It’s a fact, coyotes have been spreading across all parts of the U.S. in record numbers. Whether you live in a rural community, a suburban development, or a big city like New York or Chicago, chances are there are coyotes coexisting with the human population where you live. How do you protect your pets from coyote attacks? Here are some useful tips from the Humane Society of the United States.
Small dogs in particular are vulnerable to coyote attacks. If there are coyotes in your area, be sure not to leave your dog unattended in the yard. When walking your dog, make sure he is always on a short leash. Keep pet food bowls (and other things that attract coyotes like bird seed) out of the yard. Consider installing coyote-resistant fencing, which ideally should be 6 feet tall and also extend underground. While coyotes will more often go after small dogs, coyotes may pursue large dogs if they feel their territory is threatened during mating season (January-March). Be aware of this when walking with your dog on paths and trails.
If you encounter a coyote in your yard or on a walk with your dog, try these “hazing” techniques: yell and wave your arms while walking towards the coyote; keep some type of noisemaker (whistle, bell, horn, etc.) in the yard and bring one with you on walks; throw sticks, small rocks, or balls towards the coyote; spray the coyote with a garden hose; bring pepper spray or a water gun filled with vinegar on walks.
Cats allowed to roam the neighborhood or spend time unattended in the yard are vulnerable to coyote attacks…and many other hazards. The solution is simple. Indoor-only cats are safe from attacks from coyotes and other animals, as well as being hit by cars, and falling victim to diseases and poisons.
Many well-meaning people who feed feral cat colonies are not aware that the combination of the cats and bowls of cat food can prove irresistible to coyotes. Feed feral cats once a day at the same time and always pick up leftover food. Feed them in areas high off the ground if possible. Place tall posts near feral cat colonies so the cats can climb them to escape a coyote. Practice the above coyote hazing techniques if you see coyotes near feral cat colonies.
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