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As the crisp winter days make way for the warmth of spring, Michigan comes alive with blooming flowers, vibrant colors, and a renewed sense of outdoor adventure. For pet owners, the change in seasons brings with it a unique set of considerations, particularly when it comes to the interaction between our furry friends and the local wildlife.

At Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, we understand the importance of keeping your pets safe and happy during this lively time of year. In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential risks that springtime wildlife can pose to your pets and provide essential safety tips to ensure a harmonious coexistence between your pets and the natural world.

Understanding Springtime Wildlife in Michigan

As the weather warms up, various wildlife species become more active. Common encounters may include squirrels, rabbits, birds, and even larger animals like skunks, raccoons and deer. While these interactions can be interesting for your pets, they also come with potential risks.

Springtime Risks for Pets

Diseases: With wildlife roaming more freely in the warm weather, they can carry diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, and various parasites. Ensure your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and talk to your veterinarian about preventive measures.

Wildlife Territoriality: Spring is mating season for many animals, leading to heightened territorial instincts. This can result in confrontations with domestic pets, especially if they venture too close to nests or dens. Make sure to keep your pets on a leash when going on walks, especially if you are venturing on trails outdoors or in unfamiliar places.

Fleas and Ticks: Warmer weather brings an increase in flea and tick activity. Regularly check your pets for these pests and discuss preventive measures with your veterinarian. Family Friends Veterinary Hospital encourages pet owners to keep their pets on monthly prevention all-year-around, as drops the frequent drops in temperature this winter has allowed these pets to persist.

Safety Tips for Pet Owners

Leash Control: Keep your pets on a leash during walks, especially in areas where wildlife is known to be active. This ensures better control and minimizes the risk of unexpected encounters.

Supervised Outdoor Time: When allowing your pets to roam in your yard, supervise their outdoor activities. Especially in the mornings, it is a good idea to do a visual sweep of your yard prior to letting your dogs out. This can help prevent them from engaging in potentially dangerous interactions with wildlife.

Secure Trash Bins and Fences: Wildlife is attracted to food scraps, so secure your trash bins to avoid inviting unwanted guests into your yard. By securing your fence barrier, you not only protect your pets inside, you keep unwanted wildlife out of your yard.

Vaccinations and Preventive Medications: Ensure your pets are current on vaccinations and discuss preventive medications with your veterinarian to protect against diseases and parasites.

What to Do if Your Pet Encounters Wildlife

Stay Calm: If your pet encounters wildlife, stay calm to avoid escalating the situation. Avoid direct contact and call your pet back to you.

Observe for Injuries: After the encounter, carefully inspect your pet for any signs of injury. Seek veterinary attention if needed.

Contact Your Veterinarian: If your pet has had a close encounter with wildlife, consult your veterinarian for guidance on potential health risks and necessary precautions.


Springtime in Michigan is a beautiful season filled with the wonders of nature, but it’s crucial to be mindful of the potential risks wildlife can pose to your beloved pets. By following these safety tips and staying informed, you can ensure that your pets enjoy the season safely, fostering a harmonious coexistence between domesticated companions and the wild creatures that share our environment. If you have any concerns or questions about wildlife encounters, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital for personalized guidance and care.

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