ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Keeping Your Pet Safe From Alligator Attack

Updated on April 8, 2013

Alligators May Attack Pets

Alligators do eat pets. The American alligator lives in an area that is larger than many people realize. They not only live in Florida but range as far west as Texas and as far north as North Carolina. Florida has a healthy and growing population of alligators, which occupy nearly every body of fresh water in the state.

Florida Alligator


Alligators Generally Avoid Humans

Human-alligator encounters do happen. Although some years do not see any fatal attacks, other years have seen as many as four. These numbers appear low in comparison to many other deadly animal encounters. This may be due to the alligator being primarily water-bound. Most people living in alligator territory know how to avoid them. It seems those visiting alligator territory are rarely as well informed.

Unsafe Proximity to Alligators

Below are pictures of a Florida pet owner walking her dogs too close to alligators. A woman with a foreign accent (not from Florida) walked her dogs on a long leash near the water. The bank from the water to the sidewalk measured roughly thirty to forty feet. Her leash extended over fifteen feet. She was allowing her dogs to run down the bank to the length of her leash, putting them within fifteen feet of the water. A seven-foot alligator swam across the retention pond toward them while they walked. The seven-foot alligator changed its course repeatedly to follow the dogs as they moved along the slope. Despite being warned, the woman allowed her dogs to play on the bank. The alligator swiftly popped up out of the water and the woman ran with her dogs. She left the area swiftly, hopefully the wiser.

Alligator Stalks Two Small Dogs

Alligator crosses lake to come in close
Alligator crosses lake to come in close | Source
Dogs run down bank
Dogs run down bank | Source
Seconds before lunging forward
Seconds before lunging forward | Source
Alligator began a lunge toward dogs
Alligator began a lunge toward dogs | Source
Alligator close up. Pupils are dilated.
Alligator close up. Pupils are dilated.

Safe Distance

Local Florida wisdom tells that one should stay at least ten to fifteen feet from the water to be safe from an alligator attack. Some suggest greater distances of twenty to sixty feet. Alligator experts, the late Steve Irwin included, say that alligators will most often avoid contact with humans. This is not true of smaller animals, especially dogs and cats. Alligators see these animals as potential meals. Every now and then, a pet goes missing and is never seen again. Though the cause of death in such cases is a mystery, alligators are often blamed. Some pet owners are not so lucky however, being on-scene during alligator attacks to their pets.

Small alligator crosses a channel
Small alligator crosses a channel | Source

Control Your Pet

The size of the pet is an important factor. Small animals are easier prey than larger ones. The pet cannot be expected to know what is best. It is up to the pet owner to take caution. Keeping pets away from waters that contain alligators is fairly simple. Though the sidewalk from the above account runs between two ponds, it is fairly simple to keep pets twenty-five feet or more from the water. At another location nearby, pet owners routinely let their dogs off their leashes near a major waterway. An alligator reported to be fourteen-feet in length has been seen swimming by the pet running area. The protection for these pets is a mere growth of cattails along the bank. Some of the dogs run within five feet of the water. Avoiding such a scenario seems simple. Dogs enjoy running without leashes but pet owners should keep dogs leashed if the animal strays toward the water’s edge when loose.

Alligator comes in for closer look

Keeping Pets Safe From Alligators

Keeping safe from alligators is actually quite simple. Florida waters are known to contain alligators. It is not safe to assume that any body of fresh water is alligator-free. Pet owners should keep their pets under good control. A distance of 25 feet or more from the water is not a bad idea. Keeping clear of the water’s edge means keeping your pet safe.

This hub is intended to be commentary and should not be used as an official source for alligator safety.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Brad Beard profile imageAUTHOR

      Brad Beard 

      9 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      The camera shakes in the video as I did a quick check over my shoulder for the larger alligator in the earlier pictures.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)