Urban sprawl continues to contribute to the loss of the natural habitats of many wild animals both large and small. As a result, encounters between humans and wild animals have increased over the past years. These encounters do not always end pleasantly. Both humans and wild animals have a natural instinct to protect their territory, especially when they feel threatened. Originally found only in the northwest corner of the United States, coyotes now roam wild throughout North America. They have been sighted from Alaska all the way to the New England states and down to Florida. Their principal diet consists primarily of rabbits, squirrels, small rodents, reptiles and the edible fruits of wild plants. They are opportunistic hunters, however, so they will subsist on any prey that they can overpower. Unfortunately, due to increasing encounters between humans and coyotes, this can sometimes include your small dog or cat.
Keep Your Pets Close
If you live in an area with a large coyote population, avoid leaving your pets out of the house overnight or alone outside for an extended period of time. Always leash your dogs when you walk them to prevent them from running after other animals, including coyotes. Keep in mind that although coyotes are wild animals, they can breed with domesticated dogs. (The fruit of this union has been referred to as "coydogs.") Keeping your dog leashed will prevent any unwanted pups. Coyotes do not hibernate for the winter, so keep your pets indoors or close to you throughout the year.
Do Not Be a Food or Water Source
Leaving food and water outside your house will attract coyotes, especially during the summer months when water may become scarce. Make sure your garbage cans are securely covered as coyotes have been known to forage for food from open trash cans.
Coyotes tend to be more aggressive during their mating season (January-February) and throughout pup breeding months (April-May). Be especially vigilant during these times of the year and be extra mindful of your pets. When threatened, coyotes will not hesitate to attack much bigger dogs and even humans.Keep in mind that there are laws that govern the proper and humane way of dealing with wild animals, including coyotes. Call us if you need assistance with any type of animal control, including coyotes, rats, squirrels and bats. We can also help you with termite infestation, bed bugs and mosquito control.