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September 4th is National Wildlife Day! While we are usually more focused on pets than wildlife, we think that all animals deserve to be able to live their best lives. There are many ways for pet owners to help protect and preserve our environment, and all the creatures that live in it. A local Ashburn, VA vet lists some key ones below.
Ticks carry diseases that can afflict both people and animals. Do what you can to help control populations. On your property, this may mean trimming grass and removing piles of debris. However, helping animals that naturally eat ticks will also make a difference. Possums are a good example of this: they eat lots of ticks!
Another way you can help local wildlife? Ground your cat! Fluffy may look innocent, but she kills billions of small animals every year. Many populations of wild birds are already under duress due to climate change and habitat loss! Let your pint-sized lion ‘hunt’ catnip birds instead of real ones. If you keep your cat indoors, you can also put a birdfeeder out without endangering your feathered dinner guests.
If you find yourself with uninvited guests, such as mice, that you need to evict, use non-toxic methods to get rid of them. Unfortunately, many wild birds, such as owls and hawks, are poisoned by eating mice that have eaten pesticides. This is also safer for your pet!
When it comes time to get a new pet, always go through reputable breeders. (This is especially important for anyone who may be interested in birds, reptiles, or exotics.) Or, better yet, adopt your new buddy from a local shelter!
Keep environmental protections in mind when shopping for your pet. When possible, try to limit your use of plastics and single-use containers. You can also use biodegradable kitty litter and waste bags. Speaking of waste bags, be sure to pick up after Fido!
Last but not least, spread awareness about National Wildlife Day. If you have children, choose a movie that focuses on wildlife, and settle in with some snacks and the family pet. Virtual trips to zoos and remote places can also make for a fun activity!
As your Leesburg, VA animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!