Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
When It Comes to Wildlife, Keep an Eye on Pet Safety
It can be thrilling to catch a glimpse of a wild animal, but unless you are at a safe distance their actions can be highly unpredictable and incredibly dangerous.
Raccoons, skunks, foxes, porcupines, and opossums are certainly not rarities, but neither are local sightings of rattlesnakes, bears, coyotes, cougars, and various birds of prey.
The bottom line is that when pet safety remains a top priority, we can all move closer toward peaceful (or at least uneventful) co-existence.
With urban and suburban sprawl, natural habitats for wild animals is shrinking. This, paired with easily accessible roadways, makes crossing paths with wild animals more likely to occur.
In and around Rocklin and Roseville, wild animal encounters are fairly common. When pet owners are prepared, their pets have a better chance of walking away unscathed.
If your pet isn’t fully vaccinated, or has a lapse in their parasite preventatives, we urge you to get everything up to date. Various wildlife can carry and spread contagious diseases, like rabies or leptospirosis. They can also share ticks, fleas, and worms with your pet.
Out & About
Most wildlife try to avoid human encounters. However, in the event that you see a wild animal while out walking or hiking with your pet, please remember these go-to pet safety tips:
- Keep your pet leashed at all times
- Slowly back up with your pet close to your side or in your arms (never show them your back!)
- If you are followed, wave your arms to look bigger and shout at them
- Seek the nearest shelter
- Prohibit your dog from barking, growling, or snarling
- Never allow your pet to chase after wildlife
- Once safe, call the local authorities to report the incident (especially if wildlife are acting strangely or frequenting the same spots)
Precautions at Home
Certain animals are drawn to communities because of the surplus food scraps. Eliminate standing water, and minimize accessible food or trash for wildlife to root through. If your yard isn’t surrounded by the ideal 6-foot high perimeter, try to enclose compost heaps.
- Bird feeders in your yard can attract rodents that larger animals feast on
- Keep shrubs neat and tidy so animals don’t want to hide or nest there
- Do not feed your pet outside
- Lock your pet door
Pet Safety and Wildlife
Coyotes can be very threatening to both cats and dogs, although they mostly prey on rabbits, and rodents. Attacks can be prevented through the following strategies:
- Walk your dog with a group of other people dogs, as coyotes are less likely to be confronted.
- Try not to go out after dark with your pet.
- Keep your pet inside at night. If your cat is accustomed to prowling in the evenings, go out with them and ensure they stay in the backyard only.
- Always use a leash.