- Predators, like all wildlife, need shelter and cover to survive. Change the landscape to reduce the ability of the predator to hide and stalk your pet.
- Often, repellents are not effective on four-legged predators (see Why Repellents Fail).
- Option 1: Keep pets indoors. Keeping your indoors is the best way to protect your animal from the dangers posed by wildlife and cars. Your pet will be protected from injury as well as diseases.
- Option 2: Keep pets inside yard. This method isn’t as secure as option 1 because wildlife can still approach your animal. Pets can be kept inside yards by a variety of ways.
- Electronic fence – invisible (normally used for dogs)
- Leashes–normally for used dogs
- Fences–used for both dogs and cats. Search the Internet for pet fences
Physical Barriers (to keep wildlife out)
Sometimes, fences have to keep pets on your property and keep other wildlife from entering your property. The type of fence depends on the species you are seeking to protect your pet against.
Coyotes. Fence should be at least 6 feet higher than the surrounding terrain. Some claim a device known as the “coyote roller” is effective in making smaller fences coyote-proof by preventing the coyote from gaining a foothold and pulling itself over. The fence should be at least 5 feet high before installing this device, however. In addition, the bottom of the fence must be secure to the ground, or better yet buried in the ground, to prevent coyotes from crawling under the fence.
Skunks and similar animals. Install a 4-foot fence with 12 inches of the fence buried one inch below the ground surface, bent away from the property at a 90-degree angle. This fence skirt will stop an animal from digging underneath the fence to gain entry into the property.
Raccoons. See skunks. The fence should be as tall as possible. To prevent a raccoon from climbing over, install an electrical wire near the top of the fence (if legal) or angle the top portion of the fence to prevent further climbing. Pay special attention to corners of the fence as these are often neglected.
Sometimes exclusion is not practical. In these situations, population management may be the only viable option. Like mowing your lawn, population control requires regular work. Population control can be accomplished through any of the techniques listed below. Always follow national, state, and local laws before performing any wildlife control activities. To learn how to implement these techniques, visit Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage.