the types of rat poisons? What are the harmful effects of rat food? And what can you do to treat rat food poisoning?


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