Raccoons, opossums, mice, bats, and birds can all be adorable and fun to watch, but some people just don’t understand the potential dangers that these forms of wildlife can pose to their family and pets. An encounter with even a small and seemingly harmless wild animal that finds their way onto your property can result in serious consequences for you, your children and your luxury dogs and cats.
Wild mammals and birds can damage your property, upset trash receptacles and set up nests in your yard, in your shed or even in accessible areas of your home. Certain forms of wildlife carry fleas, lice and ticks and can bring the threat of potentially deadly diseases like rabies.
Simple Steps to Protect Your Family and Pets
Even if you live in an area where wildlife sightings are very common, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there needs to be an imminent danger to your kids, dogs, and cats. In fact, there are some very simple steps that you can take to minimize the potential risk of an unwanted wildlife encounter:
Keep Trash Bins Securely Covered
Squirrels, rats, raccoons, opossums and wild cats all love to rummage through the garbage that contains scraps of food. By keeping trash in tightly tied bags and in cans with secure lids, you eliminate a major source of attraction for wildlife.
Make sure your Fence is in Good Condition
Fixing holes or replacing missing planks in the fence around your property keeps rabbits, raccoons, and many other mammals off of your property. A secure boundary really minimizes the chances for a potentially dangerous encounter between a wild animal and your pets or children.
Don’t leave Pets Outside Unattended
Even with a solid fence, some animals will still find their way into your yard. If your dogs are out roaming for extended periods they have a greater chance of coming across a wild animal that has made its way onto your property. If the animal has a nest or a food source nearby they may become aggressive and look to protect instead of escape. This can result in serious injury to both your pet and the wild animal.
Keep Cats Indoors
Cats are natural hunters and are not necessarily deterred by your fence. If there is a bird or rabbit in a neighbor’s yard, they will likely give chase. A cat who exits the confines of your property is at a much greater risk of injury due to a wild animal attack, but to other dangers (like traffic, poison or traps left out by others for wild animals, etc.)
Ultrasonic Pest Protection
Ultrasonic pest repellents use high-frequency sound waves to drive away a variety of pests, rodents, and insects. For homeowners who are looking for a hands off and mess free method of keeping unwanted pests out of their home, this can be a safe and effective solution.
Ultrasonic repellents are safe for humans and family pets (you can’t hear the sounds, neither can your pets, there are no poisons and no danger of pets or kids suffering the injuries that can occur from snap traps). After the fast and easy initial setup, there is nothing to do but allow the device to work driving away unwanted pests.
In addition to the steps above, simply avoiding contact with wildlife is also a major factor in keeping pets and family members safe. Don’t leave food out for wild animals, don’t intentionally engage with them and never encourage your pets to interact with wildlife.
Even those with the best of intentions and those who have taken the proactive measures mentioned above can still find themselves in a position where a wild animal has entered their home or garage and is posing a potential threat. In these instances, it is important that the situation is handled properly to minimize the risk.
It’s never a good idea to attempt to poison a wild animal on your property. Poison baits have elements that attract wildlife (they look and smell like food), which may also attract your family pets.
Cornering a wild animal is also not advisable. Raccoons, opossums, and birds can all become very territorial, especially if they have a nest nearby. Cornering them can insight an attack, which can result in serious injury for any people or pets in the area.
If a wild animal has set up residence in your home, garage or yard or is posing a threat to your family it makes sense to enlist the help of a professional. A wildlife control expert can quickly analyze the wildlife threat on your property and take the best steps toward removal in a manner that ensures the safety of your family and your pets and with minimal risk to the wild animal.
A trained wildlife control expert can also suggest the best methods for cleaning and sanitize the area after removal and help set up protective measures to minimize the chances of future unwanted encounters.
One of the most common questions a veterinarian will hear is “How will I know when it’s time to say goodbye?” This may be one of the most difficult questions you will ever have to ask your vet and it is certainly one of our most challenging ones to answer. There is no simple answer to this question, but rather a start to a conversation.
Our pets, by nature, have a shorter life expectancy than we do. They also, by nature, do not think about or fear death the way we do. They are too busy living. Animals experience life in the present moment. They sense what is going on in and around them in “real-time” and they are keenly sensitive to the moods, behaviors and emotional states of people, especially the people they love. So if you are suffering with thoughts of losing them, fearing the future, or worried about what to do, they will sense it and suffer right along with you, magnifying their dis-ease. When we pause to consider this time from our pets’ perspective, another more empowering question to ask might be, “How do I want my beloved pet to experience this time we have left together?” What would they want?
Unfortunately, we won’t always have the privileged of even asking these questions, and some will leave us before we’ve had the chance to say goodbye. But when we do have this chance, and we remember a simple truth that all life is transient, imagine this time you have left to share with each other as a gift, an opportunity to express your love and appreciation for them. They will sense it. Feeling your genuine love and gratitude will be the bridge you both need to ease the uncertainty of this time. This sense of love and gratitude will also ease in their transition, because when you are fully present with them, they are too. Then, when they are ready to leave the discomfort of their physical form, while remaining forever in your heart, you will know. They will tell you; just trust yourself to quiet your thoughts and listen with your heart.
