What To Do If a Wild Animal Attacks Your Pet Dog or Cat

Going for a walk with your dog and enjoying the great outdoors is fun, but not when a wild animal comes to get in a fight with it! 

If a wild animal gets in a fight with your cat or dog, it can be very dangerous for your pet. 

It’s important to know what to do in this situation prior to it happening, or if the fight has already happened what to do next. 

This is exactly what you should do if your pet dog or cat gets in a fight with a wild animal. 

Our YouTube video of this post can be watched here, complete with cute animal footage. 

You can also download our pest-free podcast for listening anytime by clicking the download button above. 

When an Animal Attacks Your Pet Cat or Dog 

Regardless of whether you have a pet cat or pet dog, the advice will be quite the same. 

An animal attack can occur out of the blue, even in urban areas. Some animals such as raccoons hide out in urban environments, and may suddenly feel threatened if they feel you are approaching their territory. 

Other wild animals, such as alligators, may be looking for a meal, and the advice we will give will be different. 

A wild animal attack on your pet can occur anytime for any reason. It can even happen in your own home, such as if a wild animal is attempting to infest your home. 

We will go into the specifics of what you should do with each type of creature in just a moment, but first, here’s what to do if your pet has already gotten into a fight: 

Aftermath of a Fight: What To Do Next 

If your pet has just gotten into a fight OR despite the best precautions it has happened, it is very important to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible, even if there is no obvious damage. 

A small bite or scratch may not damage the flesh of your creature, but it could transmit a deadly disease such as rabies. 

Some deadly viruses such as rabies don’t have symptoms until it’s too late. A vet will likely clean up any wounds that your animal has, test it, and also provide appropriate treatment. 

If you’ve been bit or scratched, then you should also get your wounds checked up to prevent infection or deadly diseases being transmitted. 

Here’s what to do if your pet gets into a fight with a wild animal, based on the type of wild animal: 

Small Animals & Pests 

These types of wild animal attacks are the most common, and usually the least dangerous, assuming you go to a vet and/or doctor after. 

Small animals and pests that may attack your pet spontaneously include raccoons, skunks, squirrels, possums, opossums, wild dogs, wild cats.

If a small wild animal pest has suddenly attacked your pet, the best thing you can immediately do is jump up and down, scream loudly, and charge the wild animal.

Your loudness and courage will likely scare the wild animal away. They are typically afraid of loud noises. 

If you have a flashlight or floodlight available and the attack occurs during night-time, this may be effective in scaring the animal away. 

Animals such as raccoons, possums, and skunks are typically nocturnal, which means that they prefer to be out at night time and not in the day. 

If a fight like this occurs and screaming at the wild animal doesn’t make it go away, it is not advisable to put your hands in the fight, as you will likely be bit/scratched. 

Use a shovel, thick gloves, or other material to break up the fight and push the animal away. Do not attack to kill, focus mainly on pushing the creature away in such a way that does not expose yourself to any bites or scratches. 

Again, if bitten or scratched, go to the doctor to check yourself out in addition to taking your pet to the vet. 

Also, do NOT back any of the above animals into a corner. Provide an exit for the creature. 

These animals will fight viciously and perhaps even until the death if they feel like they are backed into a corner. If their young are nearby, they will also feel threatened, and you should try to leave the area as then they will also fight viciously. 

In most cases screaming loudly and stepping forward will cause the creature to run away, but if that doesn’t work you may need to use some thick material to safely push the creature off your pet, leave the area, or check to make sure that the animal can escape and run off somewhere. 

Venomous Creatures and Stingers

Venomous creatures such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, and other critters are primarily found in desert regions such as Arizona and Nevada. 

Be sure to know what types of creatures are located in your area, so that you can properly identify and deal with any problem. 

Bees, wasps, and hornets are also found across the United States, with some of the most “evil” and vicious types being found also in Desert regions. 

Avoid areas that have these types of creatures. It’s also important to keep your pet on a tight leash, and do not let them stray into areas that may have an abundance of these creatures (ie. tall grass, bushes, etc.). 

