The human population is growing and we are spreading into areas where wildlife once ruled. Coyotes are seen more and more in urban areas where they used to reside only in the countryside. Housing developments and natural habitat destruction like flooding and wildfires are forcing them into finding new territories. Just because you don’t see them, you can’t assume they’re not there. Coyotes now live in each part of North America. One single coyote’s range from their den is a radius of 12 miles, and they tend to be nocturnal so they typically hunt at night, but may also hunt during the day. Coyotes are adaptable and opportunistic, taking advantage of unintentional human behaviors that provide easy water and food to them. But there are some things you can do to keep your pets safe from coyotes.
Coexisting With Coyotes
They’re just like any other wildlife. We must learn to coexist with them as peacefully as possible. They have just as much a right to be living, as humans and our pets. We don’t wish them any harm. Having said that, we want to keep our pets, and us, safe from being hurt or eaten by coyotes.
If you see a coyote, get big. You will want to appear larger than the animal to scare it off. Raise your arms and wave them around. Shout loud to scare it off. If you are wearing a jacket, open it up and slap it around.
Keep dogs close to you, but don’t bend over toward them. It may be suggested to pick up small dogs, however, if you are not within close range of the coyote.
Carry large colorful umbrellas and some golf balls or rocks in your pocket. You can close and open the umbrella a few times, put it over your shoulder to look big, and if they don’t head the other way, throw the rocks and golf balls at the coyote.
You can also carry air horns and blow them to scare the coyotes away.
What NOT To Do Around Coyotes
Do not turn your back on them and run away. If you do this, you are acting like prey. Do not throw your food at them. If you are within fifty feet of them, do not bend down to pick up small animals. This makes you look like you are small and cowering. Get pets as close to you as possible and get big.
Keeping Dogs Safe Around Coyotes
You should walk your dog on a 6-foot or shorter leash. Walking in high pedestrian areas with traffic is preferred. Try not to establish regular routines and leave at different times every day. Walking different routes every day will avoid setting up patterns for the coyotes to detect. They will stalk you to learn your routines. Further, avoid paths near abandoned properties or bushy areas.
It’s never okay to let your dog play with coyotes. Don’t encourage your dog to interact with the coyotes. Do not use your dog as bait to play with them.
Do not feed the coyotes. When coyotes are fed by a human, they lose their natural fear of humans. This is very dangerous to them. You might be okay, but the next person or small child with their pet might not be so lucky.
Keep Pets Indoors
When possible, if you want to keep your pets safe from coyotes, keep them indoors. A pet who is kept indoors is safe. Pets allowed to roam free, like cats, are not.
Deter Coyotes With Yard Maintenance
Clear brush and vegetation in your yard. Remove any small animal habitats that might attract coyotes and remove areas where the coyotes can hide while they stalk their prey.
You can install cat posts higher than 7 ft, with platforms at the top for cats to use as an escape from coyotes. The posts must be made of materials that the cats can climb, like tree bark, outdoor carpet, or sisal rope. When a cat is being chased by a predator, it can hopefully climb the post and sit on the platforms until they are gone.
Remove items that attract coyotes like pet food, compost piles, fountains and fish ponds, garbage, small animals like rabbits and chickens, and bird feeders.
By being prepared and alert, there are several ways humans, coyotes, and other animals can successfully coexist in nature.