As Charlotte grows and the wildlife habitat is destroyed conditions are perfect for more human and wild animal interactions as well as pet and wild animal interactions.
Regardless of the type of wildlife in your area, the following tips can help keep you and your pets safe.
- Make sure your pet has a current rabies vaccination. If your dog or cat comes in contact with a wild animal, this could save its life.
- Make sure that your trash is secure. Many wild animals are opportunistic and will go for an easy meal. Put your garbage cans out only on trash collection day and secure the lid with bungee cords if necessary.
Do Not Feed Your Pet Outside
- If you must feed your animal outside, remove any food that is left after your pet has finished eating.
- Bird feeders often attract small animals such as squirrels and small rodents. Larger animals will then prey on these squirrels and rodents thus attracting them to your property.
Do Not Leave Your Pets Outdoors Unattended
- Dogs taken outdoors by their owners should always be leashed unless in a fenced yard, where they should still be supervised and checked regularly.
- Dogs should not be tied outdoors, unfenced or unsupervised in areas where wildlife and rabies are prevalent.
- Cats should be kept indoors unless trained to remain at home
- Dogs and cats should not be left outside for any period of time unsupervised especially at night, even in a fenced enclosure.
- Invisible fences do not protect your pets from predators.
If your pet comes in contact with or is injured by a wild animal, protect yourself first!
- Wear gloves to handle your pet immediately after the encounter.
- If there are any injuries to the pet and they are not life threatening, wash off your pet with a garden hose. This will remove any of the wild animal's saliva from your animal.
- If the injuries are life threatening, wrap your pet in a towel or blanket and transport to a veterinarian.
- If you come in contact with a wild animal immediately wash any areas of exposure with soap and water and contact your physician.
- If you or your pet come into physical contact with a wild animal, please call 311.
Finally, consider removing habitat that provides protective cover for wild animals or their prey. This will dissuade wildlife from using the space as part of their territory or home range and will reduce the likelihood of conflicts.
Get information and tips from NC Wildlife.
To learn about Coyotes, visit the Coyote page.
To learn about Canadian Geese, visit the Goose page.