Protect Your Pets from Coyotes
Coyotes pose a serious threat to pets, both cats and dogs, in both rural and urban areas. They normally prey on small animals such as rats and rabbits but may also attack cats and even dogs, especially smaller breeds. The good news is that coyote attacks on pets can be prevented.
Protecting Cats from Coyotes
Cats are at high risk of coyote attacks. The best way to prevent coyotes from harming or possibly even killing your cat is to keep her inside all the times or at least during the night when coyotes are most active. If/when letting your cat outside, never leave her alone in the yard, especially if coyote sightings are common in your community. In the latter case, it is recommended not to let cats outside at all. Most veterinarians agree that indoor cats are just as happy as those that are allowed to go outside. Also, they are not exposed to other outside threats and on average live longer.
Protecting Dogs from Coyotes
Coyote attacks on dogs are relatively rare, especially those involving larger breeds although the risk is there. There have also been reports of coyotes attacking larger dogs; these are most likely to happen if ‘invading’ the coyotes’ territory. They are especially territorial during the breeding season from January to March.
When it comes to coyote threat to smaller dog breeds, the risk is similar to that posed to cats. For that reason it is of utmost importance never to leave the dog outside unattended and always keep him on the leash outside your yard. For obvious reasons, the dog shouldn’t be allowed to interact or play with coyotes.
Making Your Yard Coyote-Proof
In addition to following the above mentioned protective measures against coyotes, it is also advisable to make your yard safe from coyotes and other predators that can harm your pet. The simplest and the most effective way to keep coyotes out of your yard is to erect a fence that is at least six feet high and extends to the ground at least six inches.
Other Methods to Keep Coyotes Away from Your Pet
In addition to installing a fence to keep coyotes out of your yard, you are also recommended to:
– Never leave any pet food outside. Feed your cat or dog inside and make sure that trash is out of reach to wildlife.
– Don’t keep bird feeders in your yard. In addition to attracting birds, they may also attract rodents which in turn can attract coyotes.
– Regularly trim shrubs if having any, keep the lawn short and make sure that there are no wildlife nests or habitats. That way you will remove potential hiding places for coyotes and repel small animals that may attract coyotes.
– Lock pet doors. Coyotes are very intelligent and bold. If you keep pet doors unlocked, they won’t hesitate to enter your home and attack your pet.
– Walk your dog with other people (and dogs) if coyote sightings are common in your community. Groups of people and dogs are less likely to be attacked.
What to Do if You Encounter a Coyote?
If you run into a coyote when walking your dog, you should never run or turn your back to the animal. Instead, make a lot of noise, wave your arms, etc. The goal is to appear as big and intimidating as possible to scare the coyote away.