A photo of their chihuahua is all an Indianapolis family has left after their pet was carried off by a coyote during a walk at a park this June. School district officials heard other reports of dogs being attacked by coyotes and posted warnings. Unfortunately, the warnings came too late for the Constant family.
Coyotes are just one of the threats your dog can face outdoors. Other dogs, raccoons, snakes and other wild animals can all pose potential dangers to your dog. Here are some steps you can take to keep your pet safe from wild animals.
Watch Your Dog Outdoors
Making sure you monitor your dog when you’re outdoors is a key to keeping your pet safe, says the Humane Society. Keeping your dog inside is the safest protection if you know there are coyotes or other dangerous animals in the area. When your dog is outside, don’t leave it unattended, and don’t keep it chained or tethered in your yard, leaving it defenseless against attacks. Even if you think your dog is protected by a fence, dangerous animals can jump or climb over barriers.
When you’re walking your dog on the street or in other public areas such as parks, keep it on a leash so it can’t chase other animals. Don’t let your dog wander off unsupervised.
Keep Your Dog’s Identification Tag On
If your dog is scared by a wild animal or attacked, it may run off. To avoid losing your dog, make sure it’s always wearing an ID tag that includes your contact information. In case your pet’s ID tag gets lost or becomes unreadable, you can also get a microchip implanted into your dog to make sure you can always find it.
Keep Dangerous Wild Animals Out of Your Yard
Dangerous animals can be attracted to your backyard if you leave your dog’s food and water outside. Feeding your dog indoors or moving leftovers inside after your dog is finished eating can avoid this problem. Leaving dog droppings outside can also attract wild animals, so be sure to clean up after your dog promptly.
To make your fence a better barrier against predators, make sure your fence top is at least six feet tall and add coyote rollers to make it harder for leaping and climbing animals to gain footing. If dangerous animals take up residence in or near your backyard, take steps to remove them yourself or hire a professional removal service.
Maintain a First Aid Kit for Your Dog
In the event that your dog gets attacked, you should keep a pet first aid kit on hand. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides an online list of items you should have in your dog’s first aid kit. These include hydrogen peroxide, gauze and nonstick pet bandages (not human bandage products), adhesive tape, milk of magnesia, activated charcoal, a digital thermometer and an eye dropper. You also need a leash and muzzle for stabilizing and transporting your pet. Finally, make sure you include a copy of your dog’s medical records, your vet’s contact information, contact information for an emergency vet clinic and contact information for an animal poison control center.
Have Your Dog Properly Vaccinated
Disease is another risk wild animals present to your dog. Keep your pet safe by staying current on your dog’s scheduled vaccinations. In addition to standard vaccinations, ask your vet if your dog should be immunized against any dangerous diseases that may be carried by wildlife in your area. For instance, if you live in a wooded area, ticks may carry a risk of Lyme Disease.