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How to Keep Your Pets Safe in Bear Country Brochure (En Español)


  • Store pet feed inside a secure structure such as a shed or barn.
  • Avoid leaving pet food or dishes outside overnight. Tethered pets should be able to move a safe distance away from their food bowl.
  • Outdoor pens should have a roof or be high enough to keep wildlife out and have a skirt that extends outward, underground to prevent digging under the fence.  Pens should be as far as possible from tree/shrub lines or other cover for wildlife.
  • Keep areas around outside pens and enclosures well mowed to reduce cover.
  • Before letting pets out into the yard, make noise and flash lights to startle other wildlife that could be in the yard.
  • Install motion detector lights around all areas of the property.
  • In the event of a pet treeing a bear, call your pet inside to a safe and secure area, allowing the bear time to retreat.

 How to Keep Your Animals Safe Around Bears, Coyotes, and Panthers Poster 

  • Black bears are most commonly attracted to neighborhoods by unsecure garbage,pet food, and bird seed; most interactions can be reduced if residents remove and secure trash with either a shed or bear-resistant trashcan and minimize the time pet food and bird seed is outside or keep those foods secure.
  • Consider walking your pet on a non-retractable leash which allows better control of your pet in the event of an encounter.
  • Bears are most active at night and during dusk and dawn.  Try walking your pet during daytime hours.  If that is not possible, be careful around wooded areas.
  • While walking your pet, bring noise makers or bear spray. Making noise will alert wildlife to your presence and allow time for it to move away from you and your pet.



  • If contact occurs between your pet and wildlife do not try to physically separate your pet and the animal. Retreat to a safe place; if possible spray the animal with bear spray or a water hose and make loud noises to try to break up the contact.
  • Hazing is an effective way to encourage wildlife to stay away from people. Making noise with your voice, an air or car horn, pots and pans, or a can full of pennies are recommended techniques.
  • Bear Spray can be used to deter a bear if you encounter one at close range (within 30ft).  This highly effective product can be found online or through any outdoor product supplier
Fence to hold back bears
  • Protect your pets with an electric fencing enclosure. Check often to ensure that the fence is functioning properly.
  • Sturdy wooden hutches are the most reliable form of protection for outdoor small animal enclosures such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Securely attach a side of the cage to a permanent structure to prevent the hutch from falling over. Secure doors with locks, keep top covered and secured. In bear country, add an electric fence for further protection.