As people increasingly disperse into coyote habitats with their pets, the likelihood of dog-coyote encounters increases.
These encounters can be deadly, especially for small dogs that are easy prey. Humans are good sources of waste and food, which can also attract coyotes.
February is the mating season and from April to August coyotes start having their puppies. They hunt more actively to care for their young, and they also become more defensive of their territory.
Attacks may be more likely during that time, but in winter, when resources are scarce, coyotes can also desperately forage for food and move into human domains, which can cause more incidents involving dogs.
It is important to remain vigilant all year round and to protect your dog from coyote attacks. Here are eight ways you can reduce the risk of coyote attacks on your dog and protect your pup if you happen to see a coyote.
Fence in your garden
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A fence does not offer complete protection against coyote attacks, as these animals can dig or climb if necessary, but it can Reduce the risk of meeting a coyote. If you have a yard, make sure it has a durable fence that can reasonably block your dog’s view from the outside.
An invisible fence is not a good choice for many reasons, one of which is that coyotes can enter your property while your dog cannot escape. Chain link fences allow coyotes to see your dog and provoke them further into attacks.
A sturdy, high fence can provide a necessary barrier and prevent many – but not all – attacks.
Always keep an eye on your dog when they are outside
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Even with a fence, it’s important that you supervise your dog’s activity while they are in your yard, especially at night when coyotes are more active. As mentioned before, a desperate coyote will climb or dig as needed.
Keeping an eye on your dog when they are outside can help you be ready to help them at the first sign of any danger. A coyote will probably be more afraid of you than your dog.
Buy an outdoor lamp
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Coyotes tend to stay away from bright light. Buy a motion detector lamp for your yard, or use one that you can turn on while your dog is away.
It’s also helpful to have a flashlight handy as you can use it to scare off coyotes approaching. This is especially necessary for nighttime walks. Do not leave the house without it.
Even a small keychain light is better than nothing.
Do not leave food or waste behind
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Your dog may prefer to eat outside, but it’s not a good idea to leave out food or empty bowls that smell like food.
In addition, all trash cans must be properly closed so as not to attract wild animals. Coyotes will search when hungry, and human trash cans are excellent food sources.
You may enjoy having birds on your property and leaving a bird feeder outside, but be aware that coyotes prey on birds, and this can increase your risk of encountering a coyote.
Avoid places where coyotes can hide
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Coyotes tend to hide in undergrowth and undergrowth so if you have these on your property, make sure they are maintained and don’t give coyotes a place to lurk.
When walking your dog, stick to cleared paths and trails and don’t stray. Even if you don’t encounter a hungry coyote, you can accidentally enter their territory and be considered a threat.
Always stay on a lead for walks
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No matter how well behaved your dog is, you need to be able to keep him under control in the event of an emergency, and an encounter with a coyote can quickly turn into an emergency. You can’t know how your dog will react to a confrontation, and you must have a way to restrain him and get him to safety.
Don’t rely on a retractable leash as they can break easily and you won’t be able to maintain the control you need to get your dog in quickly. Use a firm leash that is short enough to keep your dog fairly close to you.
Be calm, be big, be loud
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If you come across a coyote, try everything you can to intimidate them. Keep calm, make yourself as big as possible and scream. Coyotes usually won’t attack if you pose a serious threat.
Slowly back up and pick up your dog if you are able. Use your flashlight if you can to scare the coyote away.
You want to get out of their territory as soon as possible, especially if their young are around, but don’t run as this can provoke the coyote to attack.
Report sightings in your area
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Reporting coyote sightings can help you and your neighbors stay alert and cautious, and provide animal control with information that can help them catch and move coyotes that could pose a danger to people and pets.
Be responsible and encourage others in your community to do the same.
What other tips do you have for protecting dogs from coyote attacks? Have you ever encountered a coyote with your dog? Let us know in the comments below!