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The Scoop on Keeping Your Pawsome Pal Safe: Preventing and Treating Encounters with Wildlife


As a responsible pet parent in the beautiful Charlotte area, you want to ensure your furry family member's safety. The easing weather signals the change of season and presents Pet Parents with many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Walks and outings, while enjoyable for pets and their owners, put both parties in close contact with wildlife. While the Queen City and its surroundings offer a picturesque environment for dog owners, encounters with wildlife, such as skunks, snakes, and coyotes, can pose risks to your beloved pet. This comprehensive guide will explore how to prevent these encounters and what to do if your dog faces a wildlife-related emergency.

Preventing Encounters:

Skunk Encounters:

Skunk encounters are notorious for their unpleasant consequences. To prevent your dog from getting sprayed by these odorous critters:

  1. Keep your dog on a leash during walks, especially in the evening and at night when skunks are most active.

  2. Secure trash cans to discourage skunks from rummaging for food.

  3. Install motion-activated lighting around your property to deter nocturnal wildlife.

Snake Encounters:

North Carolina is home to various snake species, some of which can be venomous. To minimize the risk of snake encounters:

  1. Keep your dog on a leash during hikes and walks in wooded areas.

  2. Train your dog to avoid tall grass and brush.

  3. Familiarize yourself with the local snake species and their habitats.

Coyote Encounters:

Coyotes can be a concern in suburban areas around Charlotte. To protect your pet from

coyote encounters:

  1. Never leave your dog unattended in your yard, especially during dawn and dusk.

  2. Secure garbage cans to avoid attracting wildlife.

  3. Install coyote-proof fencing if possible.

Dealing with Encounters:

Skunk Encounters:

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, here's how to handle it:

  1. Keep your dog outside to avoid spreading the odor indoors.

  2. Mix a solution of 1 quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon dish soap.

  3. Thoroughly bathe your dog with the solution, avoiding the eyes.

  4. Rinse your dog with clean water.

Snake Encounters:

If your dog encounters a snake and is bitten, take these steps:

  1. Keep your dog as calm and still as possible.

  2. Remove your dog from the immediate area.

  3. Identify the snake if safe to do so, but don't endanger yourself.

  4. Seek immediate veterinary care.

Coyote Encounters:

If your dog encounters a coyote:

  1. Make loud noises to scare the coyote away.

  2. Carry a walking stick or air horn during walks.

  3. If your dog is injured, seek veterinary assistance promptly.

Handling Pet Emergencies:

In any wildlife-related emergency, it's crucial to know how to respond:

  1. Keep an emergency kit for your dog, including bandages and antiseptic.

  2. Know the location and contact information for the nearest emergency veterinary clinic.

  3. Call ahead to inform the clinic of your arrival in case of a snakebite or serious injury.


As the Head Poop Picker-upper and a dedicated pet parent, your dog's safety is paramount. By following these tips to prevent encounters with skunks, snakes, and coyotes, and knowing how to react in emergencies, you'll ensure your furry friend enjoys the beautiful Charlotte area without unnecessary risks. Enjoy your time in this vibrant city with your four-legged companion while keeping them safe from the wild side of nature.

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