Would a light-up collar keep an owl at distance? I have a four pound dog. Lately I have heard an owl in our trees. Very concerned about my dog. Any thoughts would be welcomed.
If you get a light-up collar you should try to get a strobe one. The strobing light confuses owls and is actually used in products like this (which is also a solution).
There are a few things you can do to help pets not get taken from a raptor but none of them are 100%.
- FIRST AND FOREMOST, you should call animal control. Many animal control facilities have a raptor relocation team (or contractor) that can safely catch the bird and release in a place away from your house. They also probably have experience in this situation and if they can do anything to help with the owls you are better off than previously. (and if they cant then you are no worse off than previously)
- Secondly, you should be supervising your pet carefully. If another creature is near the prey the owl is a lot less likely to attack because they can get injured. If you are outside with your dog near it can deter the owl from making the attempt. I should mention this also depends on the bird because some raptors are more cautious than others and some will carry off smaller dogs with you right there.
- Another solution is to make a cage for the pet. If you let it outside unsupervised you can make a chain link kennel or a shelter for your dog to play in. The kennel is a fine idea but if have a shelter then the dog can still get carried away. Owls can fly pretty silently due to their feathers and since you have a 4 lb dog i would be worried. Being the owner of a small dog you must be willing to supervise it at all times that it is outside because of predators like raptors and yotes and such.
- If you have a bigger dog too you can let them outside at the same time. This works in the same way as you being next to your dog but also comes with the same dangers. Since your dog is 4 lbs a great horned owl or a red tail can carry it off easily and if you or the dog is on the opposite side of the yard they can swoop in and take the pet before you can react.
- Ive heard that keeping birdfeeders or squirrel feeders out of your yard can help prevent owls from showing up in the first place but I dont think this will get rid of owls or protect you pet in any way.
- The last advice i have is a product like the one mentioned above in the link. I have not used it but it may be worth a shot if it can deter an owl from your dog.
Like I said none of these are 100% and the best thing you can do for your pet is to be very careful whenever they are outisde and keep them on a leash or very close to you. Also, if you can you should try to identify the owl from their sounds and see if it is one that will carry away small dogs. There are plenty of bird watching sites that play sounds of calls and you can go from there. Many owls arent big enough to carry away dogs and cause no harm to them being there.
I should also mention that killing, injuring, or even capturing raptors is illegal and they are protected by the government. You can be fined and even jailed