Consequences of Feeding Wildlife

Feeding wildlife may do more harm than good.  Please see our list of threats as well as do’s and don’ts with respect to feeding wildlife.

Threats to Wildlife

  • animals can become dependent on artificial food sources
  • animals can lose their natural fear of humans and pets, becoming more prone to conflict
  • artificial feed is not healthy for wildlife
  • wild animals may gather in large numbers when they are being fed — this concentration of animals in one area can spread parasites and disease and cause destruction of natural habitat
  • feeding animals near roads increases their risk of being hit by vehicles

Threats to People

  • feeding wildlife may attract "unwanted" animals to your property
  • animals will learn to associate humans with food, and can become a problem to neighbours
  • habituated animals can become aggressive
  • feeding animals near roads increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents, resulting in property damage, injury or death


  • appreciate wildlife from a distance
  • keep household waste, compost and pet food out-of-reach from wild animals
  • attract wildlife to your property by improving natural habitat
  • work together with your neighbours to help keep wild animals wild


  • put out food to attract wildlife
  • try to approach or touch wild animals
  • feed pets outdoors or allow pets to roam free
  • put garbage out until the morning of collection

For more information and resources regarding feeding wildlife please visit the Ontario Wildlife and Nature website.

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