Your cat or dog may have the heart of a tiger and the soul of a wolf, but we all know our companion animals are more suited to the couch than the jungle. Widlife and pets don’t mix. Whether you live in a rural area or right in the center of town, Tipp City shares a home with plenty of local wildlife from hawks to coyotes. Ohio’s animal population can be a challenge for pet owners who want to ensure their furbabies are safe and comfortable.
It’s easy to assume squirrels are the closest encounter with nature your dog or cat will ever have, but a chance run-in with a predator can happen in the blink of an eye. Even the most diligent pet parents can’t always anticipate the next adventure their daily walks may bring. That’s why it’s important to take preventative measures and be proactive in protecting your pets from wildlife.
Tipp City Veterinary Hospital has put together a helpful guide for pet owners living around wildlife. Get ready to fearlessly explore the trails, parks, or your own backyard with a little more peace of mind!
Daily walks and the occasional hike are a great way to promote canine health and wellness. Go prepared for the journey with a few basic tips for wildlife encounters.
Be especially aware during dawn and dusk when predators are most active. Stick to well populated trails if you’re planning a morning jog or late night jaunt. Be vigilant of any recent wildlife sightings in the area. Avoid short cutting through the brush and keep your dog leashed at all times.
For added safety, bring a flashlight or headlamp and consider investing in a light up, LED collar for your dog too.
Feeling unsure? Bring a friend! Doggie playgroups are not only an excellent safety measure, but a great way to meet fellow dog lovers.
While we never want to consider how easily a chance encounter can happen, it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind.
The first rule of thumb for predators is to make plenty of noise. Large cats and coyotes are easily spooked by loud sounds. Second, pick up your dog and try to make yourself look as “big” as possible. Never run. This will encourage predators to give chase. Remain calm and exit the area when it is safe to do so.
If you live an area that bears frequent, carry bear spray in case of emergency. Keep bear spray firmly secured to your belt or backpack so that it’s accessible at any time.
Consider carrying a walking stick for self defense when walking or hiking alone.
Even animals like raccoons can carry rabies and other harmful diseases. If your dog or cat gets into a scuffle with any wild animal, seek veterinary attention immediately. Be sure to stay up to date on your pet’s vaccinations to minimize the risk of an accidental encounter going from bad to worse.
Don’t forget about parasites! If your dog or cat is in an area that wildlife also frequent, protect them by guarding against fleas, ticks, and heartworm.
Wildlife encounters don’t just happen on the trails. Many predators are opportunistic and will take advantage of easy prey, including household pets. Even if you supervise your pet when he or she is out and about doesn’t mean an accident can’t happen. Kittens, puppies, toy breeds, and small pets or exotics are especially vulnerable. These animals spell “food” to predatory birds and other wildlife.
Keep them safe with a few simple rules for wildlife proofing your yard.
Keeping a clean yard isn’t simply great for boosting your property’s value or keeping your landlord happy; it’s a must for providing a safe environment for your pets to roam. Garbage attracts predators from coyotes and foxes to bears and mountain lions. Unless you’re running a buffet for scavenging wildlife, it’s best to keep bins secured and loose trash picked up.
Never leave uneaten pet food outside. This can easily attract raccoons and other animals who pose a threat to your outdoor cat or backyard loving dog. Try feeding your pet inside or set specific meal times and discard any leftovers promptly.
Predators like coyotes love to snack on fruit. If you allow your pet rabbit to run in an enclosed pen, be sure to clean up any treats and always supervise small animals during their outdoor adventures. This goes for gardens too. Be sure to harvest any discarded apples, peaches, and berries.
Squirrel and bird feeders present a similar allure for predatory birds. It’s best to keep feeders close to a porch or door and sweep up any remains each morning.
Got compost? We love an ecofriendly yard, but unfortunately so do predators! Be sure to rotate compost piles daily. Check the compost area for any nesting wildlife, including snakes, to minimize the risk of a surprise encounter.
Brushy areas are prime wildlife habitat. Keep your yard manicured to avoid creating an unintentional forest. Instead of shubbery, consider a chic rock garden. Less greenery to maintain is low maintenance in addition to being an excellent precaution.
Trees also present a hazard when it comes to attracting birds of prey. Raptors love trees with dense, brushy crowns to roost in. Birds present an imminent danger to cats and kittens. Prune trees regularly to avoid any unwanted backyard guests.
There’s no such thing as being overly cautious when it comes to our furbabies! Consider installing motion sensitive lighting for late night potty runs.
Security cameras are also a good idea when it comes to monitoring your yard. Early warning signs of curious critters can alert owners to the presence of wildlife so that appropriate actions can be taken to keep their pets safe.
At Tipp Veterinary Hospital, we know our clients are active, fun loving adventurers! A few added precautions can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying time outdoors. Contact us today to learn more about keeping your pet safe, happy, and healthy.
We absolutely LOVE Tipp City Vet! All of the staff are professional and friendly, always happy to see us and my girl, Ollie! I have been bringing Ollie here for care for about 2 years and always had a wonderful experience. They are thorough and make sure you feel at ease about your pet.
About two months ago, we started bringing my girl here for doggy daycare once or twice a week and she loves it! She has a chance to get all her Aussie energy out while I'm at work. She's always so happy when I pick her up!!
My family has also utilized their lodging services several times. You can board your pets separately or together. They offer extra play sessions, bathing, etc. And if you're still worried about your pet, you can text their lodging phone number and they will send you pictures of your pet! Great for nervous Dog Moms like me!
Can't say enough good things!
Anytime we go out of town we keep one of our dogs at the boarding portion of the hospital. She LOVES it. After a couple of stays she has realized how much she loves this place and no longer tries to pull us out the door when we arrive (this in my book is a good sign)! She’s always exhausted when we pick her up, so that reassures me that they take the time to play with her and that she doesn’t have any built up energy she needs to release once home as attention was not given. The staff is amazing and take great care of the animals. Also very reasonable pricing on boarding for what they offer!
Great clean facility, super friendly staff! Dr Joel was really nice, attentive and knowledgeable! Love that they have Sunday hours and that they see small pets like our guinea pig. They took great care of her and were able to get us a Sunday appointment right before closing on Saturday. Would recommend and go back.
The staff and vets are always pleased when I bring our Boston Terrier in. It’s awesome to have them stop and pet her before we even get into our appointment. During the appointment, the Vet (have had 3 different ones) treats her so special and sweet talk her to calm her down (all of them have). They care about how we feel and how she feels! Love it!