Lost cat or dog? You can contact your city or county animal control here.


Can Prairie Dogs Be Pets?

Friday, April 11, 2014

In Colorado, it is not legal to keep prairie dogs as pets. In addition to all the large-rodent-related issues we talked about in regards to squirrels as pets, there is the small matter that prairie dogs can carry a number of diseases.

Bubonic Plague and Prairie Dogs

The disease most commonly associated with prairie dogs is the bubonic plague, associated with the Black Death that killed a large portion of the European population. (Though recent research suggests it wasn’t the bubonic plague, but the pneumonic plague that led to the Black Death. Same bacteria, different symptoms.)

Prairie dogs don’t have an immunity to the plague, so it can run through their towns like wildfire. Then there is the same problem that happened when plague appeared in rat populations: the fleas that fed on the rodents needed food and went looking for it in other places, such as people. Because prairie dogs don’t survive long with plague, it’s unlikely that you would catch plague from a pet prairie dog.

Monkey Pox

Monkey pox, on the other hand, is much more likely to be spread by prairie dogs. Monkey pox, a relative of smallpox, is a potentially deadly illness that was spread to prairie dogs by Gambian rats that were brought over as pets. As a result of the 2003 outbreak, prairie dogs were temporarily banned by the FDA. Although this national ban was lifted in 2008, in Colorado they are still not allowed as pets.

If You Find Baby Prairie Dogs

If you find baby prairie dogs that you think have been abandoned or have lost their colony, you should resist the temptation to take them in as pets. Instead, contact wildlife officials about them.

If you have prairie dog pests you would like to remove, please contact Animal Pest Control Specialist today. We help people across the Front Range, from Fort Collins to Castle Rock, including the entire Denver Metro area.

Mice can contaminate food-preperation areas with their feces and can cause severe damage to structures.

Read More

Here are the signs you should be looking for to identify new pest problems this season.

Read More

We offer all the pest control services you need, including prevention, removal, and extermination.

Read More

It’s hard to understand the value we offer until you’ve tried us. Our discount makes it easier for new customers to get the best value in pest control.

Contact us today