With summer just around the corner, it often means you and your dog will be spending far more time outdoors and increase your chances of running into wildlife. Whether on a hike, a camping trip or if you live near a wooded area and simply walk your dog there, you will be more exposed to the wildlife that frequent these areas. So in order to ensure that you and your dog stay safe this summer, it is important to know how to react if you find yourself head on with a wild animal. Here are some of the animals you may run into and how you should react if one of them attacks your dog.
If a mountain lion approaches you aggressively and looks like he is ready to pounce on you or your pet, it is important throw things such as stones, branches or your belongings at him to scare him away. However, if he has already pounced then you need to fight back and under no circumstances should you run. If you and your dog begin to run away, he will chase after you. In order to get the mountain lion off your pet and away from you, you need to use whatever is at your disposal to fight him off. Grab any heavy sticks around you, use your keys, jacket, backpack or whatever else you can hit him with. If you hit him hard enough, he should back off so that you and you dog can escape.
If a Coyote approaches you when you are out for a walk with your dog, you need to yell loudly and throw things at him to frighten him away. In particular you should aim at his eyes with handfuls of dirt or gravel that may be found around you. It may also be helpful to have a blow horn on you anytime you go for a walk because the loud noise could be enough to scare the animal off. If the Coyote pounces on your pet then you need to continue to throw things at him and act loudly until he releases.
The best way to protect your dog from a bear is to avoid them at all costs. However, if you do stumble upon their path, you need try and remain calm and not disturb whatever the bear is doing. Give the bear plenty of space and if he spots you begin to talk in a calm voice and move your arms around so that it knows you are human. If he seems interested in you, throw something onto the ground away from you to distract him, as this could give you a chance to get away. (Never throw food) If a Grizzly Bear attacks you and your dog, you need to drop to the ground and play dead. Lay on the ground face down and try to stay as still as possible. If a black bear attacks then you need to be aggressive to protect yourself and your pet. Hit it with any object in your reach, spray it with bear spray and act loudly. The only time you need to play dead with a black bear is if you are sure the bear is protecting her cubs.
Moose, Snakes, Wolves
If you run into a moose it is important to pick your dog up right away to avoid irritating the animal and walk around it. The key to avoid a snake attack is to spot them before your dog gets too close, so carry a flashlight with you because the snakes will likely be hiding in darker areas where your dog may go sniffing and then get consequently bitten. As for wolves, they are not likely to approach you but if you do see one then keep your dog close on a tight leash.
While there are ways to defend you and your dog from wildlife, your safest bet is prevention. Avoid any areas that have limited eyesight and put a bell around your dogs collar so that the noise can keep predators away. You should also always be alert on your walk, keeping an eye out for signs of a predator like scratches on a tree and any unusual noises. By carrying a blow horn and bear spray you will also be more prepared to deal with a threatening situation. It is also advisable to keep your pet leashed in areas where they may be wildlife so that you can have more control over the situation and your dog when it comes across a wild animal.
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