Adult Mi-Ki dogs generally range between four to nine pounds, and puppies are even smaller. The small size of this toy breed makes Mi-Kis vulnerable to predators including coyotes, birds of prey, mountain lions/cougars, bobcats, and occasionally foxes. Wild carnivores could easily mistake a small Mi-Ki for a rabbit, and will gladly take your pet as a snack from your backyard buffet. It’s crucial that we learn how to protect Mi-Kis from predators and other wildlife.
Coyotes are highly adaptable and have been documented in nearly every environment across North America. They are comfortable in the wilderness, in the suburbs, and even in cities. Coyotes have learned that pets are easy prey. An online search will reveal that coyote-pet predation is on the rise and has become a frequent news topic.
We used to hear coyote singing and feeding activities frequently when we lived in the suburbs. Thankfully, we hardly hear them at all in our new rural location. We wonder if this is because they are feeding on their usual wild prey out here or if it’s because they find it easier to eat in suburban corridors.
I’ve heard talk at social gatherings back in town of pets attacked by coyotes on off-leash walks. I’ve even heard of a few cases of problem coyotes attacking pets while being walked on leashes! Some municipalities are hiring hunters to deal with these particularly brazen coyotes.
Even if you are not on a walk and are just letting your Mi-Ki play in your fenced yard, coyotes can easily scale a 6-foot privacy fence. If you don’t have an HOA, you could install coyote rollers on the top of your fence to protect your tiny pup from coyotes and other large dogs that might enter your yard.
To protect your Mi-Ki from coyote attacks, the best protection is you. Don’t let your dog go on off-leash walks. Use a non-retractable leash. Supervise your Mi-Ki outdoors – even in your fenced yard.
Birds of Prey
Red Tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls are the prominent birds of prey here in Colorado. Hawks are concerning during the day, and owls are usually on the hunt from dusk until dawn. In some areas, eagles are the aerial predators of concern.
We know from experience the devastating loss that can happen in an instant with these silent flying killers. Our good friends lost their Mi-Ki Dexter to an owl attack at dusk. Dexter was one of our partner studs, and he was killed on December 1, 2021, just when we were just getting ready to borrow him again for our upcoming litters.
Dexter was our Isabelle’s “one true love.” She never liked any other males romantically other than Dexter. We’re still in shock and grieving with our friends over the loss of this 3.5-pound Mi-Ki prince. He was killed despite his owners having installed netting over their yard. Apparently, there was an opening, and the owl was able to get through it and it broke Dexter’s neck. Please watch your Mi-Kis carefully!
Several years ago, a large old, dead tree was removed from a ridge that towered over my old hometown. When the tree came down, there was a large nest in it with dozens of pet collars with IDs inside. It was a stark reminder that birds of prey find our pets to be a suitable food source.
Don’t have bird feeders on your property
Hawks and owls are attracted to properties that have bird feeders because songbirds are common menu items for birds of prey. Some bird watching sites have encouraged bird lovers not to have bird feeding stations in backyards because it’s an easy way for hawks and eagles to grab a distracted songbird. If your tiny Mi-Ki puppy is close by, an opportunistic bird of prey will easily grab your pet.
Make sure you are visible from the sky
Hawks and owls are much less likely to attack a small dog if they see a human nearby. This means you have to stand near your Mi-Ki during potty breaks and not under a covered porch, tree, or pergola.
Other predators that can harm your Mi-Ki
Depending on where you live, wildcats such as mountain lions and bobcats may also be a problem for small pets. These stealthy predators are skilled hunters and there are many, many cases of pets being taken by both cougars and bobcats.
Foxes and Racoons are less likely to have an encounter with your pet, but caution should be used around them as well. Since both are opportunistic feeders, be sure never to feed your Mi-Ki outside or have accessible trash available as a food source. Dogs being fed outside are easy prey for hunters and their food also attracts wildlife.
Vests to protect Mi-Kis from predators
Consider anti-predator dog clothing to protect your little dog if you are in high risk areas. These vests are equipped with spikes and optional nylon “quills” to deter hawks, coyotes, and larger dogs from hurting your pet.
Coyote vests not only protect Mi-Kis from coyotes and birds of prey – they also protect small dogs from aggressive large dogs. Protective vests will give you enough time to react to save your pet from a sudden attack.
Covered dog runs
If you can’t supervise your Mi-Ki while they are outdoors at all times, a practical solution is to have a covered dog run. Some people like to keep their small dogs in an outdoor enclosure similar to a “Catio” or a screened-in porch to give their pets fresh air without worrying about wildlife encounters.
An outdoor turf potty area in your covered enclosure is a great way to train your pet to the outdoors without exposing your pet to the open skies of your yard. A fenced in area with lattice and a pergola top is an aesthetically pleasing way to make a play area for your pup in the garden.
Other Mi-Ki Wildlife Hazards
Mi-Kis are also at risk for being harmed by other wildlife such as porcupines, venomous snakes, wasps and hornets, deer, elk, moose, and skunks. Lizards, frogs, and salamanders might also be toxic if your pet licks or ingests them.
Wildlife encounters can happen in your own backyard or while you are out camping or traveling in your RV.
Teach your Mi-Ki not to chase wildlife and to ignore them. Have high-value treats on hand to distract them and keep your dog more interested in you instead of the animals around them. Do not encourage interactions with wildlife and your pet. Do your best to encourage wildlife to leave. Wild animals can carry diseases that can harm your pet, so it’s best to keep your distance.
Always be vigilant to be near your Mi-Ki when outdoors. Because of their small size, they are counting on you to protect them. A sturdy leash and/or a nice pet carrier will keep your Mi-Ki at an arm’s reach. Teach your Mi-Ki the “lift up” command to know that it is time to get picked up when there is danger nearby.
Keep your emergency vet’s number in your phone in case the unexpected happens.
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