Watch Out! The Three Wild Animals You Might See While Walking Your Dog

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photo of a raccoon

Oh there is nothing like a beautiful fall day walking the cobblestone streets, or taking your dog to the commons. Even a quick jaunt around the neighborhood can be so invigorating. And while Boston is a city, we don’t always think of wild animals lingering out in this concrete jungle, but they are. Below are three wild animals you might see while walking your dog and should steer clear. 

Turkeys

Gobble, gobble. It’s almost that time of year again when this bird becomes a big focus during holiday celebrations. While seeing the wild turkeys out and about can be an experience, just because you’re used to seeing them doesn’t mean interacting with humans and other animals is the norm for them. 

Sometimes we catch somewhat humorous interactions between our pup and the local fowl like in this Tiktok video with almost a million likes:

@breezybristylez

Getting bullied in our neighborhood. #wildturkeys

♬ Oh No – Kreepa

While the interaction captured in @breezybristylez’s video isn’t too alarming, it’s important to remember that turkey can be very territorial and during mating season especially. 

A Massachusetts couple recently experienced a frightening moment when a wild turkey leaped out from under a bush to defend her chicks from their curious dog. The moment was caught on a ring camera and was shown by WCVB 5, but the moment is alarming. 

So if you see a few wild turkeys walking down Mass Ave, try to keep your dog away from them because an unseeable territory might be crossed. 

Raccoons

Aren’t raccoons so cute? With their little hands and cute little masks?

Unfortunately, what they can do to your dog is not cute at all. Racoons that have gotten used to people and wander into the city are less skittish than their more wild counterparts. They can become so used to people that they will approach, which can spell disaster for you and your dog. 

While it might seem okay to let your dog bark at and hopefully scare away a raccoon, it could be provoking it to attack. The cute, little hands we mentioned earlier can be used to claw and scratch a dog brutally. 

The other thing to be wary of is rabies and the fact that seeing a raccoon out wandering the day or acting outside of its normal behavior means that it could be rabid and looking for a fight. 

Coyotes

Sometimes we might see a dog skulking along and start to slowly approach. It’s hard not to be worried about them and help. After all, if they are friend shaped, why wouldn’t they be a friend?

But the reality is that what you could be approaching is a coyote waiting for you. 

As the Boston Globe reported last year, Coyote sightings are on the rise. “State officials estimate that as many as 11,500 coyotes are living in Massachusetts, and they’ve been reported in every city and town on the mainland.“

Coyotes are a very important part of our local ecosystem, but sometimes they will stalk after a small cat or dog thinking they’re a quick snack. 

If you see them, it’s recommended by the Urban Coyote Project that “If you see a coyote during the daytime, you should exhibit caution, as that coyote may have become habituated to humans (and may be more likely to attack). If you are approached by a coyote, you should yell, wave your arms, and/or throw something at the coyote (do not run away).”

While walking along in the city, a dog park, or even the beach can be a fun and hopefully uneventful experience, it’s always good to keep an eye out for wild animals that might cross your path.