You may have spotted coyotes at the edge of your property, at the side of the road, or at a park. At first, they look like medium-sized mutts, at 20 to 50 pounds, but that grizzled mane and yellow eyes make them unlike any domestic animal.
Coyotes live all across the United States, even in Maryland, and they’re a danger to pets. While they mostly hunt rabbits, mice and voles, they’ll go after a cat or a small dog that proves to be an easy meal. Coyotes also may attack and even mate with large dogs.
How to Keep Cats Safe from Coyotes
Cats are small enough to be a tempting meal for a coyote, especially when they’re too old, overweight or debilitated to run away. Free-roaming cats are in danger of not only coyotes, but also other cats, wild animals and cars; if they’re lucky, they’ll get picked up by animal control. Your cat should never be allowed to roam the neighborhood, no matter how invincible or street-wise they seem to be.
If your cat loves adventure, you can take them for a leashed walk, or build them a catio – an enclosed outdoor space that keeps your cat safe while they enjoy the fresh air.
How to Keep Dogs Safe from Coyotes
Small dogs are at risk for becoming a coyote’s meal, especially if they’re tied up and unable to run away. Never leave your small dog outside unattended, especially if you do not have a tall fence that can keep coyotes out. Underground fence systems do not keep wild animals from wandering onto your property.
Coyotes sometimes tempt large, friendly dogs to run off with them, others may get into fights. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, they could mate with a coyote and have coydog puppies. It is illegal to own a coydog in Maryland and many other states, so if you’re found owning, selling, or giving away the puppies, they may be euthanized.
Keep Coyotes out of Your Yard
If you’ve seen coyotes roaming near your home, you should discourage them from coming back – even though they are majestic creatures. If they get too comfortable around humans, they’ll be more likely to attack.
Avoid leaving food and garbage accessible to wild animals. Secure your trash cans, and don’t leave bowls of pet food outside. If you must feed your pets outside, pick up the bowls within 20 minutes to avoid attracting wildlife. If you see coyotes, or any other wild animal in your yard, call animal control to have it humanely trapped and safely relocated.
Staying Safe in Areas with Coyotes
If you are visiting a park or hiking trail known to have coyotes, you should keep your dog on a leash. You can use a long line, or a few leashes clipped together if the freedom makes hiking more enjoyable for your dog.
You can purchase a jacket for your dog that is covered in spikes that will make it difficult for a coyote to bite. However, these are not the best first line of defense. They do not protect your pet’s face or legs.
You should also have a strategy for scaring away a coyote. Most are afraid of people and will run away if you shout or clap loudly. You may want to carry a can full of pennies as a noisemaker, a squirt bottle, or you can throw small rocks in the coyote’s general direction. The goal is to scare the animal away, not injure them.
Ready Pet Go Is Devoted to Keeping Maryland and DC Pets Safe
Leaving your pets outside when you’re not home leaves them vulnerable to many dangers. Your Ready Pet Go pet sitter can take your dog for potty walks throughout the day, and make sure your cat’s litter box is clean.
Contact us or call 240-221-5335 to schedule a Meet & Greet.