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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saving Your Dog and Yourself in the Event of a Gator Attack

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Carrie Boyko
"I Caught Him, Mom"
"You're Safe Now"

Next week's post for the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop will provide information on the dangers of nesting season and the fierce protectiveness of mama gators for their babies--all good info for those of us who enjoy walking our dogs near fresh water areas. 

The time of year for nesting and hatching is approaching soon. In promising to share this  knowledge with you, I earlier mentioned another giveaway of gator toys, that were so very popular last month

I'll get to this month's gator giveaway, sponsored by Petmate, after I share some life-saving tips:

  • Steer clear of lake and riverfronts that are notable for gator presence. This is particularly important if you enjoy walking at dawn, dusk or in after dark. Not only are the gators actively hunting at this time, but they are also quite difficult to see. Your safest way to enjoy the water view is away from the shoreline.
  • When walking in marshy areas with thick vegetation along the shore, be extra vigilant about watching ahead, and keep a safe distance from these areas.
  • If you spot an adult gator (more than 3 feet in length), no matter how small, give it a wide berth of more than 15-20 feet, particularly during mating and nesting season. Do not allow your dog to bark at the gator, as this will be perceived as aggression and may provoke an attack. Leave the area if your dog ceases to bark on command.
  • Don't fool yourself into believing you can out-swim a gator because they have shorter legs. This is a myth; gators can exceed Michael Phelps' speed and stamina, so swimming in gator inhabited waters is risky business.
  • Harness your dog for walks in these areas, to give extra leverage if you must restrain your Fido from his desire to protect you or attack this predator. Fido will rarely win as the jaw strength of these beasts is considerable.
  • If you notice a gator sunning itself on land, make some noise to alert it to your presence. Generally, this will cause the gator to retreat back into the water, giving you a safer passing. Do Not Surprise a gator by approaching quietly. They will attack out of self-defense if you get close without the gator becoming aware of your presence.
  • If you suddenly encounter a gator up close on land run for it. Although they can run relatively fast for short distances, they tire more quickly and often cannot beat the average adult in a race. It should be no surprise that I will suggest you run AWAY from the water, if possible. Leading them toward unfamiliar territory will make they wary of the chase.
  • If you are attacked by a gator, fight back. Go for the back of the throat, the eyes, notrils and ears. Each of these areas are highly sensitive. The back of a gator's tongue has a flap that controls influx of water, allowing them to open their mouth while submerged. If you find yourself in the jaws of a gator in water, summon your best efforts to damage this flap. If this flap becomes dislodged or damaged, a gator will generally release you to protect himself from drowning.
  • Finally, get prompt medical attention for any gator-inflicted injury, no matter how minor. Their mouths are heavily infested with bacteria, meaning you are at risk for infection.
© courtesy Petmate
Did I scare you? I hope not; knowledge is power. Let's wrap this educational information in a fun ending. I have 5 booda squeak bottle gator toys to give away to your gator hunting fidos. These squeak bottle toys have a recyclable plastic bottle inside that has a special, re-usable lid. This lid is the source of the squeak. When the bottle becomes squashed, simply replace it with a new water bottle, replacing the squeaky lid on the new bottle. Then reinsert the fresh bottle inside the gator toy cover, for more gator hunting fun. Don't forget your earplugs. This fella is a noisy one.


If you're a blogger with a pet-related giveaway to offer, I encourage you to add your giveaway post to our new, weekly linky that is designed to help you get more exposure for your giveaways, as well as your blog. You can copy the code into your own blog, allowing your readers to 'shop' for other freebies for their pets. There are just two rules:
  1. The Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop is open to posts about giveaways, drawings, prizes, and freebies for pet products or services only, including pet-related items for owners.
  2. Please post the badge or a link to this post in your Fido's Freebie Friday blog post and invite your readers to visit their host, All Things Dog Blog. Comments are encouraged!

    The Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop will open each Thursday afternoon by 4 PM and close at midnite on Fridays. During these hours you may add your pet related giveaways to the hop with a link directly to your giveaway post at your blog. This blog hop is ONLY for free pet products or services, and may include any contests that involve a free pet-related prize (photo contests, guessing games, etc). If you have multiple giveaways, feel free to post each of them. 

© Carrie Boyko
2 Large Totes, 1 Small Bag, 1 Small Sling
As a kickoff for the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop, I've offered up these adorable, handmade bags with dog designs as prizes. Linkups by bloggers will get an entry. Comments will get entries for readers and bloggers alike. Let me know what you think. Which one is your personal fave?

Entries for gator toys and the doggie handbags will close Thursday, June 16 at 5 PM. Please indicate which giveaway you are entering in your comment. Winners will be announced and notified on Friday, June 17, here at the Fido's Freebie Friday Blog Hop. Be sure to leave me some sort of contact info: Twitter handle, email, blog URL, etc. Facebook forbids using their private messaging for notifications to contest winners. :( Don't miss your chance to get one of these 4 precious handbags.

One last incentive to participate: I'll be listing all entries on both FB and Twitter for you. Get those Freebies listed here for extra promo for your blog!


The gator toy giveaways in this article were provided as a promotional courtesy by Petmate. I was not paid to give my opinion of the toys, and the opinions given are my own. The handbag giveaways were purchased by me and are being donated as a promotional encouragement for this new blog hop.


Carly @GreenDogLove said...

We live in Charleston, near lots of gator infested waters. These are great tips. Thanks for sharing!

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Thanks Carly. Watch for more safety tips on nesting and hatching season dangers. I'll be posting these on Saturday, June 18 for the Pet Blogger hop.

Richa said...

i dont know what i will do apart from fainting if i see one:) i am sure chewie will think he is a lion and attack the gator and save me..
luckily we live too far from any marshland for now!

cstironkat said...

Kouga is not good at sharing his gator so I'm entering this one for Milele.

cstironkat said...

I'm entering to win this gator for Milele since Kouga has not been good about sharing.

bison61 said...

I am entering the gator toys contest-Jackson would love it

tiramisu392 (at)

Style, Decor & More said...

I would run, run, run! I guess I don't have to worry about gators up here in Ohio though! Even they know it's better to live where it's warm!

Very interesting post! Great tips!

I'm now following you on Net Blogs!
Have a great weekend!

I would like to invite you to enter my giveaway for a Nally & Millie Designer Slouch Top (ends Sunday). ($88 Value) Hope you'll hop by and enter!

cstironkat said...

Milele would love the noisy gator. Thank you for the chance.

I will tweet the giveaway too.

the teacher's pets said...

I love the chocolate brown bag! My email is misskitty32504ATyahooDOTcom! I will share the giveaway with others on my facebook page! My blog is

Kristen said...

Thank goodness we don't have any gators lurking in our water here!

I like the brown bag on the far left, cute!

cstironkat said...

We have one gator but he is lonely so we are entering for Milele.

Karla said...

What a cute gator! Casey would love this!!!

Karla Gutierrez-Pugh

cstironkat said...

Milele is keeping her paws crossed for the gator.

Gloria Walshver said...

Rocky would be thrilled with this amazing toy, he loves squeaky animals.

cstironkat said...

Today's entry for the gator.

Anonymous said...

I'd love a gator toy! We don't have gator here in the midwest, thankfully.

urchiken at gmail dot com

Cindy said...

I would like to enter for the gator toy.

Birdhouse Books said...

This is the cutest toy!! Thankfully, I am not near a gator-prone area, but found the tips helpful in case we travel to warmer climates!

angevege said...

My pups would love to win a gator!

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