Cage placement with dogs in house

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Arborea
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Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by Arborea » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:01 pm

Hi everyone,

We are picking up 2 girls this weekend and have a conundrum as to where to put the cage. We have two dogs who are good with small animals as in wouldn't want to eat them (obviously the rats don't know that), but are very curious and love to play.
I can't decide between putting them in a separate room then moving them later on (which I know is stressful), or having them in the dining room where there is traffic but dogs would be in the vicinity. We would obviously try to keep the dogs away and the cage will be on a high table so they can't stand up and peer in at them.
I worry if they are in a separate room there wouldn't be enough traffic and they'd not get as much exposure or attention.

What are your thoughts please?

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[cub]
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Re: Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by [cub] » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:48 pm

I'm not an expert, having never had a dog myself, but the general consensus seems to be that you should try to ensure that dogs don't have access to the cage unsupervised. Rats can bite through the bars, so a curious dog who pokes a nose or paw into the cage is at risk of being bitten. Rat bites are mostly fine but they do sometimes get infected, so keeping the dog away protects the dog first of all. Then there's the possibility that the dog might somehow manage to get the rats out of the cage: by knocking the cage over, for example. Even a 100% peaceable dog that wouldn't hurt a fly could still injure or even kill a rat by accident, just because the dog is so much bigger and stronger. And there's always the possibility that the rat could bite the dog out of fear, the dog could bite back, which would similarly end in tragedy.

If there's any possibility that the dogs might be able to get at the cage (e.g. by jumping or climbing) if it's in the dining room, then I'd have the rats elsewhere in their own room that the dogs don't have access to. Rats need regular out of cage playtime anyway, so they could have that in their own room with the dog shut out of it. Is there any reason they'd need to be moved later on? (If so, I mean moving is always a bit stressful, but life is always a bit stressful; if it's necessary I wouldn't worry about it. During heatwaves I move my rats to a cooler area of the house; they get a bit upset by not being in their usual room but they'd also be upset by the air temperature being 2C hotter so.)
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn and Din.
Fondly remembering: Xeltan the wonky, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

Arborea
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:54 pm

Re: Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by Arborea » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:19 pm

Thanks for your response, our dogs are pretty small so no chance of that.
The only other place I can think of where there is space is the nursery (yet to be in use) which can't be their permanent home - but there would be zero traffic in there for the next 6-7 months.

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[cub]
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Re: Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by [cub] » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:10 pm

Ah, congratulations on your impending arrival then!

If you're certain your dogs couldn't gain physical access to the cage with it in the living room, then I think that would be okay? But if the nursery is more secure then there's no reason they couldn't move into it and then out again once the intended resident arrives. They would need a dog-free (and rat-proof!) area for out of cage time, but the dogs could be shut out elsewhere for the duration.

One thing I've just remembered is that one of the live vaccines for dogs (bordetella, I think) can actually transmit the disease to rats, so you'd need to keep the dogs and rats completely separate (separate airspaces) for a couple weeks afterwards each time they get the vaccine.

Other than that, the rats might find the smell/sound of dogs a bit scary at first, but they should get used to it as they settle in. Having an open cage layout with no hidey-holes helps them acclimatise faster to a new environment and new humans.
Poo-shoveller to: Calyn and Din.
Fondly remembering: Xeltan the wonky, Lita (NLA32), Lia (NLA28), Zephyr Delanynder (NLA28), Falere (NLA36), Mirala (NLA36), Zephyr Opold, and Rila.

Arborea
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 1:54 pm

Re: Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by Arborea » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:43 pm

Thank you 😊
That's really interesting, and good to know thank you!
I did wonder about making the cage really boring but feel bad not giving them a nest at first as it must be terrifying for them 😥
The dogs definitely can't get at the cage, so I think they'll be ok downstairs. We'll be vigilant!
I was just reading a post by someone today who said they actually immediately socialise their rats (with themselves) as soon as they get home to let them know that no matter where they are, they are safe with this person. An interesting approach...

amy104
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Re: Cage placement with dogs in house

Post by amy104 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:55 pm

One thing I've just remembered is that one of the live vaccines for dogs (bordetella, I think) can actually transmit the disease to rats, so you'd need to keep the dogs and rats completely separate (separate airspaces) for a couple weeks afterwards each time they get the vaccine.
Yes, its the kennel cough vaccine. I've always had mine is the spare bedroom with the door closed when my dogs have been vaccinated.
Slave to a gorgeous little mischief: Remy, Mr Jingles, Templeton, Fievel, Milo, Spartacus, Crixus, Basil, Frisby, Mocha, Latte & Expresso.

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