If you hear bees or see other creatures, keep your pet away. In some rare cases, killer bees will repeatedly sting and attack a pet or even human to death. 

If stung, take your pet to the vet and get yourself checked out too. 

When identifying any of the above creatures back away slowly. 

Coyotes, Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Wild Large Cats

These types of creatures can be more aggressive, and much more dangerous to your pet in a conflict. 

Slowly back away, but if the creature is preparing to attack, prepare to fight. Be loud, raise your jacket up to look as big as possible, and maintain eye contact. 

As always provide an exit for the creature. Do not back the creature into a corner. Give it an escape and it’ll likely take it. 

Be prepared to toss sand/dirt into the creature’s eyes, throw rocks, and fight. 

If your region has the above creatures, it would be wise to carry some type of animal repellent spray on you to protect yourself. 

These creatures will likely back down, but if they fight then you will have to fight. They are often faster than you. 

When possible, slowly leave the area - they may be attacking because their young is nearby and not able to move. 

Alligators

Alligators are common in wetland areas such as Florida. The best way to avoid an alligator attack is to avoid any bodies of water where the creature could be hiding out. 

Keep a distance of about 25 feet from any body of water. Alligator attacks aren’t too common when humans are nearby, but if they are hungry or more aggressive (ie. during mating season) they may be looking at your pet as a tasty snack. 

In rare cases, they may attack a smaller or older human in search of food, too. 

Alligators almost exclusively attack due for food reasons, unless you are explicitly provoking it. 

If you spot an alligator, you can run away quickly!

Alligator attacks happen swiftly via a sudden outburst of energy & attack followed by retreat back into the water. 

Running will likely allow you to escape the creature, and it will lack the energy or ability to chase you in most cases. 

If bit by an alligator, go to a doctor/vet immediately, as bites/scratches from alligators are highly likely to get infected. 

Bears

If traveling in nature with a pet cat or dog that is likely to have bears, always carry bear spray. 

If you spot a bear, quickly without running leave the area, and also be quiet, too. Bears can charge at up to 30 miles per hour, so attempting to run is not good. It may trigger the bear to start chasing you. 

Bear attacks for food reasons are rare. They typically feel threatened that you’re on their territory, or are protecting their young. 

However, do not mess around with bears. Your best bet is to have bear spray. Spray it in the nose, eyes, and mouth, if it attacks you. 

When seen, do not make sudden movements. Do not scream. Do not yell. Do not run. Be calm and leave swiftly, but without running or being jumpy. 

If it starts to attack or charge you, stand tall, look big, scream, and be prepared to have a brutal fight. 

Some bear attacks will stop if you play dead, but the problem is that your pet is unlikely to play dead with you. 

Moose

Moose see dogs specifically as a threat, and are surprised when they bark or chase. Some are particularly aggressive and will go out of their way to kick a dog. 

Keep your pet as calm as possible and do everything you can not to disturb the animals. 

A moose will approach you looking for free food or to warn you to back away, such as if a mate or young are nearby. 

As soon as possible try to get out of sight. For moose, out of sight, out of mind. Get behind a fence, tree, or anything to hide so that it can’t see you and your pet and it can leave. 

In the event that it charges you or approaches, just run. It will stop chasing eventually and you are likely to escape. 

Protecting Your Home From Animal Attacks

It’s never guaranteed to be fully safe when you’re outside of your home, but you should always feel and be safe within the comforts of your own home. 

The problem is that while your home is comfortable for you and your pets, it may also be comfortable to wild pests and insects that also see it as a place to hide out during Winter and save resources. 

If a wild animal or pest is attempting to infest or has infested your home, it can cause great damages to your health, your pet’s health, your family’s health, as well as your home in damages. 

If you think that you have a wildlife or pest infestation, give us a call at 855-WILDLIFE to get a free inspection report! 

You can also visit our website at www.wildlifexteam.com for more information. 

We hope you found this post useful and keep you, your family, your home, and your pets safe. 

Thanks & have a great day! 
-Wildlife x Team International 

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