Did you know that National Wildlife Day is coming up March 3rd? While we of course usually focus on caring for pets, it’s important to recognize that there is a strong connection between our animal companions and their wild counterparts. With so many species threatened these days, it’s important for all of us to do what we can to help wildlife and ecosystems when we can. A veterinarian lists some ways that you can do that below.
K eep Kitty In
Did you know that our feline friends hunt billions of small animals every year? Fluffy may look adorably proud of herself when she drops a dead mouse at your feet, but your pint-sized lion is actually playing a pretty big role in decimating fragile wildlife populations. Keep your cute little serial killer inside, and let her hunt catnip mice instead of real ones. (Bonus: cats are safer indoors anyway.)
Exotic pets are becoming more and more popular. It’s not hard to see why people find them appealing: many of them are very cute and fascinating. Many people also like the idea of having an unusual pet. Just be responsible when adopting cats, either big or small. Don’t get an animal without doing lots of research to make sure you understand its specific care needs. Also, take care to only buy from reputable stores or breeders. Unfortunately, there are still black market sellers out there that offer animals that were captured from the wild.
There are also a few things that you can do on your own property to help local wildlife. If you have a yard, allow beneficial native plants to grow back in part—or even all—of it. Plant colorful, fragrant flowers to attract and sustain native bees. If you are in a colder climate, when spring arrives, don’t mow the grass until the dandelions have passed. These bright flowers, considered a nuisance by many, are actually crucial to the environment as they are the first food for bees, birds, and butterflies.
Be sure to use humane, non-toxic products to get rid of any pests you have. Sadly, many larger wild birds, such as hawks, owls, eagles, and falcons, are poisoned each year by hunting vermin that ingested toxic rodenticides.
Another thing you can do is just be more mindful of protecting wildlife when you are shopping. Choose products that use sustainable resources. When many people start making these small choices, small steps like these can really add up into a big sea change.
To learn more about World Wildlife Day, and how to help wild animals, click here .
As your local veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!