My Pet World: May my dog damage or kill a wild rabbit if he catches one? | Pets


Dear Cathy: I’ve a 4-year-old beagle, Buddy, that I adopted two years in the past from South Carolina. I imagine he was a searching dog. Now we have a fenced-in yard and a doggy door, so once we are dwelling, we let Buddy go out and in as he needs.

Just lately, some rabbits began venturing into our yard. If Buddy will get their scent, he yelps and goes loopy looking for them. Since our fence is chain hyperlink, I suppose the bunnies by some means get by means of or below it. Buddy has by no means caught one, however I’m fearful that if he did, would he damage them?

I’m afraid to let him out within the yard if I’m not on the market to maintain a cautious watch, however I can’t be on the market as a lot as Buddy likes to be outdoors. Are you able to inform me if he would damage a bunny if he caught one? — Carol, Wading River, New York

Pricey Carol: Sadly, even domesticated pets, each dogs and cats, have a robust instinctive want to chase, chew and kill prey animals. He would possibly injure a rabbit whereas making an attempt to catch it by inflicting a single puncture wound, or he would possibly get the animal in his mouth and instinctively shake it, which dogs do to kill their prey. (We regularly see an instance of this when a dog performs with a stuffed animal.)

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This doesn’t make your dog a vicious killer, but when this intuition is robust in your dog, you might want to be extra vigilant when Buddy is round small animals.

Listed here are 4 issues you are able to do to maintain small animals safer in your yard:

First, throughout sure occasions of the 12 months (primarily spring and summer time), it’s possible you’ll be unable to present Buddy free rein of the yard. Step outdoors first, clap your palms, stomp your toes, shake a can of cash, or ring a bell to let any creatures in your yard know they should skedaddle. Then let your dog out. I do know this requires extra effort, but it surely’s value it to not be worrying about whether or not your dog will hurt a small creature.

Second, in case you have crops or a backyard that pulls small animals, think about transplanting them into pots, to allow them to’t attain them. The objective is to discourage them from coming into your yard.

Third, examine the yard commonly for rabbit nests and block your dog from these areas till the infants depart on their very own. Rabbits construct shallow nests of grass and fur within the floor, which can be below bushes and bushes or out within the open.

Lastly, prepare your dog to “depart it” or “drop it,” so if he goes after an animal, you may inform him to cease from a number of yards away.

••• Pricey Cathy: Now we have been fostering a kitten that was tossed from a automobile. He has had two vet visits and is slowly gaining weight. He began his photographs and examined unfavourable for heartworm and leukemia.

The issue is, I’ve 4 older cats of my very own, and we couldn’t train him to make use of the litter field. Belief me, we tried all the things. I discovered him a house, however he might be an inside cat. Do you may have any options to help? His new dwelling is beautiful, and the brand new homeowners adore him. — Anne, Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Pricey Anne: Thanks for rescuing this kitten. This kitten will possible do higher when he’s not competing with 4 different cats. Inform the brand new adopters the state of affairs, and suggest they put the kitten in a rest room or bed room for a day or two with an uncovered litter field. (Cats needs to be launched to their new areas very slowly, in order that they don’t get overwhelmed, which may trigger stress and eventual litter field issues.)

Inform the adopters to combine a litter field attractant (obtainable at pet shops and on-line) into the litter. After they lastly let the kitten out of the lavatory or bed room, advise them to maintain one litter field in that location (no less than till the kitten will get used to his environment) and place a second litter field in one other low-traffic space in the home.

Have them place empty baskets and packing containers round the home, so he has protected locations to cover and time to construct his confidence. Additionally they can get a pheromone collar for him for 30 to 90 days, particularly since he’s a kitten and should have been taken from his mom method too early.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, writer, columnist and pet knowledgeable who has greater than 25 years within the animal welfare subject. Ship your pet questions, tales and tricks to Please embody your identify, metropolis, and state. You may comply with her @cathymrosenthal.


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