In my neighborhood every home with a dog has invisible fencing to keep their dog in the yard. I've never been a fan of Invisible Fencing for many reasons, mostly because it keeps your dog in but doesn't prevent other dogs or people from coming into your yard and taking or harming your dog. Most of my neighbors let their dogs out in the yard unsupervised and have no idea who or what is out there with their dog.
Now, considering we live in a more rural area of the suburbs and snakes, bears and deer are common visitors to our yards I feel that our dogs need to be supervised and on a leash at all times when they are outdoors. I can't tell you how many times I've almost stepped on a snake wandering across our stairs and half the time it is a poisonous snake like a dusky pygmy rattler or a coral snake. I certainly don't want my dogs playing with either of those lovely creatures. Not to mention the many times we've encountered bears in our driveway.
This month I've had a new visitor to my yard.....a coyote! Yes, in Florida! Well, the other day a neighbor came driving by looking for their lost dog and I wondered if they had let their dog out unsupervised and the poor thing was snatched by the coyote.
The couple of times I saw the coyote it didn't seem to be in any hurry to run away and it was drawn to the sound of my dogs barking. This is very scary for the reason that if you allow your dog to be out in the yard with no people present then this coyote will be drawn to your dog. No, not to play! To eat! Yes, coyote's eat little dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. pretty much anything they can catch and eat they will. They will even catch and eat deer so larger dogs are no safer than the little ones.
I've heard multiple stories about dogs and cats being taken by coyotes in California but coyotes are new to us in Florida and I really don't think any of us have really thought about the safety of our animals when it comes to protecting them from the wildlife that has come to live among us.
If you see a wild animal when you are outside walking with your dog you should immediately pick your dog up if it is small enough and turn around to get away from it. If you have a larger dog then you should quickly turn around and get both of you away from the animal. If the animal starts to follow you you may want to yell at it because most wild animals are afraid of humans and it will probably run off at the sound of your voice. Do not run away from a wild animal.....walk slowly away.
Coyotes are here to stay and are seen daily in big cities foraging for food in our trash. Be sure to keep all pet food inside your house in a secure container, I don't recommend keeping it in the garage. Never feed your pets outside!
Before going outside with your pet be sure that the collar or harness that your use is secure and will hold your pet even if they are struggling to get away to protect you from a wild animal. The last thing you want is for your pet to try to fight a coyote or bear because they think it may harm you.
And when considering fencing your yard to protect your pet, please consider the fact that your pet is trapped in the yard while any outside dog, person or wild animal can easily walk right up to your pet in a yard protected only by invisible fencing.
Please love your pets and protect them as you would your child.