Protect Fido and Fifi from Coyotes

I was very saddened to read of the Yorkie in a Chicago suburb who was carried off by coyotes this week (full article).  My heart goes out to his owners.  Unfortunately, coyotes are becoming more and more prevalent in the suburbs which puts our precious fur babies at a serious risk.  Research is showing these urban coyotes are living longer, becoming more active , and are less scared of humans than their rural kin. Smaller pets are especially at risk due to their similarity to small prey.  Coyote attacks can happen so quickly that your pet can be carried away while only a few feet from you.  A 6-foot high fence didn’t even stop a coyote in Wheaton, IL from going after a small dog.  Luckily the owner was able to scare off the coyote, and the dog was able to survive.

Now I’m not advocating a coyote war to wipe them off the face of the earth.  They are wild animals just following their instinct to survive.  They’re pushed out of their habitats by new development and town expansions. However, my fur baby is not on the menu!  Since coyotes are becoming a way of life in the suburbs (my friend actually saw a few not far from my house), I decided it was high time to research how to protect Suki.  Here’s what I learned:

Protecting Dogs from Coyotes (applies to cats as well):


Coyotes are more active at night.  Don’t leave any pets outside for the night, and keep them closely supervised anytime outside during the day.

Keep your dog on a leash.  If you spot a coyote, you can pull your dog back or even pick up a smaller dog.  Chasing after a loose dog gives the coyote more opportunity to grab him/her.  Plus your precious pet make chase the coyote which won’t end well. Remember, coyotes are very quick!

Try to avoid wooded/bushy areas. Don’t let your dog go into wooded areas or heavy bush coverings.  Clear areas of dense brush from around your house.

Keep pet food indoors. Coyotes aren’t stupid…they go for easy food.  Pet food left out can attract a coyote looking for a meal.  Don’t feed wildlife either.  You don’t want coyotes associating your yard with a buffet.

Install a “coyote specific” fence.  There are special fence specifications which can help prevent a coyote, though nothing is 100% guaranteed.  Not only should it be at least 6-feet high, but the fence needs to be buried at least 12-inches since coyotes can dig.   You can also install a “coyote roller” on the top of the fence.  It rolls coyotes off when they try to go under it.

Coyotes learn schedules.  Believe it or not, coyotes can actually learn our daily schedules.  If you always take Fifi out at 10 pm to relieve herself, the coyote learns this and can lay in wait.  That just astonishes me.

Carry a noise maker.  Loud noises may scare off the coyotes.  There are some compact sized bull horns in stores.

Be Extra Vigilant in Early Spring.  This is the mating season for coyotes, so sightings can increase.  They may also be more aggressive during this time.

Walk with others.  If possible, walk your dogs with friends and their dogs.  Form your own pack rather than being a single target.

What happens if you still find yourself face to face with a coyote?  Part 2 of the series lists Dos and Don’ts for surviving an encounter.

For more information, has a great article on coyotes and pets.


Posted on November 7, 2012, in Paw Worthy News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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