There are lots of rumors circling the Internet about hawks honing in on small dogs for tasty prey. Since LazyPaw Animal Hospitals is in the heart of Frisco, Texas, we are used to seeing plenty of hawks gliding through the sunny skies. But are they really dangerous to our pets?
Of the 9300 species of birds in the world, Texas is home to 600, including predatory hawks, falcons, owls, and eagles. These flying hunters make their homes in trees, cliffs, chimneys, and other natural and manmade nooks.
Despite online horror stories of little dogs being snapped up by vicious birds, majestic birds of prey actually tend to prefer rodents, small birds, squirrels, rats, rabbits, and gophers. Some even enjoy chewing on lizards, frogs, snakes, and other reptiles and amphibians.
… Please note that small dogs such as Chihuahuas were missing from the list of edibles.
Birds of prey are not singling out small dogs and cats for dinner. However, if you are still worried about protecting your pet, taking common sense precautions will eliminate any and all possibility of danger.
Don’t leave pets outside unsupervised, which is a recommendation we make all the time for pet owners. Your pet is more likely to chew on a poisonous plant by accident when no one is watching than get snapped up by a flying bird, but keeping an eye on your animal is always a good idea.
Leash your furry friend on walks to keep them supervised and safe. Again, they are more likely to chase a squirrel across the road and be hit by a passing car than swooped away by a bird, but leashes are never a bad idea.
If your kitty or pup does hang outside alone, give them a covered space such as a patio enclosure or shady umbrella to rest under. Plenty of shade will help protect them from heat stroke, which again is infinitely more likely to bother your Texas pet than a bird of prey.
Remember that most birds of prey in Texas are protected species, which means harming or killing one is a crime. In other words, shotguns are not solutions for nervousness over owls, eagles, hawks, or falcons. These beautiful birds are more likely scouring fields and yards for mice than anything else, and there’s no need to be afraid. Keep a reasonable eye on your pet as you would anyway and you will be fine!