Red-tailed hawks are sometimes hazardous to little canines. Caring for a pet is a lot about joy, but at the same time, a lot about worry, too. You can never be too cautious or too prepared when it comes to rearing your dog. If your dog is tiny enough, he could even be susceptible to seizing from sizable birds of prey such as hawk Carrying Dogs AwayHawks, like other birds of prey, routinely make dinnertime out of all sorts of critters, from rabbits to mice and beyond. When their typical prey choices aren't easily found -- think during times of heavy winter snow -- hawks sometimes turn to animals that they don't normally eat, which is where a domestic pet might come into play. The differences in size between some of their usual prey and tiny canines aren't always that substantial, if any differences exist at all. As a result, big hawks such as red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are often fully capable of snatching up little dogs and consuming them -- a terrifying scenario for any owner.
Weight Hawks have indeed carried wee dogs in efforts to take them somewhere else to munch on. The dogs sometimes are able to remove themselves from the hawks' tight clutches, but others aren't so fortunate. If a dog weighs less than 20 pounds, a hawk might be able to carry him easily. Despite that, it's impossible to say that a hawk cannot hold a dog heavier than that, even if the chances aren't as likely. Chihuahuas and Yorkshire terriers might be especially vulnerable to being carried away by hawks, due to their light average body weights.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog Since hawks can retrieve small dogs, it's crucial for all owners to keep their eyes on their pets, even if they're just playing around in the backyard or on typical leashed neighborhood walks. If you leave your pooch alone in the yard for a mere five minutes while you take a phone call inside, that's more than enough time for a hawk to dive down into your yard and carry your sweet pet into the distance. Note that the odds of a hawk going after your dog are stronger if he's all by his lonesome, rather than with a couple of other furry buddies. The majority of hawks also tend to hunt for food during the day, so be especially cautious when it's light out. Hawk attacks can be deadly to dogs, or can at least bring upon some serious wounds, so always do what you can to avoid the frightening possibility.
Cats, Too Don't assume that your cats are any safer than dogs from the threat of hawk attack. Like small dogs, many cats are close in size to some of hawks' most common prey focuses. If your cat spends a lot of time on his own outside, consider having him live in your home 100 percent of the time, instead.
Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Insects? By Linda Cole
My dogs are quick to notice any bug that comes into their outdoor pen, whether it’s flying or crawling along the ground. If an insect is within snatching distance, one of the dogs will invariably go after it. They usually miss, but not always. Dogs have no problem eating flies, earthworms, crickets, spiders, grasshoppers and other insects, and for the most part a little extra protein won’t hurt them. There are exceptions, though.
Some bugs can be toxic or pass on parasites to your dog. Below are some of the more common insects that aren’t safe for dogs to eat.
Monarch Butterfly, Caterpillars Milkweed is an essential plant for the Monarch Butterfly. It’s the only plant where they tuck their eggs underneath a leaf for safe keeping because it’s what the larvae eats. While milkweed is non-toxic to the Monarch butterfly, it is poisonous to birds, dogs, cats and other animals, and so is the Monarch caterpillar. Thankfully, it is rare for a dog or cat to actually eat either the plant, caterpillar or butterfly because all three have a very bitter taste – but it can happen. The toxic chemical in Milkweed is called cardenolides; it disrupts the electrolyte balance in the heart and can stop it. If you think your pet has eaten milkweed, a Monarch caterpillar or butterfly, it’s important to take him to the vet immediately. Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and excessive drooling, and become more serious as the poison begins to affect the heart, causing abnormal heart rate, tremors, weakness, dilated pupils, seizures and death if left untreated.
Lightning Bugs (Fireflies) In my neck of the woods we call them lightning bugs, but some refer to them as fireflies. Actually, they are beetles – not flies. These seemingly harmless bugs dot the summer nights with flashing light as they float within reach of us and our dogs. The light produced by lightning bugs is how they find a mate, communicate with each other and warn predators to stay away. These bugs contain lucibufagins, toxins that can be poisonous to lizards, amphibians, birds and other animals. If your dog grabs a snack of lightning bugs, he may end up with digestive upset that causes vomiting and lack of appetite.
June Bugs, Stink Bugs and Cicadas These bugs aren’t toxic and won’t bite or sting your pet, but if a large number are ingested they can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. Stink bugs have a nasty taste and can cause a dog to drool or vomit after biting one. Sometimes dogs can get a little too enthusiastic about consuming bugs, munching them as if they were buttered popcorn. Eating too many can cause a hard mass called a bezoar to form in the stomach or elsewhere in the digestive tract. Surgery may be required to remove it.
Asian Lady Beetle Native to eastern Asia, this multicolored bug was introduced in the US by the USDA in 1978 and 1981 to control agricultural pests like aphids and scale insects. Originally released in a handful of states, the Asian Lady Beetle is now found throughout the country. The beetle looks similar to ladybugs, and can cause chemical burns in a pet’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract if ingested.
Caterpillars Even though caterpillars look innocent enough, some are capable of stinging or injecting venom into a curious dog. The Woolly Bear caterpillar isn’t toxic, but has microscopic hairs that can stick in the mouth and throat and cause a dog to cough, gag and salivate. It’s best to keep your pet away from the Saddleback, Monkey Slug, Io moth, Buck moth, Flannel moth, Gypsy moth and Puss moth caterpillars.
Spiders and Bees Venomous spiders like the brown recluse and black widow, bees and wasps can be dangerous for dogs to play with or eat. A bite from a poisonous spider can cause serious illness or death, and a sting from a bee or wasp can cause an allergic reaction, mouth pain and swelling. Cockroaches Most pet owners are aware that a pet who ingests fleas can get a tapeworm infestation. However, other bugs also carry parasites. A dog that dines on cockroaches, beetles or crickets can be infested with stomach worms.
Most dogs are intrigued with creepy crawly things and will chase, catch and eat what they find before you realize what’s going on. It’s natural for dogs to investigate their world. My dogs wolf down their CANIDAE meals, but occasionally they will add a little extra protein to their diet by nabbing a slow moving fly. Whether or not it tastes good is something they never tell me. So what about our feline friends? Is it okay for cats to eat bugs?
Check out this article to see what Julia Williams has to say about it.