• Robert Routt

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

Our population is growing, and we are encroaching on areas that used to be inhabited by wildlife. In the past, coyotes lived only in the countryside; now they can be seen more and more in urban areas. The destruction of their natural habitats, like flooding and wildfires, is forcing them to find new territory. The fact that you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there. Coyotes live across the entire continental U.S. Coyotes usually hunt during the night, though they may also hunt at daytime. One coyote's range is approximately 12 miles from its den. They take advantage of unintentional human behaviors that provide easy access to water and food. Coyotes are adaptable and opportunistic animals. Coyotes can pose a danger to your pets, but you can take action to prevent it.

The Coyote and Human Coexistence

The same rules apply to them as to any other animal. They must be coexisted with as peacefully as possible. As humans and our pets, they have a right to life as well. They are not ill-intentioned. While that may be true, we still want to keep our pets and ourselves safe from coyotes.

Whenever you see a coyote, get as big as you can. Your goal is to scare the animal off by appearing larger than it. Spread your arms out and wave them. Scream loudly to frighten it away. Open your jacket and slap it around.

Do not bend over to pet your dog, but keep them close to you. If you are not within range of the coyote, it is best to pick up small dogs.

Keep colorful umbrellas and golf balls or rocks in your pocket. Throw the golf balls and rocks at the coyote if he doesn't leave. You can close and open the umbrella a few times, put it over your shoulder to look large, and if he doesn't leave, close and open it a few more times.

Additionally, you can use air horns to scare away coyotes.

The Things You Should NOT Do Around Coyotes

Do not run away from them and turn your back on them. By doing so, you are acting like prey. Do not feed them. Avoid bending down to pick up small animals if you are within fifty feet of them. You will look small and cowering. Get as close to the pets as possible and growl loudly.

Coyotes and Dogs: How to Stay Safe

Leashes should be 6 feet or shorter when walking your dog. Walk in high traffic areas. Avoid establishing routines, and change the time you leave each day. Changing your routes every day will stop the coyotes from detecting patterns. They will learn your routines by following you. Do not walk near abandoned properties or dense bushland.

You should not feed the coyotes. Coyotes lose their natural fear of humans when humans feed them, which is hazardous to them. You might be okay, but the next person or small child with their pet might not be so lucky.

Keep your pets indoors

Keeping your pets indoors is the best way to keep them safe from coyotes. Indoor pets are safe. Pets that roam freely, like cats, are not.

Maintain Your Yard to Deter Coyotes

Get rid of brush and vegetation in your yard. Coyotes will hide while they stalk their prey if there are habitats that attract them. Remove any habitats that attract small animals that could attract coyotes.

If your cat posts are higher than 7 feet, you can install platforms at the top for cats to use as a shelter from coyotes. Cats can climb bark, outdoor carpet, or sisal rope; however, the posts must be made of materials they can climb. A cat being chased by a predator should be able to climb the post and sit on the platforms until the predator is gone.

You should remove items that attract coyotes like pet food, compost piles, fountains and fish ponds, garbage, and small animals like rabbits and chickens.

By being prepared and alert, there are several ways humans, coyotes, and other animals can successfully coexist in nature.

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