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How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together: A Safety Guide

Rats and Dogs Living Togethert

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together. Rats and dogs are different kinds of creatures. Rats are small and cautious while dogs are large and quite curious. However, some rats and dogs might get along perfectly fine; distrust and aggression are also to be expected.

Rats often considered as prey to larger animals, including dogs. They might even smell as prey to the friendly domesticated dogs. The chances are even higher if there is a hunting breed of dogs at home. The only way to find out if the animals will get along is by introducing them to each other.

Dogs and rats are both great pets. However, it is always challenging when it comes to introducing these two pets. If one pet becomes nervous or uncomfortable around the other, there may be an occurrence of the fight. However, some methods can aid the introduction of these pets when applying carefully.

Rat and Dog

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together

Initially, it is better to keep both dogs and rats in a separate room. This separate room for rats will keep them safe from the dog’s attack. This room must have a door that can stay close to prevent the dog from entering. This door will help to keep rat safe even if it succeed in escaping from the cage. The rat will be in the room after escaping. Thus it will within the room and remain safe.

If the room availability is not possible, then the owner can keep the rat’s cage to a place where the entrance of the dog is not possible. The handler can hold the pen on a sturdy shelf or a high table. The site must be safe and high enough to avoid the jump of the dog.

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together: A Safety Guide 1
How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together

As rats are intelligent creatures; therefore, there are chances to escape from the cage in the absence of the owner. Therefore, make sure the cage sealed correctly to avoid the evading of the rat. All the holes must be sealed from where the rat can squeeze. Prevention of rat’s escaping by ensuring there is no loose area in the room.

The dog must be out of the place when it is time for the rat to play or exercise. The separation of dogs from the rat’s room will help rats to remain secure. However, breeds do play a vital role in dog-rat friendship. Some kinds of dogs view rats as prey while some dogs are excellent with rats. Following are some breeds of dogs that are fine with the rats.

  • ·        Australian Shepherd
    • Basset Hound
    • Bulldog
    • Golden Retriever
    • Irish Setter
    • Pug

Introduction of Rats to Dogs

The owner is not doing any favor by forcing a friendship relation between these two beautiful creatures. The owner must let the animals develop a bond at their own pace. Pushing the relationship can lead to an extreme situation for the rats. Always monitor the pets and work at their speed when getting accustomed to each other.

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together: A Safety Guide 2
How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together

Before introducing rats to the dogs, it is better to make sure that the rats have a good relationship with the owner. If the rat is not comfortable with the controller, then rats might find it challenging to build a bond with the dogs. Therefore, the rat must feel entirely satisfied with the owner before the development of friendship with pet dogs.

Therefore, if the rat is new to the home, then allow rats to get familiar with the environment for at least two days. To build a relationship with the rats, place one hand under its front legs and other under its rear legs.

The rats do prefer to walk or sit on the hands, instead of being held. Start providing rats with a small room as rats become nervous in a large room. Always avoid picking up the rats by the tail.

Introduction of the Pets

The initial introduction of pets should be a safe one. Therefore, putting both rats and dogs in their cages can ensure a safe encounter. After placing them in their cages, the pet owner can bring the cages next to each other and allow the pets to see one another.

Dog and Rat Brothers

The pens will help to prevent any severe fight or injuries from occurring if one pet becomes nervous or aggressive. In case, there is no cage for the dog, and the rat must be in its cage, and the dog must have a leash. The pets can get used to each other through the scent released from them.

Keep doing this practice to allow pets to have familiarity with each other, before meeting without cages. It is better to observe that both rats and dogs seem reasonable before introducing them without cages. Neither of the pet should be nervous or aggressive towards others.

Interaction of Pets Without Cages

If both rat and dog seem reasonable and they don’t mind one another through their cages, try to introduce them without cages. However, this step can be dangerous, and the owner must keep a close eye on both pets. The observation must be there to see how dogs and rats interact with each other outside the pens for the first time.

Introducing Your Pet Rat to Your Dog

The dog must have a leash before the introduction so the owner can handle it as and when required. Placing a muzzle can assist in control any bite to the rat once the dog gets aggressive. The introduction of the pet should take place in a neutral location, and the pets should never initally keep alone.

Consistent supervision must be there even if the pets get used to each other. Their behavior, signs of aggression, nervousness should get monitored. It is mandatory to separate them as any sign appears.

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together: A Safety Guide 3
How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together

The rat will fluff up its fur, scratch or chew its teeth in the state of nervousness or aggression. While the dog will growl, raise its hair, bark, and snarl or start biting in the state of aggression or agitation. Once any sign appears, it is time to place the pets back to their cages.

Playtime for Rat and Dog

If there are no signs of aggressive behavior and both pets are beautiful to each other, then it is the time for the rat to play with the dog. Allow the rat to wander around the room or play with whatever toys are available. The more the rat plays, the more it will enjoy with the owner and the dog.

Once both pets become comfortable with each other, they let them play together. Rats once get comfortable, and they will climb around the canine friend or playing tag. The dogs will groom rats once the bond develops.

The dogs live to chase the rats and play with them. The more the pets spend time together, the more comfortable they will become with each other.

How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together: A Safety Guide 4
How To Keep Rats and Dogs Together

Things to monitor during the playtime of pets are to observe that dogs don’t become too excited while playing with the rats. Even though the friendship is there, but the size of the dogs may hurt your little pet.

The owner must not force these pets to interact and let them play their way. The owner must provide love to both rats and dogs during this playtime.

The pets may act differently in the absence of the owner, so close supervision must be done. The owner has to step in and separate both of them if any issue arises. The owner or the handler must remain in the playroom to keep both of them safe. Both rats and dogs become good friends, but they require special attention during the playing time.

Rat Mom

Rat Breeder Associations

Rat AssociationLocationLink
American Fancy Rat $ Mouse AssociationUnited StatesAFRMA
Rat & Mouse Club of AmericaUntied StatesRMCA
National Fancy Rat SocietyUnited StatesNFRS
North of England Rat SocietyUKNERS
UK National Pouched Rat SocietyUKNPRS


  • Gregory Gaines

    Darlene and I have Lived on a 500 Acre farm, we lived there raising our 3 children and 6 Foster Children. On That farm we and our Children Raised Rabbits Chickens Hogs Cattle Goats Gaines Gregory