Dear Porky and Buddy,
We live out in the country in a wooded area where there is a lot of wildlife, everything from deer to chipmunks to turtles to all kinds of birds. We are thinking about getting a dog but wondering if that is such a good idea for either the dog or the wildlife. What do you think?
We think that a house in the country in the woods cries out for a dog – especially one that has been sitting in a shelter somewhere unsure of his fate.
So go adopt Fido.
He will love you forever! But think it through before you actually bring him home.
Dogs are natural born hunters, but not all of them have as strong an instinct as others.
Talk to the people at the shelter or rescue about your concerns and although it is difficult to be sure of the real “mix” of a mixed breed, they may be able to steer you toward a dog that will not make it his life’s mission to catch just one chipmunk.
Then when you bring him (or her) home, take these sensible precautions to enable Fido and your backyard denizens to live harmoniously.
First, teach Fido to “leave it” as one of his basic and non-negotiable commands, so he won’t pick up toads or turtles, or go chasing off after a crow when he’s out walking with you, or pick up who knows what horrible nasty things left behind.
We’ll leave that to your imagination.
Don’t intentionally feed your wildlife. They really don’t need it. And don’t do it out of carelessness, such as by storing pet food outside where wild animals can get to it or not securely covering your trash cans.
Wild animals are nice to see wandering around at a distance but not right in your yard where confrontations can occur.
And they have much less reason to come close to your house if there is no food tempting them.
Make sure Fido’s rabies vaccination is up to date and that his records are accessible.
Check him daily for ticks and fleas if deer, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, rats, mice, squirrels, or other mammals live on or near your property.
Make sure he has his own flea and tick prevention.
Supervise him when he’s outside, so you can ward off trouble before it starts.
If you intend to leave him in a fenced yard, make sure it’s strong enough to keep him in and other animals out.
We hope you have lots of fun with Fido and with your back yard friends!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.