Every pet owner has once experienced an unexpected present from their beloved pet. I know we have! We used to have a beloved cat, Stormy, who would often bring us “special gifts” in the form of gopher heads and parts of small creatures. I’m sure she thought she was taking care of us, but while we didn’t want to offend, they weren’t the treat we had been hoping to get on any of those days!
Cats that are let to roam free frequently bring back dead animals to their owners, as a sign of affection. And while you may not fancy the idea of finding a dead bird on your doormat, you have to admit that it’s impossible to stop the natural instinct of your furry friend. Dog owners are not exempt from deadly surprises from time to time, as some dogs have been known to hunt squirrels, mice, and other small mammals too.
Ultimately, it can be tricky to combine your love for your pet and your interest in supporting the wildlife! Can you create a garden that keeps the wildlife happy without putting it – or your pet – at risk? This is a challenge for the modern pet lovers who want to make a difference in their community. Thankfully, there are some tips to maintain the peace between your pet and the local wildlife!
Keep It Safe by Training Your Pet
The hunting behavior is part of the animal instincts of your dog or cat. However, you can actively reduce hunting habits in your pet. For instance, attaching a bell to your cat’s collar will make it more difficult to take prey by surprise and kill them. Additionally, you could also keep your cat indoors during certain times. This helps a lot of you have stray cats in your area, and want to protect your domesticated furry friends.
Dogs, on the other hand, are easier to manage as you can virtually train them to behave appropriately around people, but also around other animals. When Todd was shopping for a new family dog, he made sure to choose a breed that would be friendly to the small animals on our farm, and to be trained easily when she is not.
There is no denying that training can take a lot of time, but you can work with a professional to introduce steps towards a natural behavior change. Ultimately, if you want your garden to attract wildlife, you need to make sure that your pet isn’t going to put birds, squirrels, and other small animals at risk.
You Need to Add Features that are Worth the Risk
Birds and small mammals tend to be cautious of people. As a result, you need to make it worthwhile for them to come to your garden. In other words, a freshly mown lawn and a few potted flowers are unlikely to be of any interest to your local bird life.
However, the addition of a small pond that can provide fresh water serves as a point of attraction, especially if you add a pump from a specialist such as Sawyerwaterscaping to prevent stagnant water. Birds, small mammals, and insects are likely to travel long distances to find water to drink. And don’t forget that you can hang hummingbird feeders to attract hummingbirds, add beauty to your yard’s atmosphere, not to mention they are fun to watch.
You Need to Keep Your Pet Safe Too
Last, but not least, not all wildlife is small and harmful. You need to make sure that you can keep your pet safe from potentially dangerous animals such as wild bears, for instance. It’s, therefore, a good idea to keep your trash secure, so that large mammals are unlikely to try their luck. Additionally, a sturdy fence will limit access to the garden and keep large animals at bay while ensuring your pet stays within the same perimeter.
If you want birds in the garden and a cat sleeping comfortably on your lap, you need to change your routine as soon as possible. Pet training and garden conditioning play a crucial role in making wildlife feel welcome at home!