The regular presence of coyotes is a new reality for many cities and suburban communities across the U.S. Coyotes are found in every state except Hawaii and have easily adjusted to life in populated human developments, including large cities, due to their adaptability and the easy availability of food sources. Researchers estimate that there are 2,000 coyotes living in downtown Chicago!
Keeping dogs and cats safe from coyotes is no longer just a concern for rural pet owners. All pet owners should be aware of the dangers of coyotes to their pets and take steps to safeguard their small dogs and cats from coyote attacks.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Keep a close eye on your pets if they are outside during the night, and at dusk and dawn. Coyotes are most active at these times.
- When walking your dog, keep him close to you on a short leash, particularly if you are walking him on a nature trail or in a wooded area.
- Cats are safe from coyote attacks when they are kept indoors. Cats allowed to roam freely around the neighborhood are at greatest risk. Cats have also been taken from backyards.
- Don’t keep garbage or pet food out in the open in the yard. You should also pick up any fallen fruit and scattered bird seed, and make sure your compost bin is tightly sealed. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and these food sources are attractive to them.
- If you encounter a coyote in your yard or while walking your dog, practice the “hazing” technique to shoo them away. Wave your arms and shout while approaching the coyote. You can also use whistles, bells or other noisemakers, or throw rocks or spray the hose at a coyote. Teach young children to never run away from a coyote as this could trigger a chase.
For more information on keeping your pets (and feral cat colonies) safe from coyotes, click HERE.