A golden retriever in an orange camping bag.

What do bobcats, mountain lions, and coyotes have in common? Aside from being apex predators, they live in relatively close proximity to human developments. Since we are the ones encroaching on their known habitats, sightings and encounters are becoming more common. To keep your pet safe from wildlife, it is critical to know what to do if you ever cross paths with dangerous predators. 

Shrinking Boundaries

Suburban sprawl takes our neighborhoods right up to the foothills. With shrinking natural habitats and easily traversed roadways, the likelihood of surprising encounters has skyrocketed in recent years. 

Various wildlife can carry and spread infectious diseases, including rabies and leptospirosis, and parasites, such as ticks, fleas, and worms. It is more imperative than ever to have your pet fully vaccinated and up-to-date with their year-round parasite prevention medication

Since rattlesnake bites have increased, it may be worthwhile to consider the rattlesnake vaccine for your pet if their lifestyle warrants it. 

Safety First

Keeping in mind that most wildlife encounters happen accidentally. Wild animals are usually just as surprised (if not more so) to run into you or your pet. That being said, they may act defensively to protect themselves or their young. To keep your pet safe from wildlife encounters, try to follow these safety tips when out and about with your pet:

  • Talk in a loud voice while backing up slowly
  • Bring your pet’s leash close to you or pick them up (never allow them to chase wildlife)
  • If they continue tracking you, wave your arms wildly while shouting
  • Prohibit your dog from showing their teeth, barking, or growling
  • Contact our local animal control office at (951) 674-0618 to report your incident

Pet Safety…At Home

It’s easy to assume that we are always safe at home, but wildlife can be brought close to our neighborhoods for the promise of food. The following tips aim to help you keep your pet safe from wildlife in your own backyard:

  • Fresh water attracts all kinds of animals. Always dump out bird baths or standing water at night to deter wildlife from taking a drink.
  • Keep trash bins closed tight; be sure that compost containers do not attract rodents, an easy meal for most predators.
  • Fix fencing or install new 6-foot high fence panels.
  • Keep bushes and shrubs neat to reduce any prey from nesting there.
  • Do not leave food for your pet outside.
  • Switch the mechanism to your pet’s door from open to shut at night.

Keep Your Pet Safe from Wildlife

Birds of prey, opossums, porcupines, foxes, skunks, and raccoons live in our community (in addition to bears, coyotes, cougars, and venomous snakes). It is critical to your pet’s health and safety to keep them close at all times. Proper safety precautions can save your pet’s life. 

If you have additional questions about keeping your pet safe from wildlife, please call us at (951) 461-4100. Our staff is always here to help at Sky Canyon Animal Hospital.