How Do I Keep My Dogs Safe From Alligators?

The Florida man, Richard Wilbanks that rescued his dog from an alligator attack shares more details of the event, and has his cute dog Gunner with him.

There are a few things you can do to keep your dogs safe from alligators:

1. Make sure they are always on a leash when outside. This will help keep them close by and make it easier for you to intervene if necessary.

dog in water

2. Avoid swimming in areas where there are alligators, and discourage your dogs from doing so as well. Alligators often patrol the water’s edge looking for prey, and they may see your dog as an easy target.

alligator

3. Be aware of the signs that an alligator may be present in an area. Alligators typically stay near the water’s edge, but they may venture inland if food is scarce or if they are startled. Look out for trails of mud and vegetation that lead away from the water as alligators may have tried to drag a prey animal to dry land.

dog in shallow water

4. If an alligator should attack your dog, encourage him or her to fight back. Since they are canines and other animals such as coyotes and wolves often overcome alligators with their teeth and claws alone, this strategy might make the alligator rethink his or her choices.

large alligator

5. Be aware that alligators like to hang around ponds, lakes and other water sources where your pets would normally drink from. It’s important to teach your dog not to go near this type of water, even when the coast looks clear.

dog on edge of water

6. If you are paddling with your dogs in a kayak, make sure to give alligators along the shore ample space in which to escape. Paddle slowly in areas where the water is shallow enough for both you and an alligator to stand up in, but be prepared to get out of the water if an alligator comes out of hiding.

turtle on alligator

7. Always be vigilant when your dogs are outside, and avoid letting them wander unsupervised. As much as you want to believe that they will keep each other company while you’re away at work or school, it does not mean that this is always the case, especially if they come upon an alligator.

dog looking into water

8. When taking your dogs on a walk, be aware of the fact that the area you’re walking in may have active nests or dens where alligators could potentially reside. Alligators are most likely to attack when they feel their young are being threatened.

alligator eye above water

9. If you come upon an alligator in your area that is not moving and appears to be dead, think twice before approaching it. Alligators go through periods of aestivation when they appear to be dead, only to wake up and attack the first animal (or human) that comes along.

dogs playing near water

10. In general, you should keep your distance from alligators in order to remain safe. It is best to give them a wide berth when walking or driving so that you do not have an unfortunate encounter with one.

alligator on log

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