Anyone who really knows me, knows I have three chihuahuas. Mango, Mojo, and Pixel.
I also have three boys, each celebrated coincidentally with a chihuahua.
My first dog was a mini dachshund, Pip. -Total bitch, but she was smart and awesome! She cured our family of bickering in no time when she was still a puppy.
…Which kind of brings me to my point. Pip was 11 years old when she mysteriously disappeared while barking outside, yet still inside my parents courtyard… All that remained of Pip was a little bit of blood on the ground.
We are left to assume it was either a bobcat, coyote, mountain lion, eagle, or some other bird of prey.
It was a harsh lesson for us all. Pip was small. 11 pounds of hot dog sausage fury. Delicious sounding to the average predator, I’m sure.
She died 10 years ago this year and now that I have three kids and three dogs, I am continuing to improve upon my proactive approach of keeping my loved ones safe.
How to keep your beloved pets and things safe in the desert according to Holly:
Rule #1: Never leave your pets alone outside. Just don’t risk it. Sure a pack of giant breed dogs are pretty safe, but even a large dog can become a victim in the wrong situation. …Coyotes run in packs, mountain lions are amazingly strong and fierce (especially when hangry), owls are clever, snakes are sneaky, dare I go on..?
Rule#2: Minimize the reasons an animal might be interested in being near your property. Consider if you’re inadvertently inviting predators by leaving pet or human food outside, or not picking/cleaning up enough after outdoor feasts. I say again: Minimize danger.
-Forethought. Learn it. Live it. Love it!
Is it dark? Use man made lights to your advantage. It blinds or discourages sneak attacks because the lights are too bright in contrast to the natural darkness the wildlife is used to.
Rule #3 Don’t get too comfortable. I mean, predators are obviously good at observing their surroundings and checking for holes in the fence, animals alone, distractions, or learned responses. …Say if every time a door creeks there’s a little doggy that goes outside with a clanky metal collar, does it’s smelly business, barks, draws attention… Predators are smart and resourceful. They will pick up on habitual behavior and look for an opportunity- a weakness.
It may be best to have fencing that is tall, but that will not guarantee any real safety. It adds a level of security, but flying animals won’t even think about a wall or fence and I’ve seen mountain lions and bobcats on the roof, so a 6 foot stucco wall won’t do enough to keep them out.
All the tips and prep in the world aren’t as good as your undivided attention for keeping your pets safe.
Stay alert and your pets are more likely to stay alive!
Have a desert animal story?
Tell me about it in the comments!