Coyotes prey on small pets in both rural and urban areas, viewing them as an easy food source or as threats to their territory or offspring. Protecting your pets involves taking precautions to discourage coyote encroachment and using caution when you and your pet go about your daily activities.
Supervise Your Pets
Your pets should never be left alone outside in areas coyotes are known to haunt. Small animals like cats and small-breed dogs are especially vulnerable to coyote attacks. Avoid using tie-outs for your pets. If you use an outside kennel, make sure it’s securely enclosed and secure. When walking your dog, avoid retractable leashes, which are difficult to rein in quickly. Keep your dog close beside you in well-lit, populated areas that have low vegetation. Group walks are even better, as there’s safety in numbers.
Never run from a coyote -- the coyote will consider you as prey to chase. Instead, yell, wave your arms and throw things at the coyote to scare the predator away. A walking stick can serve as an effective defensive mechanism.
Coyote-Proof Your Yard
Coyotes can jump and dig, but a 6- to 8-foot enclosure buried at least 6 inches in the ground can deter them. Add angled wire mesh along the top of the perimeter to deter jumpers. Install motion-detecting lights and water sprinklers around the perimeter of your yard, and eliminate overgrown brush, which otherwise serves as a coyote hiding spot.
Bird feeders attract birds, and birds attract coyotes. Protect your pets by removing feeders from your yard.
Don’t Feed the Coyotes
Some coyotes wander into urban neighborhoods because humans feed them intentionally or unintentionally. Don’t give them reason to come into your yard. Keep trash cans tightly closed; keep garbage cans sealed and put them out only on pick-up day. Don’t leave out pet dishes full of food; remove rotten fruits that fall from your trees. These are all coyote attractants. Once coyotes are accustomed to a populated area, pets become endangered.
Keep your pets' rabies, distemper and parvovirus vaccinations up to date to protect against infection in the event of a coyote attack.