The City of Port Coquitlam site has a great section on dealing with bear encounters. This is an issue affecting more and more people across the Lower Mainland. Bears are not the only problem when it comes to keeping our pets safe. The coyote population is flourishing as are the raccoons and skunks.
When it comes to bears and pets, the site recommends keeping your dogs on leash when walking bear friendly trails. However, when the critters are being spotted walking down our city streets and in our back yards, I would assume the key is to make sure your dog isn’t unsupervised in your yard much the same as you would your children.
While less threatening than bears, raccoons are just as destructive and can pose a danger to our cats and dogs. Like the bears you need to make sure that their sources for urban food are scarce. Keep your garbage bins secure and keep tree branches away from your roof. Raccoons will fight cats and dogs if cornered. Raccoons also carry a number of diseases that are transferable to dogs and cats such as rabies, raccoon roundworm, and canine distemper.
Make sure your home does not attract these creatures. Seal up any places that may look like a good den to a skunk or raccoon. This ensures the safety of the wildlife AND your pets. Keeping your cats in at night is also a good tip.
Skunks are docile and nocturnal creatures. The biggest pet threat is their biggest defense…their smell! If your dog or cat gets ‘skunked’ time is of the essence. Here are some tips for getting rid of the smell.
Put on some gloves and make sure there are no other injuries that may require a quick trip to the vet.
- Get ready for a big dog or cat bathing session outside….saves your house.
- Mix up a quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid soap. Mix with warm water.
- Rub in the most affected areas first, and avoid the dog’s eyes. Let the dog ‘soak’ for at least five minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water.
- Repeat until the odor is gone.
Urban or rural, the wildlife of British Columbiais all around us. It is in all our best interests to make sure we cohabit safely.