Wildlife and pets don’t always mix, and it can be difficult to foresee any issues with wildlife because typically pets aren’t in contact with wild animals. However, as winter fades to spring and summer, wild animals will be out and about, and some of them will find their way into your backyard and even roam your neighbourhood.
Here are some wildlife pet safety tips to keep your pet safe while enjoying the great outdoors this summer.
- One of the biggest draws for wild animals is food. To keep your pet safe, the best thing you can do is never leave food outdoors. Keep clutter out of your yard that would allow for wildlife to hide or live. If you have noticed a lot of rodents in your home or yard, take care of the problem. Rodents can draw snakes and other predators into your yard.
- Keep garbage securely closed and out of reach from animals. It’s not just dogs that like to raid the trash. Stray cats, bears, coyotes, raccoons, and possums love to dig around for leftover goodies, and the warmer weather intensifies the smells coming from your garbage. Make sure lids are secured, and trash receptacles are locked away out of reach of any of those animals to avoid unwanted encounters!
- While you probably consider your yard to be a safe place, monitor your pet while they are outside, especially at dusk and dawn. Wild animals can find ways to get into fenced yards and cause all kinds of problems, including injuries to your pets. It is best that you supervise your pet to be sure that nothing happens to them while they are in the yard.
- Pet waste can also lead wild animals to your home. Be sure that you regularly clean your yard for animal waste to prevent wild animals from wandering into your yard.
- For pet owners who want to let their animals play outdoors, keep your dog (or cat!) on a leash. It will ensure their safety. Other dogs can be a threat, but so can the chance of your pet running off in pursuit of new and exciting smells that can result in a lost pet or a scary encounter.
- You should also always keep your pets up-to-date on vaccinations. One of the biggest threats that wild animals pose to your pet is rabies, so you will want to make sure that your pet can’t contract the disease if they do happen to get bitten by a wild animal.
Written by: Roselle Batalla, VT