Where the Wild Things Are: Protecting Your Pets from Wildlife

A Domestic Dog Has It's First Run In With A Wild Coyote; wildlife and pets dont mix!

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!

Out and About

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.

Plan Ahead

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.

Preventative Care

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.

Backyard Defenders

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.

Clean Yard, Happy Pets

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.

Fortify with Landscaping

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.

Protect with Tech

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.

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Google Reviews
posted 2 weeks ago

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.

Jacqueline Franer
Jacqueline Franer
posted 2 weeks ago

I really appreciated the time the doctor spent with us. Dr Jacob was very very thorough and did not rush us out. He answered all my questions and concerns and then some. I learned more from him in an hour than I did from our previous vet over the last 7 years. We decided to switch vets because we wanted to be closer to home. I am so glad we did! I highly recommend.

james rawe
james rawe
posted 1 month ago

Thank you to Dr. Jacob Mathias!! Every visit is exceptional and makes us and our fur babies feel like family. He even takes the time to warm up to our dog who is very nervous around men. Thank you to the support staff as well! I will always refer Tipp City Veterinary Hospital!! You guys are outstanding!!

Anna Burkhead
Anna Burkhead
posted 1 month ago

We've never felt less than welcome here and have always left feeling confident in what was explained to us and any procedure that has been done. We are never rushed and it's easy to tell that everyone here truly does care for your pets and their best interest. I highly reccomend visiting Tipp Vet Hospital for all of your pet's needs.

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