Pet Predators

Trish Consunji: 916-649-0599 (California Veterinary Medical Association)


Pet Predators

Each year, loved and cared for dogs, cats, and other companion animals are lost to predators. Predators range from the very large to the microscopic. This problem is particularly severe in the spring and summer, when pets spend more time outside and may travel away from home along with their owners.

While you may think of your pet as a beloved member of the family, they are just another easy meal for a coyote, mountain lion or other large predator. Family pets, even large and formidable dogs, are not prepared for survival in the wild. Your pets count on you to protect them.

Protect them by keeping your pets in an enclosed area such as your backyard during the day and make sure they are inside or in a dog house or other enclosure with four strong sides and a top during the night. Hawks, owls, cats, possums, and raccoons all would consider an iguana or cockatiel a tasty addition to their regular diet.

Make sure pets are leashed and trained properly. Make sure your dog understands and responds reliably to commands such as “come” and “stay.” Rattlesnakes pose a real threat to curious dogs, especially during the warmer months. Make sure that you can effectively call your dog away from potentially dangerous areas and from confrontations with snakes, wild animals, or other dogs.

Some of the most wide-spread and dangerous pet predators are also among the smallest creatures on earth. Fleas, ticks, internal parasites such as heartworm and other “micro-predators” injure and kill more pets each year than all of the “mega-predators” combined. Fortunately, new advances in prevention and treatment can virtually guarantee your pet’s safety from these pests when administered by a veterinarian as part of a program of regular, preventive veterinary care.

Visit the California Veterinary Medical Association’s website,, which is the home for an abundance of accurate and pertinent information on animal- and veterinary-related issues, including locating a CVMA-member veterinarian through “Find a Veterinarian.”

© 2020 California Veterinary Medical Association

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