If a wild animal is living on your property, your entire household’s health is at some risk depending on the animal and the severity of the infestation, but your pet’s health will absolutely be compromised, likely regardless of the severity of the infestation. The most common wild animals that can create a hostile environment for your pet are snakes, coyotes, raccoons, porcupines, skunks, rats, bats, predatory birds, and, to some extent, even squirrels. These animals can either be directly dangerous (with sharp claws, talons, and life-threatening teeth) or they can be indirectly dangerous (with diseases and viruses) or a combination of both. You can never be sure how dangerous a wild animal actually is, so be sure to deal with infestations in a prompt and effective manner to protect your household and your pet and if you suspect your pet has been in contact with a wild animal, visit this source.
The Dangers of Individual Animals Towards Your Pets
Snakes- The biggest danger of snakes is their venom. Not all snakes are venomous but if you’re unsure, keep your distance, keep your pet indoors, and call an animal control specialist. Snakes can also bite and constrict if they feel threatened, meaning just because a snake isn’t venomous does not mean they aren’t deadly for your pet.
Coyotes- Coyotes prowl around hilly areas looking for easy prey. They will rarely attack humans, but they will certainly attack pets: especially cats and small dogs. Generally, coyotes will keep their distance from large dogs. Evidence of coyotes can generally be found by spotting tracks or hearing howls at night.
Raccoons- Raccoons may get in brawls with your pets, which may leave a variety of telltale marks, but they’re unlikely to outright kill your pet. On the other hand, raccoons will likely attack your pet’s immune system through a variety of viruses that they’re likely to be carrying. These viruses include rabies, leptospirosis, canine distemper, along with a handful of others. Raccoons can cause lasting damage to your pet if you’re not careful.
Porcupines- Porcupines have spikes which, when not removed correctly, can be dangerous. Although the spikes aren’t poisonous, they can inflict lasting injuries and even be fatal depending on how many a pet has inside them. Additionally, it’s extremely important that a veterinarian removes the porcupine’s quills: if they’re removed incorrectly it could be fatal. The only transmissible disease porcupines can carry is rabies, which although certainly not harmless, is relatively unlikely.
Skunks- Skunks can be territorial which can lead to aggression, especially towards cats and small dogs. If a skunk does become territorial, they will claw, bite, and spray yourself or your pet. A skunk’s stench can last up to 21 days if untreated. Additionally, skunks do have a fairly good chance to have rabies, especially if there have been any recent rabies outbreaks in your neighborhood.
Rats- Although they’re the smallest creatures on this list, rats can quickly become the biggest threat. Rats can carry a wide variety of diseases that can be spread to humans and pets alike such as plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, and many other ones that are spread through their feces, urine, or by getting bitten. Additionally, some rats can carry fleas and ticks which can create a whole other issue on top of any other health issues. Don’t underestimate their size: rats can be deadly.
Bats- Bats, much like rats, aren’t extremely dangerous externally, but internally they have the potential to carry multiple diseases per bat in a colony. Bats may bite or claw, which won’t hurt your pet. But these claws and bites frequently lead to health complications in pets and humans alike such as rabies, histoplasmosis, leptospirosis, salmonella, and many other forms of bacteria and viruses.
Squirrels- Many squirrels will run away as a person or pet approaches. Although it’s rare, some squirrels can be aggressive and some will have rabies: making them worthy of adding to this list.
Predatory Birds- Predatory birds come in many different shapes and sizes, but, as a rule of thumb, predatory birds create a danger for small dogs and cats. Predatory birds will come down and swoop up your small dog or cat, effectively killing them through their method of choice. To avoid this catastrophe, you have to be ready to protect your pet with preventative measures.
The Solutions for Individual Animals
Snakes- There are a variety of things you can do to deal with a snake infestation. The first option is always calling a wildlife specialist. Other options include putting snake repellent throughout your yard and installing a snake fence: which is an inexpensive and effective way to keep snakes out of your yard for a long time.
Coyotes- Solutions for coyotes in your backyard include keeping your pet inside for the night, building a strong wire mesh fence to exclude the coyotes and to keep your pets inside your perimeter, and leaving your porch lights on overnight can help with a coyote invasion in your backyard. Of course, for a permanent solution, you’ll have to call an animal control specialist. Coyotes are vicious, especially towards pets, so make sure to deal with them as quickly as possible.
Raccoons- There are a variety of methods for keeping raccoons out of your yard’s perimeter. These include putting the lid down on your garbage can (raccoons look for scraps in there), keep your pet’s food inside (especially at night), and have lights on in your yard throughout the night. Of course, for an effective and lasting solution, you’re encouraged to call a wildlife control specialist, especially if you believe the raccoons are living on your property.
Porcupines- As for many of these wild animals, the best solution for keeping porcupines out of your yard is to call a wildlife control specialist and build a fence. There are also a variety of repellent products, but they work inconsistently with getting rid of porcupines.
Skunks- To get rid of skunks, there are a variety of things you can do. You can trap the skunk yourself (they’re not outright dangerous, but their spray can be extremely inconvenient) or call a wildlife specialist to remove them. A fence will help but skunks can dig under fences if they really want to get into your backyard. Other practices that can help keep skunks out of your yard are putting your pet’s food inside and closing and locking your trashcans so the skunks can’t look for food in there.
Rats- A rat infestation is one of the most common infestations. It’s recommended that you contact a wildlife specialist because dealing with rat infestations requires a lot of knowledge, attention to detail, and safety requirements. Additionally, when relieving your house of a rat infestation, you have to be sure to remove all their feces, dead bodies, and any other mess otherwise that area could become a breeding ground for disease.
Bats- When dealing with bats, it’s recommended that you contact a wildlife control specialist. Much like rats, bats are hard to deal with, require extreme attention to detail, and safety requirements. They also will require a lot of cleaning as their guano can lead to bacteria build-up, which can lead to a list of health conditions.
Squirrels- Squirrels aren’t too hard to deal with and there are a ton of DIY methods online, most of which are effective. These include sprinkling cayenne pepper in your garden, spraying them, putting mulch in your garden, and a ton of other, fairly effortless alternatives.
Predatory Birds- To prevent any predatory birds from attacking your pet, clean up your yard. Trim any overhanging branches, make sure there’s no prey like rats, snakes, or mice in your yard, and get rid of any bird feeders you may have. You should also buy a variety of things like scare tape, bird spikes, or raptor-proof netting for complete protection.
What if I find a Sick or Injured Wild Animal?
If you find a sick or injured wild animal, it is best to find a rehabilitator. Ensure that you have gloves or some safety equipment before touching it (or just avoid getting too close) and follow the advice of the rehabilitator when transporting the animal and caring for it until professional help can arrive.
How Do Wildlife Specialists Deal With A Wild Animal That’s Threatening Your Household?
Generally, the most common way to get rid of any wild animal is to use exclusion: not killing a single animal in the process. A one-way exclusion device is installed that let the wild animals leave for food and water as they need, but they won’t be able to return to their nest. The method of trapping differs from wild animal to wild animal and depending upon their location, but generally, this is how it’s done.