If you have pets at home, it’s important to take certain precautions before letting them out to get some exercise, take a washroom break, or explore. This is particularly true if you live in an area where there is wildlife. You don’t want to deprive your pets of the opportunity to be outdoors, but you also don’t know how your dogs will respond if they encounter wildlife — or vice versa.


You also can never be sure whether wildlife that your pets encounter have spreadable diseases, like rabies, that might endanger your four-legged family members. So what follows are some tips to help you keep your pets safe from wildlife in the event that their paths cross.


  1. Keep Vaccinations Up to Date: Depending on where you live, dogs may be at risk of coming into contact with animals affected by rabies. Raccoons, skunks, and coyotes are just some of the types of animals that could potentially have the dreaded — and fatal if not treated soon enough — disease. If your pets are vaccinated for protection against the sorts of disease that wildlife could transmit to domestic animals, then you will have eliminated one of the primary risks facing pets when they can into contact with wildlife.


  1. Stay On the Lookout: Don’t allow your pet to roam about unattended. This is particularly important if you have dogs that will instinctively chase after anything that scampers, runs, or flies. Dogs, in particular, may chase after squirrels or  chipmunks that catch their eyes — and there is also the risk that these critters can find their way into your attic. The main problem if your dogs go sprinting after these little animals is that they can, if left unattended, wander off too far from the home and expose themselves to even greater dangers such as run ins with coyotes, bears, or other more dangerous wildlife. So if you can’t be outside with your pets, keep them inside with you. Also consider putting up a fence — think something like 10 feet high — to keep your dogs safe when they’re outside.


  1. Make Property Uninviting for Wildlife: A popular saying is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure — and the reason it’s so popular is that it’s so true. Yes, you could get traps to humanely capture wildlife that get too close to your home or, even worse, find themselves in your home. But it makes more sense to do your best to make your property less inviting to wildlife in the first place. So ensure that your trash can lids are firmly closed and secured in a garage or other building so that wildlife can’t get at it. Also, try playing soothing music. Yes, it works. Specifically, it’s believed that playing music in your house or on your property can make your residence unattractive to nocturnal creatures nesting in close proximity. Also be sure to keep your property clean since wildlife that see your property as a place to refuel will come back regularly. This means you need to contain garbage and pick up any fruits that have fallen to the ground from fruit  trees.


Yes, you can keep your pets safe from wildlife if you take a few precautions. Depending on where you live, your dogs might be more susceptible to encountering wildlife. But if you take preemptive measures, you’ll be able to enjoy spending time stress-free outdoor time with your dogs.


Written by Amber Kingsley