Keep Your Pets Safe from Wildlife Predators!
The Spirit of Bo, the departed cat not of our earthly existence but still in our midst: There are lots of amazing walking trails in the city in which my human lives. Tons of them. People are out in force walking, running or cycling on them. They are great places to walk dogs, too. However, even in the land of suburbia, coyotes can make their presence known, and, yes, they are a threat to your pets. Here are a few tips on how to handle the situation and keep your pets safe from such predators, courtesy of dogster.com.
While it would be great to install a high barrier around your yard, chances are, if you live in a subdivision, your homeowner’s association might prevent such a barricade. So…consider the following:
- Install motion-sensitive lighting
- Trim back the landscaping to reduce or eliminate hiding places.
- If you have a kennel outdoors, add a roof to it.
- Remove any bird feeders and pick up fallen fruits and nuts from surrounding trees. Keep your gardens harvested to reduce the attraction of food to predators.
- Store your trash bins in the garage or use animal-resistant models if your garbage collection agency allows them.
- Keep food and water bowls inside the house.
- Keep an eye on your dog while in the yard. This is very important at dawn and dusk. And never tie your dog up outside.
- If you have pet doors, close them before dusk daily.
- Avoid walking your dog at dawn or dusk.
- Don’t feed the wildlife or allow your dog to interact with wildlife. He or she might think it’s okay to approach strange animals.
- If you do encounter a coyote or other wildlife that is threatening, raise your arms above your head (and be sure to have a firm grip on the leash) to make yourself appear bigger and voice threatening grunts or commands like “Go away!” Do not distract yourself by pulling your dog away. Your dog could already be frightened and perhaps bit you out of anxiety. Do what you can to scare the coyote away…throw rocks, sticks…but be advised that while it is most likely okay to protect you and your pet through such measures, some cities have laws with respect to what kinds of weapons are used.
Be safe. Be vigilant. And still enjoy those walks with your dog!