Posted on: 6 October 2022Share
If you're like most dog owners, you care deeply about the health and happiness of your furry friend, and because of this, you're careful to keep your pet as safe as possible from potential hazards. However, even the best precautions aren't 100% foolproof, and there are many dangers lurking in the average neighborhood. Wildlife, for instance, isn't confined to rural areas—if you live in a suburban or even urban neighborhood, it's possible that wild animals are frequent visitors to your outdoor living area without you even being aware of it. Many species of North American wildlife, such as raccoons, bears, and coyotes, are nocturnal and therefore may be undetected in your neighborhood. Below are three ways that you can minimize the chances of your pet having a negative encounter with wildlife.
Keep Your Pet's Vaccinations Up-to-Date
This is probably one of the most important things you can do if you live in an area where your pet may encounter wildlife. Raccoons in particular have the potential to carry rabies. Other culprits include skunks, bats, and foxes. If your pet's rabies vaccination is not up-to-date, it will have to be quarantined to rule out disease.
Keep Your Trash in Your Garage or Outbuilding
Most of the time, the reason wild animals are even in the vicinity of your home is that they're seeking food—and trash cans are one of their favorite sources of meals. Keep yours in your garage or outbuilding until the morning of pickup day to keep temptations to a minimum.
Keep Your Pet Indoors After Dark
If your pet must go outdoors after dark, be sure to accompany it and keep it on a leash. Always turn on bright outdoor lighting before taking your pet outside at night, take a look around before you go out, and be mindful of any unexplained movements or shadows. This is not the time to go exploring around the neighborhood—keep it brief and go back inside once your pet has completed its business.
In the event that your pet has an altercation with a wild animal, check your pet quickly for open wounds and other signs of injury. Go to your local animal hospital if these are present or if your dog shows clear signs of distress. If your pet does not require immediate veterinary attention, it's still a good idea for your vet to check the animal over just to make there are no bites that punctured the skin or other possible damage. Even if your pet is current on its rabies vaccinations, your veterinarian may want to give it a booster shot for an extra layer of protection.
Contact a local vet to learn more.