Protecting Pets from Wildlife

April 16, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

The top wild animals most likely to harm your dog or cat include –

  • Snakes
  • Coyotes
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Scorpions
  • Ground hogs
  • Skunks
  • Rats

(source: Veterinary Pet Insurance)

Problems with wildlife contact come in the form of bite wounds, poisoning, parasite transference, and serious diseases such as distemper and rabies.

Here are some common conditions that attract wildlife to your home and increase the likelihood of pet-wildlife contact:

  • Free choice pet food left outside. As an alternative, you can feed pets at set times, and take up the food when they are not being fed. . Unsecured trash cans left outside. Raccoons would thank you, but you don’t want your dogs and cats in a tangle with a raccoon.
  • Leaving pets outdoors all night. Skunks, raccoons, coyotes, and bobcats are all more active at night.
  • Bird feeders attract rats and squirrels.
  • Fruit trees and trees with nuts. Picking up the fruits and nuts can discourage wildlife visits.
  • Open crawl spaces under your house or shed. Many animals, at first impression, think these open crawl spaces would be a great place to set up residence and defend. Closing off these spaces discourages wildlife.
  • Overgrown brush or tall grass near the house. Many of these animals prefer the security of tall grass and brush, so having it near the house encourages them to venture closer to the house.
  • Decorative ponds attract raccoons.
  • Horse and other large animal feed left unsecured.

The main thing all pet owners should do to protect their pets is to have pets fully vaccinated – even if the pets are strictly indoors. Rabies and distemper are deadly and present in the wildlife population. If a bat, or some other critter enters your house, your pet may have to go through quarantine if not vaccinated.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should bring almost all bite wounds to your vet. Bite wounds from wildlife may look less serious than they are. Wildlife teeth often curve backwards and can make bite wounds that are much deeper than they appear.

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