Do Mice Eat Dry Pet Food?

By Chris Williams on November 29, 2013.

Mice eating pet foodQuestion

I’ve been finding little piles of my dog’s kibble in strange places. I found some in the back corner of the pan drawer under my stove. Could it be mice doing this? I didn’t know mice would eat dry dog food?


Of course, mice like dog food. Like people and like dogs, mice are omnivorous animals which means they eat a combination of vegetables and meat. If you look at the ingredients in a bag of food for pet mice at the pet store you will see that the ingredients are very similar to those in your pet’s dry food at home.

Mice can easily chew into a bag or box of dry pet food and will eat it right from the bag. You might see holes in the bag (look around the base). They’ll also eat your pet’s food right out of the bowl, or find every little piece that ends up on the floor. Putting your pet’s food bowl up on a counter or a rack won’t make any difference to a mouse that can climb. Leaving accessible pet food in or around your home will definitely increase your mouse population. The mice will thank you.

Mice Will Hoard Pet Food

What they don’t consume on the spot, mice will hoard or store away. Mice are notorious for carrying off and stockpiling food for a rainy day. You might find little piles of dry pet food in drawers or in the back corners of closets or kitchen cabinets, near the mouse’s nest. This hoarded food can become a problem, especially when hidden in wall voids where it’s inaccessible, because it attracts certain insects that feed on stored food. Then not only do you have a mouse problem, but you can also have an Indianmeal moth, sawtoothed grain beetle, or dermestid beetle problem.

Mice Can Contaminate Pet Food

Mice typically contaminate 10 times more food than they eat. Mice don’t stop and do their “business” in one spot. They pee and poop all the time as they travel and move about. If they have chewed their way into that big bag of dog food, you can bet that there will be mouse pee and poop in there (mouse poop looks a bit like a black grain of rice with slightly pointed ends) and the food might have an off, musky odor. Mice can spread disease through their bodily fluids so you don’t want that for your pet. Pets might refuse to eat pet food that has been contaminated by mice.

Steps to Keep Mice Out of Your Pet’s Food

  • Feed your pet indoors where you can control the procedure, not in the garage or on the porch or deck.
  • Don’t leave food out 24/7 and allow your pet to self-feed.
  • Give your pet a reasonable amount of time to eat, then remove the food bowl.
  • Never leave pet food out overnight when mice are most active.
  • Wash the pet’s bowl and sweep food crumbs from the surrounding area after feeding. Look for those stray nuggets that end up under the refrigerator or in a corner.
  • Store pet food in a metal or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, or in the refrigerator. Cabinets are not mouse-proof and placing the pet food in a plastic bag does no good at all. Mice will chew right through it.

If you already have mice, following these steps will protect your pet’s food but, unfortunately, won’t get rid of the mice. Give Colonial a call today!


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