Coyotes have been spotted in our area and coyote encounters do happen. They are a real risk especially to small dogs. Coyotes are hunters that do not see a difference between a rabbit and a pet like a small dog.
A few ideas to help prevent pet injury or loss from a coyote encounter:
- Eliminate food sources in your backyard. Coyotes will eat just about anything. If you feed your dog outside bring in the food and water bowls once they’re finished eating. Secure your garbage in an animal-proof container. Look around your property for other sources of food such as fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
- Never leave your dog unattended or chained outside.
- Be a Pooper Scooper – the scent of your dog’s poop can attract coyotes. Clean up your yard regularly.
- Install lights in your yard – some use solar lights or motion-sensitive lighting. Coyotes typically are nocturnal hunters and well-lit yards can be a deterrent.
- Consider installing a fence or coyote-proofing your existing fence. Coyotes are expert climbers and a coyote-proof fence should be a minimum of 6 to 8 feet high. Install some material at the top of the fence such as PVC pipe, chicken or barbed wire to make it more difficult for a coyote to climb over the fence. Coyotes will dig; consider installing barriers 2 to 3 feet underground, or a buried wire apron to prevent tunneling under fences and gates if the ground is not paved.
- Walk your dog with a leash, a non-retractable one is recommended. In the event of a coyote encounter it is important for your pet to be close to you. This is especially important if you’re walking your dog alone and in areas that are high-risk for coyote attacks.
- Walk in lighted areas or carry your own light source. Coyote attacks are less likely in lighted areas. If you’re walking your dog in areas that are not well lit make sure you have your flashlight turned on at all times. If possible avoid walking at dawn and dusk.
- Be prepared for a coyote encounter – If you encounter a coyote it important to stay calm. Do not run – that will cause the coyote to chase you. Be as BOLD and BIG as possible. Use aggressive behaviors – shout and make as much noise as possible, carrying a whistle or horn is a good idea; wave your arms, stomp your feet.
- Report any encounters to your local authorities. Keeping track of where coyotes have been sighted or encountered will help other pet owners.
- Find out as much as possible about the coyote problem locally and share this information to help other pet parents keep their pets safe also!
Here are a few products designed to protect your pet from coyotes: