6 Ways to Protect Your House Pets from the Health Risks of Roof Rat Infestation

Roof rats may seem simply playful while running around your house, but their actions can cause deadly risks to humans and pets at home. Oh yes, you have read that right! Not only your human lives can be threatened by roof rats but also pet lives. 

It’s a given that roof rats are the major stressors and troublemakers when it comes to damaging house structures. They lead to exasperating concerns with regards to house destructions and impairments, yet what’s more disturbing is the health dangers that these black rats can bring to you and to your sweet furry babies. 

Just like humans, house pets, specifically cats and dogs, can get infected by diseases brought by roof rats’ presence at home. These illnesses include leptospirosis, typhus, trichinosis, hantavirus, salmonellosis, tularemia and toxoplasmosis. All these are lethal.

Prevention will forever be better than cure, so before you suffer from your pet’s suffering caused by roof rats, know how you can safeguard your dear darlings. Here are 6 ways to protect your house pets from the health risks of roof rat infestation at home! 


dog vet - roof rat

You must be visiting your pet’s doctor for consultation and checkup to make sure that they are growing well and healthy. Ask for advice whether or not your pets need to be vaccinated against rat-related infections such as leptospirosis which is a common death-causing illness in house pets. 

Enlighten the doctor that you are facing a roof rat infestation trouble at home, and while you are working on freeing from it, you want to make sure that your pets are safe. Strictly follow the veterinarian’s prescription because some pets are not recommended and not suitable for these kinds of vaccination. That is most especially if they are carrying other health conditions.


dog symptoms - roof rat

Having the right health information about animals and about possible illnesses will help you take care of your valued pets more efficiently. 

Be informed of the signs and symptoms of various diseases brought about by roof rats. In that way, you will be very much happy and relieved to see none of them manifesting through your pets. On the other hand, you will be wiser and quicker to act upon the issue if ever you witness these signifiers of infections on them.

Typical signs that something’s wrong with your pets’ health are fever, drowsiness, nausea, loss of appetite and loose bowels. Leptospirosis can lead to kidney and liver complications, and these symptoms also include light cough. Tularemia exhibits dehydration, high fever, abdominal pain and swollen lymph nodes as its signs too. Hantavirus has symptoms similar to flu that’s why it’s commonly mistaken as the latter. 

Check out the skin color, eye color and breathing conditions of your pets. Know that discoloration, inflammation, haemorrhage and breathing difficulties are alarming signs of possible roof rat infection on pets. 

Consult the veterinarian for proper medical diagnosis. Body examinations are a must to know what causes your pet to be sick. Closely monitor pets, and let them have the essential treatments straightaway.


dog - roof rat

Some dogs are trained and tested that they will not recklessly pick up and munch on just anything that seems food to them. Unfortunately though, not all pets are like these pets. Some are filled with so much curiosity and activity that lead them to trying out anything regardless if it’s real food or not. 

That is dangerous, especially when you have rat traps and baits placed around the house. These come-ons are to lure, catch and terminate roof rats, so they are poisonous to house pets as well. When you are in a public place where roof traps are set around, do not let your dog walk around unleashed, especially when you know they pick up what they see around. Moreover, when rap traps already capture rats, they become more toxic. 

To avoid this peril, locate rat baits away from house areas where your pets are often staying in. Never put these traps near pets’ sleeping zones, eating areas and potty boxes. Furthermore, do not situate their own rooms in corners where you know roof rats often run around.


dog food - roof rat

Roof rats bear viruses and bacteria that result in diseases on pets. One of the subtle ways they transmit these menacing elements is through food contamination.

Tightly seal the containers of pet food and jugs of their drinking water. Do not leave pet food outside the house where roof rats can freely roam around without much human disruption. Roof rats gnaw on anything, especially actual food even when it’s not for them. Their saliva which pollutes pet food can cause disorders in house animals that eat the food after them. 

Additionally, these rodents may disrespectfully dispose of urine and droppings on your pets’ snacks. Your pets might not know that their item is dirtied until they feel very uncomfortable after drinking their own water and eating their favorite grub. To avoid these horrible risks, ascertain that all pet food lids are completely secure. Never forget to cover them after getting treats for your pets.


dog - roof rat1

Aside from gulping down contaminated food, your pet can get infected if it eats a dead roof rat. Regardless of the rat’s cause of death, it’s dangerous for your friendly pet. 

Your pet may acquire the viruses and diseases that the dead rat had when it was still alive. When the roof rat is killed by the toxic traps you set around the home, and your dog eats the rat, oh no… it will pose health threats to your innocent buddy. That’s why it is your duty to make sure that your dogs won’t eat dead roof rats. Supervise them and what they take in their mouths. Better, again, don’t let them come near roof rats’ turfs.


dog - roof rat

The best way to protect your cherished pets from health problems by roof rats is to get rid of those rodents from your house! 

If you are aware that there’s roof rat infestation in your dwelling, attend to it immediately before things get worse. Smartly use and position rat traps at home. Regularly examine your roofs where roof rats commonly reside, and scrutinize hidden house areas where they might be roosting. Trim nearby trees which can be used by roof rats to transport to your roofs and to your interiors. Clean the house thoroughly. Throw away food sources that attract roof rats and materials that can be used as nests. Maintain homely surroundings without the presence of these black rats. 

These are just some ways to liberate your house from roof rats that can ruin your house and can bring life-threatening dangers to you and your pets. Do not hesitate to make the right move before it’s too late.


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You can shield your house pets more than they can do for themselves. Aside from giving them the love and care they deserve, see to it that you embrace them with tough protection against disease-causing bacteria that can lead to death, all in all brought by roof rats.

Door replacements, floor refurbishings, roof repairs, post removals, furniture restorations and home improvements are no doubt expensive, but paying for them is so much better than seeing your beloved pets get sick and die from roof rats’ deeds. More than structural destruction, roof rats can do a lot of nuisance to human lives and pet lives. 

Be a responsible homeowner and pet owner. Keep roof rats away from home to keep your family, including furry babies, healthy and unharmed.   


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Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Young & Co Roofing Manchester, an excellent roofing and cladding company in Greater Manchester. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.


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