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7 Ways To Keep Rats Out of Dog Food

Dog Food

Do you have dogs who are getting annoyed by rats eating their food? Well, you might not be the only one because rats are notorious for eating dog food, and as a result, many dog owners are troubled by it.

Rats are a real nuisance because they damage your property, carry diseases, and create a lot of trouble for your pets by eating their food.

So, it’s best to know how to keep them out of your house.


While you may want to use traps to capture the rats, it might only work sometimes since rats can escape the traps. Therefore, you must look out for other ways to keep rats out of your dog food.

These methods include:

  • Keep your dog’s food in sealed containers.
  • Use elevated food bowls.
  • Do not leave your dog’s food out.
  • Use scent deterrents.
  • Feed wet food only at a scheduled time.

So, without wasting time, let’s dive right into all the different remedies you can use to get rid of rats so that these hairy dog food lovers can be kept out of the house for good.

7 Ways To Keep Rats Out of Dog Food

Dog Rat Look Pizza

Let’s review some helpful remedies one by one:

1. Keep Your Dog’s Food in Sealed Containers

Dog’s Food In Sealed Containers

One of the most crucial steps is keeping your dog’s food in airtight containers. Metal containers work best since rats can not chew them.

Rats can easily chew the cardboard boxes that dog food originally comes in, so it’s better to keep the food in containers that are as hard as metal.

Thick HDPE plastic is a great alternative, too, if you can’t get your hands on metal ones. These two are great options for keeping your dog’s food sealed.

Using airtight containers to store food also maintains the freshness of the food and keeps the bugs away.

2. Use Elevated Food Bowls

Elevated Food Bowls

Another great way of keeping rats out of your dog’s food is to use bowls that are elevated to a certain height so that the rats can’t reach them.

While rats are good climbers and jumpers, elevated bowls still work if the elevation is enough to keep the rats away.

Typically, rats can climb up to a height of 10-13 inches, so if the bowl is elevated more than that, this method will succeed.

Generally speaking, you can make food bowls rat-proof by:

  1. Elevating them enough so that rats are not able to jump into them.
  2. Buying bowls made of smooth, slippery side surfaces so rats can’t climb into them.
  3. Buying bowls that are easy to clean after each mealtime.

3. Do Not Leave Your Dog’s Food Out

Dog’s Food Out

One preventative method is to always keep your dog’s food in. Ideally, give the dogs just enough to fill their appetite, but even if there is some leftover, make sure to put it back in the container.

Leaving food out is inviting the rats to raid your house, so make it a habit never to do it. Whenever your dogs need food, give them at that time but don’t leave it for their future hunger.

This is especially advisable for overnight leftovers since rats are most active at night, so they will have a party inside your house if you leave food out.

4. Use Scent Deterrents

Scent Deterrents

Another way of keeping rats out of dog food is using scent deterrents. Peppermint oil is the best scent deterrent that you can use for rats.

Dampen a rag with peppermint oil and place it around your dog’s food bowl and containers. Peppermint oil is a solid deterrent, as rats hate the scent.

However, being careful about your dog’s allergies would be best. For example, you can always buy a commercially available substitute if your dog is allergic to peppermint oil.

As an alternative, cat hair can be used to keep the rats away.

5. Feed Wet Food Only at the Scheduled Time

Wet Dog Food

Wet food is an absolute favorite of dogs and rats alike. This is because wet food is smelly, flavored, meaty, and easier to digest. But, unfortunately, wet food can cause many problems compared to dry food.

Just make a schedule of when to feed wet food to your dog. Ideally, give your dog wet food one time during the day.

Moreover, clean any leftovers so rats don’t come running after them.

6. Cleanup the Bowl Thoroughly

Clean Dog Bowl

A great preventative measure is cleaning the dog’s bowls thoroughly. Rats get attracted to dog food, kibbles, and leftovers due to their strong smell.

You must wash the bowls after each feeding and vacuum the nearby spots.

To thoroughly clean the bowls, you should:

  1. Use a half cup of regular bleach in a gallon of water.
  2. Allow the bowl to soak in it for 10 min.
  3. Then, take it out and wash it with regular water.

7. Keep Rats Out of Your House

Rats Out Of House

You should try to keep the rats out of your house. There are simple preventative measures that you can follow to keep the rats from coming inside your home.

These include:

  1. Using door bottom seals.
  2. We are identifying cracks and small holes in the house and sealing them.
  3. I am using mice deterrents and repellents at possible rat entry points and around the dog’s food bowl.


Rats can cause a lot of trouble. They damage your property, contaminate your space, and on top of that, also eat your dog’s food.

Rats love dog food and devour it if they see it. So not only is it essential to protect dog food from conservation but also for the dog’s health.

You should, therefore, be careful about having your dog food out in the open. You can start by keeping the food inside airtight containers and using storage boxes made of hard material such as metal or HDPE plastic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Rats Attracted to Dog Food?

Dog food has a lot of proteins and fats, which rats need to survive—another reason why rats get attracted to dog food is that it is easily accessible.

Do Rats Hoard Dog Food?

Yes, they do. Rats usually do not eat everything together at the spot but also save some for later in their nest. They accumulate food for the rainy season.

Will Rats Make My Dog Sick?

They can because rats carry several diseases, such as salmonella, hantavirus, leptospirosis, and many more. Also, eating rats can cause unwanted health issues for the dog.

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