From January 15th to March 15th, coyotes from Canada to Mexico go through their mating cycle. While coyotes can be a year round concern, they become more territorial and aggressive during mating season. Coyotes can jump fences and have no respect for human territory. Smaller breeds such as Yorkies are more susceptible to being attacked.
Many of you might be thinking – hey, I live in a city, there’s no wildlife here, so this coyote issue doesn’t apply to me. Unfortunately, things are changing. in 2014 woman was attacked by a coyote walking her dog in Rockland County, New York.
A friend of Dogsized also lost their dog to a coyote when she was walking in her gated community with both her child and her dog when the coyote attacked and took their dog. We’ve also heard about celebrities (e.g. Jessica Simpson and Ozzy Osbourne) that have lost their dogs to coyotes.
Attacks are on the rise in urban areas. In 2015, within two weeks, there were 6 sightings of coyotes in NYC!
What can you do to keep your dogs safe?
Top priority is awareness. As scavengers, coyotes are looking for food. They hunt most actively at night and they will raid your garbage. They emerge from their dens in the early evening to begin their hunt for food and return in the early morning.
Coyotes are opportunists, so it’s important to take cautions not to give them an opportunity. For example:
- Keep small dogs and other pets indoors from dusk until dawn.
- Feed your pets indoors or if you feed them outdoors do so during the day and never leave pet food out at night.
- Make sure trash is not left outside in bags and that all trash cans have secure lids with locking mechanisms. Secure the cans to a fence or wall with rope or elastic cord so the trash cannot be tipped over.
- Install motion sensitive lights in your back yard and around your house
- Remove your bird feeders and outdoor pet food containers – coyotes will prey upon the small mammals that are attracted to them.
- Remember – coyotes can jump fences and walls. They are also good diggers and will dig under fences. So even if you have a tall fence around your backyard might not keep your dog safe outside. You need to take steps to make your fence “coyote proof”
- For more information on Coyotes, please visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife page on Coyotes.
We’re not anti-coyote, but want to inform you that this really is an issue. Don’t think that because you and your dog are in an urban environment that you’re safe. Definitely be more aware during January – March, especially at night. More questions? Check out these FAQs.