Top ten wild animals that most commonly attack pets

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As Seen With - Cathy Rosenthal

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Top ten wild animals that most commonly attack pets

Updated Jul 23, 2009

javelina
Javelinas are peccaries, which are feral pig-like omnivores native to the southwestern United States, mostly Arizona. They have been known to viciously attack both pets and people.

Wild animals can and do attack our pets, leaving lacerations, bite wounds, puncture, and soft tissue trauma — and a trip to the pet emergency room for you.

Snakebites, which are the most commonly reported injuries, may require anti-venom whereas scorpion stings may cause allergic reactions requiring antihistamines. Treatment may vary depending on the severity of the attack and costs can range from hundreds of dollars for bandages or stitches to thousands of dollars for surgery for damaged organs or broken limbs. 

So what wild animals are stalking our pets? In Texas, I have heard about hawks that have scooped up small dogs and cats, leaving pet owners in the country extremely vigilant when their furry friends need to go out to relieve themselves.

 But hawks don’t even make the list of wild animals that have been know to wreak havoc on our pets — a list compiled from Veterinary Pet Health Insurance’s (VPI) 50,000 claims last year. While animal attack claims came from all areas of the country, javelina and scorpion claims were exclusive to the state of Arizona. (I had no idea what a javelina was before seeing the photo. ) Just visit this link to VPI to read the story of Rincon, a German Short-haired pointer that was attacked by a Javalina. (It’s best to keep your pets on a leash when out on nature walks.)

Top 10 wild animals that most commonly attack pets:

1. Snakes
2. Coyotes
3. Raccoons
4. Squirrels
5. Scorpions
6. Javelinas 
7. Porcupines
8. Ground Hogs
9. Skunks
10. Rats

Of course, the most important thing is to make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. It’s also helpful to know where the closest pet emergency rooms are located and what potentially dangerous wild animals live in your area. There is little chance I will run into a Javelina in South Texas, but I do have to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, even if my pets are on a leash. Snakes like to cross the trails.  And the closest pet emergency room to our favorite hiking area is 4.2 miles.

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Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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