Certain parts of the Southcoast area come in more contact with wildlife than others. Deer, squirrels, and other locals are quite common in most suburban neighborhoods, but there are increasing reports of coyotes and other predators within the region as well. It is good to have a plan of action in the event of an encounter with wildlife – both for you and your pet. The established vaccination requirements in MA are meant to assist in protecting pets from predators, in particular, the annual rabies shot. Know where your local Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet is located and keep contact information and other essentials in a special spot within your home for easy access. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth is an emergency veterinary clinic, and we work with other local emergency vets to provide our clients with 24/7 services when they need them the most.
Coyotes in Dartmouth
In recent years, increased sightings of coyotes have occurred in the Southcoast region. Some towns that have made the news include Dartmouth and Westport, as well as others in the same general area. Those who live in rural areas know that they will likely encounter wildlife to some degree on their land or in their neighborhood. However, the more you can learn about coyotes and how they live, the easier protecting pets from predators can be. Walking pets on a leash during daylight hours, keeping a close watch on pets that go outdoors in the backyard throughout the day, and good housekeeping habits can go a long way to prevent dangerous encounters.
So far, the sightings have become more common, while reports of attacks or encounters remain rare. The typical breeding season for coyotes is in February or March, with the babies coming in the summer, around June or July. Make sure that your property is not friendly to their activities, don’t keep pet food outdoors on a patio or in the backyard, and mind your trash and other things that might attract wildlife to your yard. Even if the coyotes aren’t interested in your leftover pizza boxes, the animals they hunt and eat very well could be.
Protect Your Property
Common sense comes into play when it comes to protecting pets from predators. Preventive measures are the key to taking care of cats, dogs, and other common household pets. When walking, stick to open areas and trails that are frequented less by coyotes and other wildlife. Pay attention to local neighborhood apps to see which areas are the most active. Word of mouth, chatting with your neighbors is also a great way to stay on top of changes in wildlife behavior. Studies show that sunrise and sunset are the most active times of day for most predators.
Remove all food sources from your property – front porch, backyard, back porches, and patios. Don’t allow your pets to go outside alone after dark. If you encounter a coyote, fox, or another type of predator species, it is best to make noise and encourage a healthy fear of humans. Not only will this likely scare away the animal, but it will help them to stay away from humans in the future, protecting them as well. Yelling, waving your arms, banging pots and pans, rattling a can full of change, using an air horn – these are all methods recommended by wildlife experts to scare away most types of wildlife from your property.
Other Ways to Protect Your Pets
As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to provide your dog, cat, or other domesticated animals with the nutrition, veterinary services, and care required for them to have a long and healthy life. Make sure you are aware of all vaccination requirements in MA to prevent your pet from getting a disease that could impact their health and possibly affect humans and other pets. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth offers a wide range of veterinary services, including preventive treatments, vaccinations, check-ups, and nutritional advice. We are also a respected Southeastern Massachusetts emergency vet and can provide surgical, pain management, and other services for your pet. You can contact our team to schedule a veterinary check-up or speak with a technician about any concerns you may have about your pet’s health by calling 508-996-3731.