How to Protect Your Dog From Coyotes
Coyotes are a growing problem, as year after year, there are more sightings and attacks. No longer just an issue for rural areas, coyotes are increasingly more comfortable in urban settings and around the general public. They may also be carriers of disease and parasites that they can pass along to your dog. As a result, it’s important to know what you can do to avoid an attack and to keep your dog safe from these wild creatures.
What can you do to discourage and avoid coyotes?
Coyotes are most active during dawn or dusk, so whenever possible, avoid walking your dog at those times, and if you do take them for a walk during those hours, make sure they are always on leash. Never leave your dog outside unattended, even in your own backyard, especially if they’re a small or medium-sized dog.
You can discourage coyotes from entering your backyard by removing any temptations. Minimize the risk of attracting a coyote by keeping all food out of your yard, including pet food, bowls of water, and bird feeders. It’s also a good idea to seal off your garbage cans, pick up any fallen fruit, and secure and cover any vegetable gardens or composters. Finally, keep hedges and bushes trimmed to avoid creating hiding spaces for coyotes. If you do see a coyote in your yard, make an effort to scare them off, so they don’t feel comfortable hanging around.
What should you do if you and your dog are approached or followed by a coyote?
If you spot a coyote, but it doesn’t see you, avoid it and leave the area quickly and quietly. However, if the coyote spots you or is following you, your first move should be to leash or pick up your dog (if possible), and attempt to scare the coyote off. Yell and make a lot of noise, or even consider carrying a noise-making device, such as an air horn, whistle, or can filled with coins. Wave your arms in the air, raise your coat above your head, and act aggressively to make the coyote think you are a threat. Whatever you do, do not turn your back or run. The coyote will take this as a sign that you are prey, and they can easily outrun you. If the coyote continues to watch or follow you, walk away from them backwards.
What should you do if your dog is attacked?
If your dog is attacked by a coyote, take them to a veterinarian immediately. Not only could your dog be seriously injured by the attack, but they are also at risk of contracting infectious diseases like rabies. Immediate medical care is crucial for your dog’s survival. Also be sure to report the coyote attack to the appropriate local authorities.
We hope you never encounter a coyote or have to deal with an attack, but just in case, it’s a good idea to be educated about precautions, so you can ensure that you and your dog stay safe and out of harm’s way.