With suburban neighbourhoods sprawling, we are seeing a frightening increase in coyote encounters in both our canine and feline patients. Coyotes are rarely aggressive towards humans, however, they often view our canine/feline companions as food or mates.
As coyotes tend to travel in packs, even large dogs can be gravely injured in an encounter. Our feline friends, unfortunately, do not stand much of a chance at all. If you have an unaltered dog you should be taking extra precautions. Coyotes can and will mate with an unaltered female and male dogs. Another fact to keep in mind is coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals, therefore you should avoid leaving your pets outside unattended after dusk. That being said, if they are hungry enough, they may be seen during the day.
Another fact to keep in mind is coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals, therefore you should avoid leaving your pets outside unattended after dusk. That being said, if they are hungry enough, they may be seen during the day.
Here are some basic tips for coexisting with coyotes:
If you meet a coyote while out and about:
- DO NOT APPROACH
- Do not turn your back and run
- Slowly back away while making lots of noise
- Keep pets on a leash, especially in wooded areas
- Coyotes are nocturnal, avoid wooded areas after dusk
If you are having a coyote problem on your property:
- Never feed coyotes, if you feed them, they will return
- Secure garbage in a garage or shed, this is a food source for a hungry coyote
- Use motion sensor lights as a deterrent
- Fence your yard, especially where your pets go out
- Your fence should be a least 6ft tall, as well as 6 inches below the ground as coyotes are great diggers
- Rollers can be added to the top of your fence to discourage them from climbing over
- Clear away bushes and other hiding places
If you are having repeated problems with coyotes on your property contact The Ministry of Natural Resources.
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Written by Caitlin, RVT