My dog is a 3-year-old Gerbian Shepsky (in lesser terms, he's the result of a crossbreed between a german shepard and a husky). Our house has had roof rat problems for about 2 or 3 years now (the way we found out: our tangelo trees started "mysteriously" growing fruits with holes in em') anyway, we started placing traps, we thought about baiting the traps with the tangelos, since that's the food the rats have been living on since God knows when, and they are good bait anyway. But then we realized that we would have to take some of the tangelos away from our total crops, which we sell to our neighbors (but if you're on our good side, you can get a bag for free :]). So, we settled on peanut butter. What we didn't consider is that our dog (just a little puppy at the time) LOVES peanut butter. We've been baiting these traps with Peanut Butter ever since. I'm not so concerned about Giz (short for "Gizmo" after the gremlin with huge ears for which the dog is named) getting his nose into one of the snap traps, as they are not too powerful and would annoy or scratch him worst case. But I am terrified he'll get his nose into the electric trap, which has about 95 volts in it. I've been told to be really careful about the electric trap, as it could hurt him badly. I'm not sure about these claims, Gizmo is a 60-pound male who eats bees for his own amusement (BEES I tell you!) and I thought 95 volts wasn't that much, then I looked it up, and 95 is a lot more that I thought it was. Before anyone asks, yes, he loves being outdoors. He's been snapped once already, by the snapper trap, but like I've already mentioned, I'm afraid he'll get into the electric one. My question: Is it safe to have active traps near my dog?

TL;DR: Rat traps baited with peanut butter, owner concerned dog will get hurt by electric shock from a 95-volt electric trap, should I get rid of the traps?

1 Answer 1


As a general rule, rat traps should be constructed in a way that (ideally) only rats can reach the "lethal zone". Usually rat traps are tubes with 2 open ends (because rats don't like walking into dead ends) and they should be long enough that other animals like cats and dogs cannot reach the bait with their snout or paws. That also implies that your trap should be sturdy enough that your dog cannot destroy it.

Electric traps are designed to stop the heart by overloading the nerves responsible for the hearts rhythm. If your dog touched the active trap, his heart could stop anytime between immediately and 24 hours later.

So yes, such a trap is dangerous for your dog and also for cats and other wildlife like squirrels frequenting your garden. You should really secure it against bigger animals.

  • As someone who has been shocked at least twice by 240v mains.... Waaaaiiit... An electric shock can kill you till a day later?
    – Journeyman Geek
    Dec 10, 2022 at 22:18
  • Over here, rat snap traps can e.g. look like larger mouse snap traps, without tube. But you can easily place it in a tube (wastewater tubes work fine, and do not forget to tie it there). Since the pipe needs to be large enough for the whole trap, put some wire mesh at the front and back to make it inaccessible for cats and the like. Dec 11, 2022 at 21:22
  • @cbeleitesunhappywithSX my dog has been hit with a snapper, but not electrical. (Luckily.) Dec 12, 2022 at 16:12
  • @Elmy ok got it. yesterday, a pest technician came for the house's yearly evaluation to make sure everything is ok with stuff concerning how pests get in. He checked our roof, and the hole in the outdoor wall where our old electronics box used to be, (we replaced it about 5 years ago) and said there was no sign of rats, but there were a few of what appeared to be nests, but all of which were dead. So we got rid of our traps as they are no longer needed. Thanks for the answers! Dec 12, 2022 at 16:16
  • @JourneymanGeek Here in Germany you usually get admitted to a hospital for 24 hours observation if you touched mains current because that can cause ventricular fibrillation within that time frame. It's not a quick and clean stop of the heart, but if untreated the result is the same...
    – Elmy
    Dec 12, 2022 at 18:52

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