Though it doesn't happen often, hawks do attack small dogs. Hawks and other raptors typically only attack pets when seeking food or protecting their nests. Large raptors have been known to attack animals weighing as much as 20 pounds.

Small backyard hawks typically do not attack small dogs unless desperate for food. These birds, including the sharp-shinned hawk and the Cooper's hawk, usually feed on small songbirds and mice.

Other animals at risk for hawk attacks are small cats, ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Supervised pets are not at great risk, as raptors are unlikely to attack when a human is present.