Your veterinarian can assist you during this time by providing you with medical information about your pet that can help you understand what to expect. Ask your vet, and share how you are feeling, including what is contributing to any emotional conflicts that you may be experiencing. Remember, though, just like in any healing profession, individual veterinarians will have different capabilities and comfort in dealing with their client’s emotional needs. Your vet may be able to meet those needs, but if not, seek out other resources. New and growing areas in veterinary medicine include emotional support coaching for making difficult decisions and palliative-hospice care for in home management of pets as they approach their end of life. If this is something you are interested in, speak with your veterinarian to see if these are services they might offer or refer you for. Because ultimately, it’s about being present for your pet and remembering that when you love them in the moment, that is their experience too.
In today’s busy and self-centered world when no one has any time for anyone else, pets in our homes make for the best friends and companions we can ever hope to have! The joy and enthusiasm that my pet dog greets me with when I reach home at the end of a long and arduous workday immediately lifts my spirits and any tiredness I bring back with me vanishes into thin air. Pets are loyal, faithful, unconditional and spontaneous in their love and benefit us in several ways.
In return, it is important for us to ensure we care for our pets too in the best way possible.
Here are some key ways in which you can make sure you are being a responsible pet owner and carer!
Space: Pets need to have a place that is safe, dry, clean and cozy. While deliberating on the choice of our pets we must carefully consider the space it will require for the aquarium for our fish, corner for our cat or dog or cage for the lovebirds we so wish to have! If an entire room is too much to think of, a clear and demarcated boundary can be created for your furry friend.
Diet: According to the pet that you own, you must strive to ensure they are fed a balanced and nutritious diet. Every species and breed in turn has foods that are permissible and those that can cause greater harm than good. Make sure you check with the vet and only feed your pet the right kind of foods and appropriate portions. Just as food needs to be carefully monitored, so too you must ensure that your pet has adequate and clean drinking water available.
Exercise: All pets need their space to be able to flex their muscles and spread their wings. Pets like dogs need to be taken for a scheduled walk regularly. Pet birds must have enough room in their cages not to feel cramped. A daily exercise routine will ensure your pets are healthy and happy
Medical Attention: Regular checkups with the veterinarian will make sure that your pet is hale and healthy and will help to diagnose any ailments well in advance. Vaccinations must be given in a timely and disciplined manner.
Cleanliness: All pets have cleanliness and hygiene needs. Pets like dogs and cats must be bathed regularly and groomed to keep their fur, hair, nails and skin well cared for. The area your pets are housed in must be cleaned and washed daily to keep the surroundings clean and pest free. Make sure also to keep your pet free of parasites like fleas, ticks and worms. Fish bowls or aquarium water needs to be changed appropriately in a timely fashion.
Supervision: While most pets once trained and habitual to their environment tend to stay safe it is important for a new pet to be supervised till they get a lay of the land! Inadvertently leaving the cage open could let the parrot or parakeet escape, dashing out of an ajar door could let the puppy or kitten to make a wild dash out onto the street which could be potentially dangerous.
Pets Are Constant Companion
Your child is bound to get bored and lonely. This happens most when you are raising a single child. However, having a pet around helps your child to have a constant companion in the house.
Pets also can match the energy and excitement level of a child. A human adult can never match the energy and enthusiasm a pet, in the form of a dog, has. The pet can keep your child busy and engaged. It can be your child’s constant playmate without getting bored.
Increase Your Child’s Activity Level
In the era of smart-phones and tabloids there are chances that your child might become less active. However, a recent study has shown that the kids, who own a dog, exercise eleven minutes more on average, than non-dog owning kids.
Eleven minutes might sound quite less but also when you add up the figure in terms of weeks and month you realize the benefits. A pet in the form of a dog really helps your child to walk the extra mile and keep him/her active.
Children with pets become more responsible than the others. It keeps them alert whether the dog or the cat got their share of food or water. They also tend to share more than the other kids.
The kids learn to be accountable of someone else. In that way they grow up to be more responsible adults. They learn fast that how the pets are dependent on the human beings and from that understanding, the attachment develops.
Makes them Empathetic
Pets also teach your children to become empathetic and kind towards others. Kids without any kind of pets tend to become cruel or repulsive towards other animals. However, kids having pets like dogs or cats tend to care more for others.
The responsibilities of owning a pet makes them accountable and their self-esteem also increases. They grow-up to be dependable adults than kids who don’t own a pet. By keeping in mind their pet’s feeding and grooming routines, they also learn to keep track of their own routines.
Makes them Healthier
Studies have shown that there are also certain health benefits of having pets. Babies who are being raised near pets tend to fall less sick than the babies who are not. Pets, especially dogs, carry certain microbes from outside into your home. These microbes tend to help your baby by improving their immunity.
Interaction with pets also helps in releasing the dopamine hormone in your child. This makes them more cheerful than the others.