Keeping your grill as clean as possible is the best thing you can do to keep wildlife or pets away.
Click here for instructions on how to clean your gas grill.
Click here for instructions on how to clean your charcoal grill.
The goal is to remove as much grease and leftover food as possible, which will make it less attractive to animals.
If you have a model with an open cart, or exposed grease tray/drip tray, it may be necessary to remove and empty the try when you are done using the grill.
Putting a cover on your grill can help discourage animals from approaching it as well.
Wildlife or pet deterrents, such as the sprays or powders found at garden centers or pet stores, can also help keep animals from being attracted to your grill. Just be sure not to apply them directly to the grill itself.
If you don't use your grill over the winter, or for very prolonged periods of time, you may want to consider storing the grill indoors (leave propane tanks outside) if the wildlife in your area is proving to be especially problematic.
Click here for more info on preparing your grill for storage.
If storing the grill indoors isn't option, and you find that wildlife, such as mice, have made a nest in your grill while you weren't using it don’t panic. Just clean out whatever debris they’ve left, light up the grill, and let it run on high for at least 30 minutes to help sterilize the inside. Then clean out the inside of the grill one more time before using it. If you so choose, you can wash your cooking grates with a mild dish soap and water, but make sure to dry them by hand with a towel. Don't let them air dry, because that can promote corrosion.