Are Prairie Dogs and Gophers the Same Animal?

Prairie dogs and gophers are burrowing rodents that are well adapted for underground life. While they are actually different species, there are many similarities between the two. These include the tendency to:

  • Dig underground burrows
  • Eat grasses and flowering plants
  • Create soil erosion and unsightly holes in lawns

Prairie Dog and Gopher Differences

Comparing prairie dogs vs. gophers will also turn up quite a few differences. For example:

Prairie Dogs:

  • Are social and live in large groups.
  • Leave their burrows to seek out food.
  • Are carriers of the plague, which can be transmitted to people.


  • Live alone, except during breeding season.
  • Forage underground for food.
  • Rarely carry diseases that affect humans.

Prairie Dog vs. Gopher Appearance

Prairie Dogs:

prairie dog eating grass

Prairie dogs are typically larger at about fourteen to seventeen inches in length, with buff-colored coats.


gopher on dirt

Medium-sized rodents, gophers are roughly five to fourteen inches in length with fine fur that can range from brown to white.

Prevention and Removal

Dealing with wildlife requires a certain level of expertise. Trying to capture or deter animals can result in accidentally poisoning pets, harming people, or damaging lawns and gardens without the proper experience. In order to safely deal with burrowing pests, contact your local Trutech agent.