Dog sitting in grass

Does Having Pets Attract Critters to Your Home?

Pet owners know the importance of keeping their animals separate from wild critters, both for the safety of their own animals and outdoor-dwellers alike. In order to maintain a responsible environment, pet owners should be aware of these key points. Understanding these can preserve the ecosystem and keep animals on both sides of the spectrum safe and happy.

Can pets attract wildlife?

In some cases, yes. Many pets keep wild animals at bay, but what pet owners don’t think about is how even the smallest aspects of pet ownership can contribute to attracting critters.

For example, pet food. If you keep or feed your animals outdoors, there’s a much higher chance of attracting feral animals. Try not to feed pets outside, and especially try not to leave unfinished food out overnight. If your pets live outside, try feeding them in a kennel or coop that can be locked.

Bird feeders are another example. Raccoons and squirrels are notorious for being able to break into all types of feeders, leaving your lawn a mess and robbing birds of food. Look into liquid bird feeders (like hummingbird feeders) or models that don’t have sliding or hinged parts that scavengers can disassemble.

Which house pets are more likely to attract wild critters?

In general, cats and dogs prey on wildlife and, if they patrol outside regularly, can keep them away from your home. Sometimes, however, this backfires. Male cats and dogs spray or mark their territory, which repels most competitors but can also invite challenges from other males hunting for new ground. If you’re worried about attracting things like coyotes or stray cats, designate a part of your yard for pets to defecate instead of letting them wander freely, especially in rural areas.

Other pets can be more enticing to wild creatures. Tame rodents like hamsters and mice should always be kept in a cage. They escape at the slightest chance and tend to make nests in walls or underneath house foundations. This draws predators like snakes and weasels. For your pet’s safety, keep them contained. Loud birds can also attract hunters. Keep them away from windows and ensure their birdcages are secure.

Finally, all furry pets can easily pick up ticks, fleas, and mites. Treat them regularly and never miss vet appointments. Flea and tick collars are a good way to prevent parasites.

What are the best pets for deterring wild animals?

Once again, cats and dogs, as natural hunters, are a good bet for keeping skunks, deer, opossums, and other such animals away. They also defend indoors by hunting mice and even catching large bugs. Outdoor protective pets include roosters, especially if they are guarding a brood of hens, and larger pack animals, like llamas. Of course, you can also take measures by fencing your land and keeping your pet responsibly.

So when managing your pets, remember these key points. They will enrich the lives of all animals involved and keep nature safe. If you have critters near or in your home, contact Critter Ridder today!