Raccoons are wildlife pests that will keep coming back to your yard if you always leave out your pet food. They enter into people’s yards looking for tasty snacks leftover by pets, and once they find the snacks, they become permanent guests in your yard. The best way to keep wildlife out of your pet food is to feed your pets indoors, but for pets that are permanently outdoors, you may have to feed them outdoors. Here, you will learn a few ways to keep raccoons and other wildlife from eating your outdoor pet food. These methods include:
- Keep Wildlife Out of Your Yard
Wildlife will not get into your outdoor pet food if you keep them out of your yard. You can keep them out by fencing the yard and adding a layer of electric fencing that stuns the animals when they attempt to get into your yard. That will help to keep them out. You should also make sure that your yard is always clean and clear of wildlife attractants like fruits, berries, and seeds. You can also plant natural wildlife repellents like pine, pepper, and fragrant spices at different sites in your yard to discourage them from getting in. For wildlife pests that make burrows, fill up the holes, and seal the entrance that they create.
- Feed Pets During the Day
Most wildlife pests like the raccoon and opossum are nocturnal, and so they come out to feed at night. That can be of great advantage to you as you can feed your outdoor pets during the daytime and take in their feeders at night. You should ensure that you do not leave your pet’s food out overnight because this will attract wildlife to your yard.
- Use Raccoon-Proof Feeders
If you must keep out your pet food overnight, you should ensure the pet feeders are raccoon-proof. Science has developed computerized feeders that can feed pet animals on schedule; therefore, you can type in the exact quantity of food that your animal requires per feeding and schedule the feeding time. This technology helps to keep your pet fed and leaves no remnants for the wildlife. The feeder also comes with a well-secured pest-proof lid that you can lock after you feed your pet. Raccoons or other wildlife can’t chew through this lid to get to the feed. It also comes with a wheel-lock that prevents the raccoons from toppling it over to spill its content.
You can also make a raccoon-proof pet feeder yourself. To do this, you should:
- Make sure that the pet feeder is 40 inches above the ground. Raccoons are excellent climbers, but if the platform is very slippery, they will have a hard time getting a grip and climbing up to access the feeder.
- Put your feeder in a waterproof enclosure. You can make a shed or roof to prevent water from entering the feeder.
For more information on handling food-stealing raccoons, go here.
- Switch Feeding Times
Raccoons are creatures of habit, and studies show that they will leave their dens at the same time each day to feed, so you should change your pet feeding time at intervals so that the raccoons do not get used to a specific feeding period. You should also be very cautious when changing your pet’s feeding time because some pets are also creatures of habit, and constant changes in their feeding time will likely upset them.
- Use Decoys
Raccoons and other wildlife pests are usually low on the food chain and have more aggressive predators. Most wildlife pests leave the forests and coexist with humans because of these predators, and you can exploit their fear of predators in keeping them away from your pet food. You can put brightly colored plastic snakes around the pet feeders; this will stop most of the animal pests from coming to feed. You can also use decoy owls that look real and terrifying. The only downside to this is that your pets may also get scared of these and not eat.
- Wildlife Removal
If you have a raccoon pest that keeps coming back, you can contact professionals or wildlife control centers in your state to remove and relocate the animal. For extra assistance, visit Bay Area Wildlife Solutions for help with any wildlife conflicts on the eastern shore. For help from licensed professionals in Rockville, Maryland, visit wildliferemovalrockville.com. Be very cautious when you are handling these wildlife pests yourself because even when you successfully trap them, they can still scratch or bite and transmit pathogens to you.
Your safety comes first, and then your pets. Try to feed your pets indoors or at least take their feeders indoors at night. We hope that these tips work for you and help you to keep wildlife away from your pet’s food.