As soon as you lift up Spike’s bag of food, kibble starts falling out from a small hole. Looks like some unwanted critter made its way in there for a midnight snack. Mice, as well as other varmints, can easily contaminate your dog’s food. But taking a few cautious measures ahead of time should help prevent the issue from occurring again.
Signs of Contamination
The initial sign of mice lurking around Spike’s kibble is damage to the bag. Mice can easily chew through paper, plastic and even foil-lined bags of food. You’ll see a bit of shredding that looks like someone took a cheese grater to the corner of the bag and, of course, a small hole for an entry way. Mice also leave a trail of droppings behind. Watch for small black pellets that look like tiny black rice grains. When mice are spending time in your environment, you’ll notice a trail of droppings along the walls and around objects, like the food bag. These little cues let you know you have some unwanted house guests.
Why It’s Dangerous
If you suspect that a mouse has been nibbling on Spike’s kibble, you’ll probably want to throw it out, to be safe. Mice are scavengers by nature, feasting on trash and living in filthy conditions. Because of their wretched lifestyle, they bring transmittable diseases with them. Once Spike chomps down on the infested kibble, he can become very ill if the mouse was infected. Additionally, mice can carry around pests such as fleas, causing an itchy outbreak once your pooch comes in contact with the contaminated food.
At the Pet Store
Inspect each bag of food carefully before bringing it home. While food manufacturers and pet stores do their best to keep rodent control in check, varmints can sometimes sneak in and get into the food supply. Ensure the bag you purchase is clear of tears and holes. While the mouse is probably not still in the bag by the time you lift it up, the food could be contaminated with mouse saliva and droppings.
Prevention is Key
Your local pet store should have an entire aisle of sealable pet food containers. Rather than keeping Spike’s food in the bag, dump it into a durable plastic bin and keep the lid sealed shut. For further protection, place the container up off the floor -- even if it’s just on a stack of old plastic milk crates. Mice will have a harder time getting inside the container if they can’t get to it.