Friday, July 17, 2015

How to Keep Pets Safe from Backyard Wildlife

Rocco LOVES his backyard!
I love having a backyard and safe place where we can play and I can let Rocco run off leash.

One of my neighbors recently asked if I let Rocco and his pals out back unsupervised.  I do have a completely fenced in yard, but my answer is NO!


Because even though I live in the city with a six-foot high fence, there have been all sorts of wildlife sightings in the area. And with small dogs, especially, I don't want to take any chances.

Here are a couple of things I do to help keep things safe so that Rocco and his pals can enjoy their heathy, active lifestyle in the backyard!

  • I never let them out alone. That way I can keep an eye on them -- and any critters that may be in the yard (or in the air... I have seen hawks overhead). It also provides a good time for play and distraction training, which makes our bond even stronger.
  • I go out with a flashlight at night. Even though we have flood lights in the backyard, the corners can be dark and I want to know what may be lurking there. We've spotted opossums on the fence on occasion, which make Rocco go crazy!
  • I read the postings on, a free and private social network that neighbors use to keep each other updated on all sorts of goings-on -- including wildlife sightings. Foxes and coyotes have been spotted in my neighborhood, so it's a good idea to be vigilant whether you're in the backyard or out walking dogs.

Users on will sometimes post videos or photos of their wildlife sightings, which can be pretty cool to watch... though scary if you have small pets!

These foxes were spotted in a Kansas City neighborhood (not mine!).

             Photo courtesy of

They sure are cute but not the playmates I want for Rocco! Crazy that they're right in the middle of a neighborhood.

Luckily, we don't have any families like this one living in our backyard.

Do you worry about wildlife in your neighborhood?
Let us know in the comments below!

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.


  1. We have all sorts of critters around here too as we live on the edge of Open Space. Luckily, Jack & Maggie are big enough that I don't have to worry too much.

  2. We definitely have to watch for critters out here. We see coyotes and owls pretty often here. Mom ALWAYS watches us when we are out.

  3. We have coyotes, not foxes. They're the same size as our dogs but lighter in weight. They pose a problem for some dogs, but not all. After Rodrigo's encounter with a coyote, I won't allow our dogs outside at night alone.

  4. We are big and loud enough Mom doesn't worry much about the wildlife around here, but she always has an eye on us when we are in the yard. We will never have a dog door because she wants to know when we go in and out. In the dark we are only out for a short time and she watches us the entire time.

  5. Cool site idea. I loved the fox video too, they are so cute!

  6. Oh my gosh, look at all those foxes! The only wildlife we really get in our garden are an array of birds - mainly pigeons - some occasional frogs, which come to our pond, and some squirrels; and even squirrels are rare in our back garden!

  7. Absolutely I worry. Even though Titan is a big guy, I still worry about what could get him or he could get. We have a fenced in yard and a few rabbits have snuck in. Yeah unfortunately, Titan got them. However, even though he got them, he could have gotten disease from them. We have woods behind my house so I also have to worry about the deer that come into my yard (outside the fence) or even snakes that like to slither on in. Titan is not outside alone for more than 5 minutes and then I'm usually peeking out the window.

    Great article to get ya thinking more about your pets safety.

  8. We have a very bad coyote problem in the suburbs and city. People are losing their little dogs all of the time so no we are never left out alone. Good advice. Love Dolly

  9. Storm says she will come over and take care of the We mostly worry about skunks, but like you we normally do not leave the dogs out unsupervised unless they are in their kennels. Our kennels are fully enclosed so nothing can get in there. (Well maybe a squirrel but that would not be a good idea for the

  10. We only have deer & frogs/toads/turtles in our neighborhood. Oh, and mosquitoes (we do have a neighborhood pond). I will be purchasing lemongrass tomorrow, and will put it around our patio area ~ it is said to keep mosquitoes and fleas away.
    I also don't let our pups outside unsupervised. You never know what might be lurking out there!

  11. I always look in the yard before the boys go outside during the day. At night, they only go out on their leashes. We have dark corners where Pierre thinks monsters hide. He runs over to them and barks non-stop. I'm sure there are night critters out there so we don't take any chances.

  12. Well, we have 80acres of a yard in the wilderness and no fence. Yes, I worry about wildlife but there isn't a whole lot I can reasonably do other than pray. The dogs need their freedom. At night, though, they go outside on leash only.

  13. I'm always a little worried about it, especially at night, but since we don't have a fenced yard, Barley's always out on a leash anyway--at night, I flip on the back yard light and make a lot of noise while unlocking/opening the door to scare critters away and keep her leash short until she's decided there's nothing worth lunging at. Most of the time, I think our nighttime visitors are just feral cats, though. I'll let Barley go out in my parents' fenced in yard semi-supervised (meaning in the winter I stand inside where it's warm and drink my coffee while I watch her through the French doors), but if I don't go out with her she usually just sits down in front of the door and looks at me, so I don't have to worry about her too much.

  14. My friend who lives in the city saw coyotes stealing her dog toys from her yard and playing with them.

  15. I don't walk Mr. N at dusk and there's a certain park he won't go into after dark. I've actually seen a coyote in our neighborhood.

  16. Want to attract more birds to your backyard? You don't need a big field or woods. The key is to make whatever space you have even if it's NOT a backyard - like a porch, a balcony, a school or work property - so inviting that your feathered friends will want to drop by and come back for more.