Reminder: Keep Your Dog Safe From Coyotes in the Winter

Reminder: Keep Your Dog Safe From Coyotes in the Winter
Reminder: Keep Your Dog Safe From Coyotes in the Winter

(Photo Credit: Seyedomid Mostafavi via Getty)

During the late winter months, you may see an uptick in coyote sightings. These omnivores breed during January and February and, consequently, tend to be more aggressive in this timeframe. Coyotes are also known for not discriminating against seemingly uninhabitable living areas; they like the city just as much as they like the woods.

For dog parents, this means being extra careful with your pups during coyote mating season. Here are some safety guidelines for avoiding any coyote encounters this winter.

Don’t Leave Your Dog Outside Unattended

Obviously, leaving a domestic dog outside is no way to treat a pet. However, some herding canines, like a variety of Sheepdogs, like frolicking in a fenced-in yard all day and coming in at night. While you should never leave your dog outside unattended at any time of the year, these dogs may be an exception.

Still, even if you have a Sheepdog who prefers to be outside during the day, you should keep a watchful eye. Coyotes are not likely to attack dogs — especially during the day — but it isn’t unheard of. Recently, a coyote followed a child walking a dog in Massachusetts. As humans encroach more into coyote territory, more sightings like this are expected.

Pick Up Your Trash

This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t leave trash outside your home. Coyotes love garbage. The less of an incentive they have to be around your home, the better.

Don’t Expect Fences to Act as a Barrier

Coyotes are perfectly capable of jumping a fence. Don’t tempt them by leaving an unwatched dog on the other side.

Be Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

There are some accounts of rabid coyotes attacking both humans and dogs. Making sure your dog is protected from potential disease spread in the event of a coyote attack is a simple and important thing to do. Surviving a coyote attack only to succumb to rabies is a devastating end for a dog and terrible to watch for their human.

Don’t Bring Your Dog on an Overnight Hike

Hiking in the winter months can be a fun activity for people and pups. However, if you’re planning to stay overnight on a campground, you might want to consider leaving your dog at home. Being outside in rural wilderness is dangerous for humans and even more so for domestic dogs. This is especially true if your dog is a smaller breed, like a Jack Russell or Pomeranian. These smaller dogs are far more likely to be eaten by a coyote than larger breeds.

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