Coyotes are commonplace out in rural, urban and suburban areas. And unfortunately they can be dangerous for our pets. Here are actions you can take to protect your pet from coyote attacks and what you should do if your pet is ever bitten by one of these animals.
How to Help Prevent Coyote Attacks
Coyotes aren’t going anywhere and they pose a threat to pets. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent coyote attacks:
- Know that sometimes dogs are drawn to to coyotes and vice versa. The two animals are genetically similar and might try to mate although it’s not terribly common. Usually, though, it’s the dog who initiates.
- Don’t feed wild animals. This attracts coyotes to neighborhoods and people’s yards.
- Also don’t feed your pet outside. This attracts coyotes to your yard. If you do feed your pet outside, do it while it’s still sunny and pick up any leftover food immediately.
- Never leave your pet outside unattended. Always supervise your pet if you let them outside and don’t let them wander too far away when outdoors.
- Keep your pet on a non-retractable leash. Unfortunately retractable leashes don’t offer enough control if your animal runs into a coyote.
- Don’t walk your pets at night or during twilight hours. If you do decide to walk them during these times, carry a flashlight.
- Be extra alert during breeding season for coyotes. These animals have babies in April and are super protective of their children April through August.
- Outfit your pet with an anti-coyote jacket.
- Remove anything else from your yard that might attract coyotes such as dirty grills, compost, birdseed, fallen fruit, trash and unsecured garbage cans.
- Make sure your yard isn’t a coyote haven. Trim back trees and bushes that make good hiding places for coyotes. You can also install coyote-proof fencing or motion-triggered lights and sprinkler systems that will ward off these predators.
- If you see a coyote in your yard, there are multiple steps you can take to scare them off. Stand straight, maintain eye contact, yell, clap your hands, make loud noises, shine a flashlight and toss rocks or sticks. Quickly and confidently move toward the animal; do not run away from them.
- If you are on a walk with your pet and run into a coyote, make eye contact and back away until you are a safe distance apart.
What to Do If a Coyote Bites Your Pet
If your pet is attacked and bit by a coyote, it’s paramount that you immediately go see your veterinarian. Your vet will likely treat the wound by cleaning it and starting a round of antibiotics. The vet may also give your animal a rabies vaccine booster if vaccine records indicate your pet needs one. While coyotes rarely carry rabies, it’s still possible. You also need to report any coyote attacks to your state’s wildlife agency.
By taking every necessary precaution and keeping a close eye on your animal, it should help avoid any negative interactions with coyotes.