With spring right around the corner, you and your pet are probably looking forward to spending more time outside. Everything seems to come alive in spring, including the green grass, trees, and budding flowers. And don’t forget the wildlife! Wild animals tend to become active in the spring as they search for food, water, and mates.

You may even find some of these wild animals venturing into your neighborhood or yard. Wild animals can be more than just a nuisance. They can sometimes pose a threat to our pets, which is why it’s important for pet owners to be cautious and take precautions to protect their pets from wildlife.

Because National Wildlife Week is celebrated in March, we thought it was the perfect time to share some tips on how to keep your dog or cat safe around wildlife.

Animals to Look Out For

The types of wild animals to look out for will depend on where you live. Your pet may encounter a variety of different wild animals, including snakes, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, bears, alligators, skunks, owls, and porcupines.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe Around Wildlife

Part of being a responsible pet owner includes taking the necessary steps to ensure your pet is safe and healthy. Although you may not see wild animals as a big threat, it’s still important to take precautions when it comes to wildlife. Here are some tips to help keep your pet safe around wild animals:

  • Keep your pet on a leash. When you’re going for a walk, you should have your pet on a leash. This helps ensure your pet doesn’t venture into the territory of a wild animal that may attack out of defense or think your pet is food. It also allows you to keep a close eye on your pet and be on the lookout for wildlife.
  • Ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Many pet owners are worried about the potential injuries that a wild animal may cause to their pets. Spreading disease is another dangerous threat when it comes to wildlife. Coyotes, raccoons, and skunks are a few animals that can potentially have rabies and may attack your pet when you least expect it. This is why it’s important to make sure your pet is vaccinated against rabies and up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Keep your pet’s outside environment clean. Your pet’s food, water, and even their poop may attract wild animals. You should do your best to keep your pet’s outside environment free of anything that might entice wildlife. This includes debris, which can offer hiding spots to wild animals or be used as nesting material. It’s also important to keep your yard free of food and rodents, which may attract other predators.
  • Secure your trash cans. Trash is another item that can attract wild animals onto your yard, especially hungry animals that are searching for food. It’s important to tie trash bags tightly and keep the lid on your trash can closed to help keep wild animals away. If possible, keep trash secured in your garage.
  • Supervise your pet while outside. Although your pet might enjoy spending hours outside, you shouldn’t leave your pet unsupervised in the yard for long periods of time. This is especially important if you live in a wooded area. If you have a small dog, you should take extra precautions if you live in an area with hawks or owls.
  • Secure any fences. If you have a fence, ensure it is secured to prevent wildlife from getting in and prevent your pet from escaping. You should check your fence often for gaps or holes and then fix these areas to help keep your pet safe.
  • Report wild animals to animal control. If you happen to notice wild animals roaming around your yard or neighborhood, you should call your local animal control.

If your pet has been attacked or bitten by a wild animal, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Although wild animals can be dangerous, following these tips will help keep you and your pet safe! By taking a few precautions, you can both enjoy some time outside.