We are fortune enough to be surrounded by wildlife in our beautiful county! This means that we get to enjoy hiking, fishing and at the abundance of plants and animals in our region. That also means that some unwanted creatures are usually lurking somewhere around our backyards. One of the most common predators in our area is the coyote, which are responsible for a handful of dog attacks each year.
Whether or not you have spotted a coyote in your backyard, you should still be prepared as they oftentimes surface at night and can appear out of nowhere, even when letting your dog out to use the bathroom before bed.
Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe from local coyotes:
Keep your dog on a leash (especially small dogs).
While fencing helps, fences that aren’t sturdy or those less than 6 feet tall aren’t very effective against coyotes. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to attacks, so we recommend walking your dog on a leash when outdoors.
Don’t put food or water outside.
The smell of food is just as appetizing to a coyote as it is to your pet, so if you leave food outside and easily accessible, coyotes may be drawn to your backyard. Especially if you keep it outside, they will learn to frequent your house.
Avoid tying your dog up outdoors.
By tying your dog up, not only are you exposing them to the elements, you are putting them on display for a hungry coyote with no escape. If you leave during the day, crate your dog inside where he or she is safer.
Be mindful of sensitive seasons.
Coyotes are very protective creatures, so they are bound to be a bit more on-edge during certain seasons throughout the year. During mating season (January through March) they are not only traveling to find a mate, and likely to be protective in their new environment, but they are also more aggressive.
When they aren’t provoked, coyotes usually mind their own business and will move on if there is nothing around your home keeping them interested. However, it’s important to remain mindful because as natural resources become vast, they may venture to more urban locations to survive. Especially if you have a small dog, be cautious of letting him or her out alone at night and keep all enticing foods inside at all times.
Should your pet come in contact with a coyote, please seek veterinary care immediately. Not only may there be some medical concerns if contact was made, but coyotes can also carry diseases.
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014