There has been an increase in bear sightings and interactions across the Northland lately, including dogs being bitten, leading the Duluth Police Department to issue a warning.

The Duluth Police Department reported on their Facebook page that two dogs were bitten by bears in separate incidents last week in the Duluth Heights neighborhood.

While bear sightings are common in the Northland, they do not interact well with dogs.  Therefore, authorities recommend that if you live in an area frequented by bears, visually check your yard to before letting your pets out to make sure they won’t encounter a bear.

Also, if you like to take your pet for a walk in rural areas, or neighborhoods where bears have been spotted, make sure to keep them on a leash at all times and it's also a good idea to invest in bear repellent spray.

The Minnesota DNR offers these tips to keep bears off of your property:

  • Reduce garbage odors. Rinse food cans and wrappers before disposal.
    Compost vegetable scraps.
  • Keep meat scraps in your freezer until garbage pickup day.
  • Wash garbage cans regularly and use lime to cut odors.
  • Keep garbage cans in a bear-proof container or in a garage until the morning of pickup.
  • Remove bird feeders in the spring. If you persist in feeding birds during the summer, remove seed, suet, and hummingbird feeders at night.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Keep barbecue grills and picnic tables clean.
  • Use an energized fence* to keep bears out of beehives, sweet corn, fruit trees and berry patches. Barking dogs, bright lights and noisemakers will sometimes discourage bears from coming into an area.