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Whether you have an outdoor kennel for your dog, are managing a boarding or training facility or just have an outdoor area for your pet, when you have animals outside—rodents tend to be an issue. While many people think of mice and rats as a problem for dirty on unkempt spaces only, rodents can actually be a problem in any outdoor space, even clean and safe ones.
Simply put, when you have pets, animal feces and food outdoors, it is going to attract rodents. While your pets may not be particularly phased by these critters or may even try to catch the rodents they find wandering around your property, it doesn’t mean they are safe.
Plus, pests like this can carry a number of diseases that aren’t good for dogs and may cause some serious health issues. Mice and rats also cause an estimated $20 billion in property and agricultural damages every year. They can not only cause disease and consume food, but they can chew through and destroy property as well.
Mice in particular are also great multipliers; these critters can survive and reproduce in temperatures as low as 24 degrees if they have a nesting space and food. Plus, a single mouse couple can create more than 15,000 offspring. This means, even if you think you only see a mouse or two in your outdoor kennels, it won’t take long for those two mice to turn into a serious problem.
Why Do Outdoor Dog Kennels Attract Rodents?
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Dog food is the primary reasons hungry rodents find their way into dog kennels. Rats specifically known for devouring dog food when you aren’t looking. The average rat can eat up to 61 pounds of dog food per year. That not only takes away from your canine companion but can result in a lot of wasted money every year.
In addition to food, dog droppings are also a big attractant for these pests. Add this to the fact that kennels provide warmth and protection from the elements, and it is easy to see why many outdoor kennels can be a living (and breeding) hub for mice and rats.
At the end of the day, your dog’s outdoor kennel can seem like a free luxury resort for mice and rats and they won’t take kindly to getting the boot. This is why you need a safe and effective plan to get your unwanted rodents to leave your dog’s kennel in a way that is bad for the rodents but won’t harm your dog. And unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.
This is why we have complied a list of some of the best tips to keeping your dog’s outdoor kennel safe, healthy and rodent-free.
How To Keep Your Dog’s Kennel Rodent-Free
Whether you suspect you have a rodent problem or know for sure that you are trying to evacuate your dog’s kennel from unwanted mice and rats—having a plan is paramount. Here are some of the best ways to safeguard your dog’s kennel from harmful rodents.
1. Keep An Eye On Popular Nesting Areas
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When rats and mice infiltrate your dog’s kennel area, they are looking for two things: food and a place to nest. Rodents will move on when food runs out, but nesting space is what gets them to stay and multiply.
You should always be on the lookout for areas that serve as nesting spots for rodents, and thoroughly check your outdoor kennel for holes, covered, warm dark places, crawl spaces and other areas where rodents can nest and stay protected. Holes and large cracks should be fixed and filled, and the kennel should be thoroughly clean and inspected regularly.
Meters and electric panels are also popular nesting sites for rodents, so if you have any outdoors or nearby your dog’s kennel, make sure they are thoroughly investigated for possible rodent infestations.
2. Pay Close Attention to Utility Lines
Did you know that utility lines are actually a popular way for rodents to get from place to place? You may have sealed off all of the ground entrances to your dog’s kennel, but rodents are great climbers and have sharp claws that allow them to run along ropes, poles and electric wires.
When sealing your dog’s kennel or treating possible points of entry, do not forget to look up to the sky and see if your rodents may be coming in from the roof.
3. Keep The Kennel Clean
Cleaning your dog’s kennel regularly is one of the best methods for preventing rodent issues. Dog feces are a huge draw for rats and mice and is seen as a food source for them. So, keeping your dog’s droppings cleaned up is a great place to start.
Also keeping any spilled food or treats will help keep things clean and give rodents fewer reasons to burrow their way into your dog’s space.
4. Protect Your Pet’s Food
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Your dog’s food is typically the number one reason that rats and mice find their way into your dog’s kennel in the first place. If you store your dog’s food outside, make sure that it is in an airtight container. Do not leave your dog’s food out for open feeding. Feed your dog at a certain time of day and then remove the food when you are done.
Make sure to quickly clean up your dog’s feeding area when they are done as well. Less food means less temptation for unwanted rodents.
5. Try Dog-Safe Rodent Treatments
When it comes to keeping kennels rodent-free, prevention is only half the battle. This is especially true if you’ve seen active rodents scurrying around your dog’s kennel. You never want to use any type of rat poison around your dog’s kennel as it can lead to secondary pet poisoning.
Rodenticides are some of the most common reasons for dog poisoning cases. Your dog may not only ingest the pesticide itself, but it can get in the grass around the area, or your dog may eat the deceased rodent and ingest the pesticide in that way.
The best solution is to use an outdoor bait and trap rat trap. These non-toxic traps will lure rodents in via a small hole that is too small for a dog, and trap them inside. This type of “live trap” is safer than sticky or snap traps when you are using it outdoors or around pets.
6. Invest in the Right Kennel
Mice and rats are going to do everything that they can to get into a warm and well-protected kennel. However, if you have the right quality kennel to begin with, the chances of you having a rodent problem will become significantly lower.
A high-quality outdoor shed made with premium materials and that isn’t filled with holes, cracks or crevices that welcome rodents in, is one of the best ways for you to keep your dog safe and keep rodents out of the way.
Here at Horizon Structures, we know that your first and best line of defense when it comes to unwanted pests is a quality structure that will safely and naturally keep rodents out. This is why we put so much attention to detail into our kennels and outdoor sheds so that you and your canine companions can stay as safe as possible under our watch.