One of the greatest perks of living in the southwest United States is that the desert is never too far away. Walking among the cacti and rocks is always a great experience. No cars, relatively uncrowded trails, beautiful scenery—what’s not to love? But exploring the desert with a dog isn’t all fun and intrigue, especially when you encounter the following wild animals.
You may never see a snake on the trail, but if you do it’s important to be cautious. According to Vet Street, one of the best ways to prevent your dog from being bitten by a snake is to keep him or her on a leash (but you always do that anyway, right?). If you do see a snake, be sure to immediately turn around or take a wide circle around the snake to avoid disturbing it. Do not let your dog go after the snake or bother the snake in any way. If you run into snakes a lot, it’s a good idea to train your dog not to go after them or bother them.
Birds of Prey
Owls and other large birds, such as falcons and kestrels, love to hang out in the desert where plenty of small tasty creatures make great meals. Unfortunately, sometimes these birds take a look at small dogs and think they would also make a nice treat. Listen for hooting or screeching noises and if you notice a large bird in the sky or nearby in a tree or cactus, either hold your dog tightly in your arms or keep him or her right beside you. In the blink of an eye, a bird can swoop down before you know it, so always stay aware of your surroundings.
Another animal you’ll often see in the desert and urban neighborhoods is coyotes. They can find small dogs fascinating while tending to leave larger dogs alone. Still, even if you own a 70-pound dog, having a coyote follow you can be a disconcerting experience. The best way to scare off a coyote is by yelling, shouting, and making a ruckus. They’re not fans of loud noises and will most likely disappear quickly.
Javelina like to keep to themselves and you are definitely not going to see them as often as you’ll see the other animals on this list. But they can be the most dangerous because if they feel threatened, they can charge you and your dog. If you spot a group of javelina, the Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends you avoid going near the javelina and take your dog in a different direction.
Walking your dog in the desert doesn’t have to be a scary experience as long as you follow these tips!
About the Author: Jessica Roberts is a freelance writer who offers blogging services for the pet industry. She works closely with businesses to provide engrossing and informative content that boosts Google visibility and social media ratings. When she isn’t writing, she’s walking her Border Collie/Aussie mix, Socks, and making a mess in the kitchen. For more of her services, visit her website, www.jessicarobertsonline.com.