Protecting Your Small Dog From Coyotes
If you’re lucky enough to live near hiking trails or nature reserves, you know the joy of exploring the outdoors with your furry friend in tow. It’s scientifically proven that engagement with nature improves both your well-being and that of your pooch. Not to mention the benefit of social interactions with fellow pet parents in your community.
However, while we all love a brisk stroll in nature, it is important to be mindful of the native animals that call these areas home. Even urban streets can host predators who have strayed from nearby forestry in search of a meal; particularly when food sources are scarce, or in times of drought. So how can you protect your small dog from coyotes or other predators? And what should you do if you should encounter a coyote on a walk with your small dog? Read on for helpful information to keep your pup safe.
Protect your small dog from coyotes, like this jaywalking Wile E.
Small Dogs are Prey for Coyotes
Dogs that are smaller than 40 pounds are typically regarded as prey to coyotes. So if your beloved pack mate is on the smaller side, and you live in an area that borders coyote territory, it’s especially important to avoid walking your dog at night or during twilight hours. If those times are your only option, be sure to carry a flashlight. Having control over your pet in a coyote encounter is vital, so keep to a non-retractable leash.
Crossing Paths with a Coyote
Coyotes are usually wary of humans. If you cross paths with one, hopefully, it’s merely on its way to a known hunting spot. In this case, keep your distance, and stay alert, but don’t engage. Pick up your dog if safe to do so and stand as tall as possible, backing away slowly. If the coyote seems to linger or close distance, you should initiate “hazing” to scare it away. Be as large, noisy, and authoritative as possible, and maintain eye contact. Shine the flashlight at it, and shout or blow a whistle. Wave or clap your hands, and remain facing the animal; do not turn your back on it or run away. Throw small stones, sticks, or anything you can get your hands on. Continue with this ruckus until the animal leaves. The same applies to pairs or packs of coyotes; when the leader retreats, the rest will follow.
Other Protection Options
It’s likely that hazing will successfully encourage the coyote(s) to leave. Still, in the unlikely event that it continues approaching, you may wish to bring humane pepper spray with you on your walk. You might also consider a coyote vest for your pooch, which can hinder an attack (and also look super cool).
This Coyote Vest is one way to protect your small dog from coyotes and other predators.
Protecting Your Space From Small Dog Predators
If you live in an area known to host coyotes, avoid inviting them into your space by closing off all access points leading under your house (a prime den location). Keeping the yard free of open trash, fallen fruit, rotting garden vegetables, and unprotected animal hutches will also help. You should definitely feed your pets inside and keep your dog (and cats) indoors overnight. It’s wise to have some hazing tools on hand should you find a coyote parked on your property. Squirt water from a garden hose, create a “coyote shaker” (i.e., an empty soda can filled with pennies or stones and sealed with duct tape), and use it to make a noisy racket.
If Your Pup is Bitten by a Coyote
If the worst should happen and your dog suffers a bite from a coyote, immediately take your dog to an animal hospital where a veterinarian can tend to the wound and administer antibiotics. While rabies in coyotes is rare, a vet may administer a precautionary vaccine booster.
While you may encounter coyotes more regularly: in the cooler months —as they are forced to search for food during the day— during mating seasons —January to March— or when food supplies are limited, it’s highly likely that by following these steps, your encounter will be brief, and you and your pet will stay out of harm’s way.
Try to avoid walking your small dog at twilight or after dark.
Be Prepared for Any Pet Injury or Illness
If your fur baby were attacked by a coyote or other predator, would you prepared for the emergency costs of treatment? The best thing you can do to prepare yourself, and your finances, for any unexpected illness or injury your fur babies may encounter, is protecting them with a pet health insurance policy. With so many providers and plan options to choose from, there is a pet insurance plan for every budget. Plans start as low as $10 per month, and some will even reimburse up to 90% of those costly vet bills. Do yourself and your fur babies a favor, and get a quote fast from more than a dozen of the top pet insurance providers in the country. Peace of mind is only a click away.
Engagement with natural beauty moderates the positive relation between connectedness with nature and psychological well-being. Wei Zhang, J., Howell, T.R., Iyer, R. Journal of Environmental Psychology. Volume 38, June 2014
How to Protect Your Pet From Coyote Attacks, Retrieved from Michelson Found Animals, https://www.foundanimals.org/how-to-protect-your-pet-from-coyote-attacks/
Safety Tips For Pet Owners, retrieved from: https://www.coyotesmarts.org/
Want to Get Happy? Walk the Dog. Reisen, J. Retrieved from: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/want-to-get-happy-walk-the-dog/