Pet wellness protection comes easy to pet parents, as our pets mean a lot to us and we take care of them like they’re part of our family. We take them to the vet and see to their every need and feed them the best food and provide them the best healthy lifestyle we can. But we forget that cities were built where forests used to be and that a whole host of wild animals can still live in cities. These animals can be dangerous to our pets if we are not aware of the risks.
Wild animals can attack our pets in our backyards or while on a walk.This poses an extra worry because wild animals are not vaccinated and they can carry diseases such as rabies, heartworm, and other parasites. Let’s look at common wildlife in North American cities and what you can do to help protect your pets.
Top Wildlife Risks
Birds of prey
Eagles, hawks, and owls threaten your small dogs and cats, rabbits, or guinea pigs. They’re also a threat to any puppies or kittens. Birds of prey attack from the sky by diving in, grabbing your pet, and carrying them away. Birds are fast and will attack the minute they think the small animal is unprotected. The best way to keep your pet safe is to keep them indoors or if they’re outside, make sure you’re there to watch them. Your presence should keep flying predators away.
You may think of raccoons as annoying foragers, especially when they get into your garbage, but they’re also vicious predators who will attack a small animal. Raccoons go for the eyes and leave horrible bites and scratches that can be fatal. They carry rabies, canine distemper, hepatitis, and various parasites that can infect your pet. Make sure your pet is fully vaccinated, and keep them indoors where possible. If you let them outside, watch them or build a safe run for them to enjoy.
Squirrels are everywhere, and though they seem cute and won’t attack your pet, the danger here is that your pet may chase and corner the squirrel. If so, the squirrel will defend itself with its front teeth and claws and may injure your pet.
But squirrels also carry many parasites, including fleas, ticks, mites, and diseases like rabies. Keeping your pet fully vaccinated is a solid defense against fleas and ticks. Have your dog play in a fenced area so it can’t chase squirrels. Still, the best option? Keep your pets indoors.
Rats are ubiquitous in large urban areas but can be found in almost any environment. The rat, a far more loathsome rodent, can threaten your pet with transmissible diseases, including rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, and tularemia. On top of this, rats carry the standard fleas, ticks, and rabies threat.
Rats are highly aggressive and can get into your house or forage around your home where your pet might attack them. They are vicious fighters. A vet should check for any scratch or bite from a rat. If there are rats in your area, invest in rat traps. Fluffy the cat may be no match for them.
Skunks aren’t seen in urban environments often, but they’ll come in from wild areas because of hunger. They’ll attack small animals like kittens and puppies but will generally leave larger pets alone. Your problem is your larger pets may not leave the skunk alone.
Dogs will often chase skunks, and skunks will respond by spraying or defending themselves. The spray smells awful (as we all know) and can cause temporary blindness or conjunctivitis. A skunk can also do a lot of damage with their front claws.
You should follow up any attack by a skunk with a visit to the vet. To avoid attacks, keep your pets indoors or in a caged, safe space, and ensure you watch them if they’re outside. Most wild animals will have nothing to do with humans.
Snakes are creatures we don’t often see—but they are never far away. They hide in tall grasses or take up residence under your porch and are more active in warmer weather. Snakes usually pose little threat if left alone, but your dog or cat is still in danger if they attack the snake.
The big problem for the pet owner is there’s no way to know if your pet has been bitten by a poisonous snake. Watch out for telltale snake bite symptoms like visible signs of pain, drooling, muscle spasms, and sudden paralysis, and get your pet to the vet immediately.
Chipmunks are such adorable little creatures that they seem like no threat to your animal. But your cat or dog will be tempted to chase or hunt the chipmunk, which may result in little bites and scratches that cause infection. Chipmunks carry common parasites like ticks, fleas, and roundworms and carry rabies and other diseases.
Take your pet to the vet if they’ve been bitten or scratched by a chipmunk, and make sure their vaccinations are up to date and they have adequate flea and tick defense.
Foxes are canny predators who prefer the wild but will attack your small dogs and cats if hungry enough. They carry all the common diseases and parasites and can pass on mange via their feces. Keep your dog or cat in a fenced area if you let them outdoors, and make sure you watch them. A fox won’t attack if a human is around. If a fox attacks your dog or cat, get them to the vet immediately.
How pet insurance coverage can help
Protecting your pet from urban wildlife means regular checkups at the vet and may mean emergency visits and surgery. Pet wellness protection plans are an integral part of ensuring you’re prepared for a wild animal attack on your pet.
Wagmo pet wellness plans are designed to help you cover the regular expenses you’d incur anyway, like standard checkups. Wagmo has three plans to choose from, so your plan can cover grooming and they’ll cover the cost of vaccinating your pet—a critical measure against wild animals.
Wagmo pet insurance coverage plans will pay for the care of the unexpected injuries, including any surgeries your pet will need in the case of a vicious attack. Money shouldn’t be a barrier to keeping your pet alive and healthy. Contact us today and learn how our wellness plans can help you.