Five Ways to Keep Your Dogs Safe from Coyotes

Reposted from Cesar’sWay:

There seems to be an increasing amount of stories about dogs being attacked  by coyotes these days, and not just in rural areas. As humans have continued to  develop land, coyotes have been forced into urban areas and are becoming less  fearful of humans. Several years ago, a coyote even entered a downtown Chicago Quiznos sandwich shop and hopped behind the counter!

According to the DFW  Wildlife Coalition, coyotes are living and thriving in nearly every city  across the United States. While they rarely bother humans, coyotes are a threat  to domestic dogs, especially smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and toy varieties.  Coyotes primarily feed on small rodents such as rabbits, but will definitely go  after a small dog if given the chance.

Here are some tips on keeping your pet safe from coyotes:

  1. Be particularly cautious during coyote mating season, which  is January through March. During this time, coyotes travel long distances to find suitable mates and require extra calories to carry them  on their journey. They then expend extra energy to build dens for pregnant  females, who will need to stock up on additional meals. Studies show that coyotes  are particularly aggressive during this time.
  2. Keep an eye on your dog when outside. A small dog left  unattended in a backyard is an easy target for a coyote. The best way to protect  your dog is to go outside with it when you let it out. While a coyote will go  after a dog, they tend to shy away from humans. If you come into contact with a  coyote, it’s suggested that you wave your arms, shout, and do anything you can to scare it away, such as spray it with  a water hose.
  3. If you have a fence, make sure it’s coyote-proof. According  to an article by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources  department, a fence won’t always keep a coyote out. Coyotes can jump over  fences and have the ability to dig under a fence or slide through a fence gap.  While it’s tough to build a fully coyote-proof gate, fences should be a minimum  of 5.5 feet high and should be built on a sloping terrain. To defer a coyote  from climbing, fences should not exceed 6 inches between stays. In addition, a  galvanized wire-mesh apron can be buried beneath a fence to hinder a coyote from  digging under. An additional way to ensure that a coyote won’t leap your fence  is to install a coyote roller, which rolls off an animal that tries to climb the  fence.
  4. Keep coyotes wild: Do your part to make sure that coyotes  remain fearful of humans. Don’t feed coyotes or leave food out for them. This  will cause them to come back to your area and to become accustomed to humans.  Don’t put your trash out at night, as coyotes tend to be most active in the  evenings and early mornings. Also make sure to securely seal the lids of your  garage cans so that coyotes don’t smell food and come into suburban areas.
  5. Keep your dog on a leash when walking it outside: A dog  running loose will attract a wandering coyote. Keeping your dog on a short leash  when walking, especially through areas where coyotes tend to thrive, will help  to ensure its safety.

As coyotes are moving into urban areas, attacks on domestic dogs are on the  rise. A study conducted by a the Cook County, Illinois Coyote Project found that  60% of recent attacks were on smaller breeds such as Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus and Jack Russells.

While tinier breeds are the preferred targets, coyotes have also been known  to attack larger breeds, such as Labradors and German shepherds, especially if  traveling in a pack.  This past January, a pack of three coyotes went after a Chicago area man’s  German shepherd puppy,  beagle, and golden retriever. The pack chased the dogs through the woods, leapt  over the owner’s backyard fence, and even broke the glass on the door of the  house trying to get at the dogs.

Keep your pets safe by taking the above precautions to avoid coming into  contact with coyotes and other wildlife.

  • by Nicole Pajer

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