Dog after an encounter with a porcepine

How to Keep Your Pet Safe Around Wildlife 

With urban sprawl becoming a reality worldwide, clashes with wildlife have become all too common. Wild animals have started to view cities as a part of their habitat and will often dig through garbage and other debris in search of food. Sadly, larger predators have also been known to enter cities in the search for small dogs or cats which make an easy snack. 

Wildlife might look cute and cuddly, but it is far from tame. Not only is your pet at risk of possibly being eaten but some wildlife carry diseases such as rabies or distemper which they can spread to domestic animals. Also, any skirmish with wildlife can lead to wounds on your dog which can abscess or become infected if not properly treated by a veterinarian. 

Even if you have not noticed an upswing in wildlife in cities, the chances are good that when the weather warms up, you’ll want to take your four-legged friend for a walk, hike, picnic, or camping. 

Let’s examine a few tips on how you can keep your dog safe:

Hiking or Going for a Walk 

When going for a walk or hiking, do not let your dog off-leash unless you are in a designated dog park that allows canines to run free. Any time you are hiking in a wooded, desert, or mountainous area, always keep your canine companion on a short lead. You do not want the animal roaming freely because the dog could easily encounter a wild animal. If the dog is not restrained by a leash, then the pup might become fearful and run off or turn aggressive. Always avoid wild animals to protect your dog from possible attack. 

If you are walking more than one dog at a time, then bring a friend along to help. If you do not have a buddy to accompany you then consider one of the leash couplers that allow you to walk two dogs with a single lead. 

Backyard Safety

Most dog owners rarely think about their pet encountering wildlife in the backyard of their home, but it can easily happen. Wild animals regularly enter the yards of people. Here are a few ways to maintain backyard safety for your dog:

  • Never leave food outdoors. Table scraps attract wildlife such as bears looking for a fast meal. 
  • Scoop and dispose of all animal waste. The smell of feces and urine can actually attract wildlife, so you want to regularly pick up after your pup and keep your yard clean. 
  • Supervise your pet during all outings and avoid leaving the animal alone. 
  • Spay or neuter your dog. Hormones emitted by an unaltered pet will often attract wildlife such as wolves, coyotes, and bears. 

If a wild animal should enter your backyard, then get your dog to safety and try to make as much noise as possible to scare off the intruder. Never try to fight or confront wildlife or you could be seriously harmed. Most wildlife is afraid of humans and will run if directly encountered. 

If your pet should sustain injuries from wildlife, then you’ll want to seek immediate medical care. Also, you should always keep your pet up to date on all vaccinations such as rabies.

Back to blog


We live in a very rural area and my dog has free run of the backyard, although I watch him like a hawk. At night before bedtime, I let him out in the backyard to take care of his evening business, but before he is let out, I have a powerful light that I use to scan the backyard and nearby meadows to be sure that there are no wild creatures out there. I sometimes do spot something and in that case, my dog is not allowed to go out until the wild critter, deer, bear, coyote, bobcat, etc has left the area…. Just a way of life when we live out here…Thanks for your tips as well.

Robert Snarski

I have fox with litter under my shed. How can I make them leave. I have a 50 lb dog My yard is fenced for dog & they are inside fence too.

Brown Patti

Great information that I always share with my friends who own dogs. Thank you!!

Sharon Tomlinson

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.