Residents of urban and even suburban environments often think that their families and pets are safe from random coyote attacks. However, coyotes are living in suburbs, towns, and cities, and because they are nocturnal, they aren't often detected. Coyotes can actually be good for urban and suburban ecosystems because they help keep rodent populations at bay. However, if your household includes domestic dogs, you should take precautions to ensure that your furry friends are safe from their wild cousins. Following are four ways to keep your canine companions safe from marauding coyotes.
Keep Your Pets Indoors at Night
As stated earlier, coyotes are nocturnal creatures. Keeping your pets indoors at night will go a long way toward keeping them safe from coyotes. If it is absolutely impossible for you to keep them inside at night, keep them in a sturdy outdoor kennel and inspect it often for structural defects that might allow a coyote to gain access.
Get Your Female Dog Spayed
Coyotes and domestic dogs are capable of interbreeding, and the scent of a female heat will draw coyotes from miles around. Male coyotes that are attracted by the scent of a female dog in heat will also be more aggressive than usual. Keeping your female indoors won't prevent coyotes from catching her scent, so have her spayed at the veterinarian's office.
Have No Tolerance for Trash
A sure way to attract coyotes and other wildlife to your property is to be careless with household trash. Keep your garbage cans in the garage until the morning of trash pickup day is recommended. Those without a garage or other appropriate place If you have outdoor cookouts in your backyard, you should take care to pick up all traces of refuse before you go inside for the night. Also, coyotes aren't completely carnivorous—they love apples, plums, pears, cherries, and other tree fruits, so keep fallen fruit picked up.
Don't Leave Pet Food Outside
If you feed your pets outside, make certain to empty any remnants of food in their bowls on a nightly basis. There are few things that coyotes love more than helping themselves to leftover pet food. Coyotes may also be attracted to outdoor water sources, so you should empty your pet's outdoor water bowls before turning in for the evening.
Because many coyote encounters occur during the evening and night hours when regular animal care clinics aren't open, dog owners should keep the number of a local emergency vet clinic handy. One of the last things you want to do in the event that your dog gets attacked by a coyote is to scramble to find available medical assistance.