Hawks are birds of prey. Normally they hunt small animals such as mice and rabbits as their main food source. They are very fast and can catch these small animals by swooping down from the sky, catching them in their large talons, and flying off with them to consume in a different area. While they normally prefer smaller prey, hawks have also been known to snatch up little dogs. If a hawk attempts to pick up your little dog, they could become food for the not so little hawk. If the hawk is unable to carry the dog, there is a possibility that your little dog may fall from a great height when attempting to fly off causing serious injury.
This can be a scary thing to think about it and you want to protect your dog from these attacks. You don’t want those sharp talons piercing your dog, nor do you want them to break a leg from a fall. What steps can you take to protect your little dogs from being taken away or injured by a hawk? There are a few precautions you can take to insure that your pup or little dog is safe from these flying birds of prey.
I am already so protective of my little guy (Ponyo). Luckily Ponyo and I don’t live in an area which has any birds of prey to worry about. If there were, then they would certainly here about it!
1. Keep Areas Covered
If you dog likes to be outside playing and enjoying the sun shine, they are in open territory for a hawk attack. These birds have very good eye site and can spot small animals from the sky. Your small dogs are no exception. If they see your little friend playing in the yard, they could very easily swoop down and carry them off. Even if they can’t get them off the ground, an attack from a hawk can leave your small dogs seriously injured. You defiantly don’t want that to happen!
By keeping the dog’s play area covered, any hawk flying above will not be able to see them and thus they will not become intended prey. You can put up a tarp in a corner of the yard or you could build a play area that has a roof. Your little dog will still be able to run around and play but it won’t be seen from the skies.
Even if it is just a small area of the yard that has a cover, your dog will have a place to run under to protect them from an impending attack. If you don’t want a permanent structure built in your yard, there is always the option of purchasing a one sided tent that can be placed in a corner of the yard. Covering the yard by adding some type of roof with help protect small dogs from a hawk attack.
2. Keep Large Tree Branches Trimmed
Hawks are excellent hunters and they don’t need to be flying to scope out intended prey. By sitting in a tree branch, high above the ground, they can survey the area for a tasty treat. Don’t let that tasty treat become your small dogs or service dogs.
If you have large trees in your yard, you should have them trimmed. Don’t give hawks a perfect perch for hunting. Any tree that is near your dog’s play area should be trimmed away from where your dog plays. By doing this, you eliminate the chance for a hawk to perch and scope out your pup.
3. Don't Use Bird Feeders in Your Yard
While you and your dog might enjoy watching the birds on the bird feeder, these can attract hawks. Bird feeders bring cute birds to your yard but they can also attract small animals such as mice. Hawks love to eat mice, thus they will be more likely to hang out in your yard. By having a bird feeder, you’re essentially supplying the hawk with a free dinner buffet. And it won’t be picky if it sees your dog too!
Bird feeders are fun but they aren’t worth the risk to your small dogs. Since hawks fly over large areas of land, you could also ask your neighbours to get rid of their bird feeders as well. If the small birds and mice are close to your home, even at a neighbour’s house, a hawk will see your pup. Hopefully your neighbour will be nice enough to remove their bird feeders. After all, hawks don’t really pay attention to fences. As long as they have food, they will do what it takes to get it.
4. Scare Hawks Away
The best way to scare a hawk away from your yard is by using a scarecrow or a fake owl statue. If a hawk thinks someone or another bird is in the yard, they won’t come near it. You can either purchase a scarecrow of statue or make one on your own. Be sure to move it around the yard every few days so the hawk doesn’t catch on to the fake owl or scarecrow. By doing this, your dog should remain safe if there is a hawk around.
5. Keep An Eye On Your Dog
Small dogs shouldn’t be left outside unsupervised if there is any threat of a hawk attack. Even if you have an enclosure with a roof, you should supervise your small dogs at all times if they are outside. You never know, they might find a way out of the enclosure and run into plain view of a hawk. In order to avoid this, keep your dog inside with you or, if they must go outside, go out with them!
6. Don't Use Retractable Leashes
If you live in an area where hawks tend to hang out, you should keep your dog close to you when going for walks. Of course dogs love to go for walks and they love to run as far in front of you as their leash will allow. However, retractable leashes allow them to go too far ahead, and into the path of danger. By using a shorter, non-retractable leash, you can keep your small dogs closer to you and it is easy to pull back on the leash if you sense danger. You can still enjoy walks with your dog but you need to make sure that you keep them safe while doing it.
7. Don't Let Your Dog Go Near Trees With Nests
While going on walks, not only should you use a shorter, non-retractable leash, you should also be aware of your surroundings. Trees with nests in them can pose a threat if they are hawk nests. You might want to take a walk alone first to make sure there are no hawk nests present on your walking route. This way you will know your dog will remain safe while out for a walk. It is important to keep in mind that birds of prey are federally protected so you shouldn’t try to remove a nest or attempt to tamper with it. That can get you in big trouble! Instead, if you do find a tree with a nest, pick a different route to use for your daily walks. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your small dogs.
8. Put A Raptor Shield on Your Dog
If your dog must be outside and if there is any threat of a hawk attack, it is a good idea to put a raptor shield on them. A raptor shield is like a blanket that wraps around their back and can be clipped on them by their belly. Shop around to find one that fits your dog properly.
Raptor shields are made out of a strong canvas material that will deflect a hawk’s talons. A hawk can still attempt to pick up your small dogs but it won’t be able to grab on enough to get them off the ground and they will not be able to injure your dog. Make sure to keep the raptor shield on your dog at all times if it going to be outside, especially if they are off their leash.
It goes without saying that you love your little, furry friend and you want to keep them as safe as possible. In order to prevent them from being a victim of a hawk attack, you need to make sure that their surroundings are as safe as possible. Make sure they have a covered area to play and always be sure you supervise your small dogs when they are outside. Find walking routes that are away from hawk nests. Also, avoid bird feeders and put up a scarecrow to scare away hawks.
If you do encounter a hawk, pick your dog up and get them to a safe area. Try to scare the hawk if you can. If your little dog must be outside, have them wear a raptor shield to ensure any approaching hawk can’t pick them up.