So you might think…”Why do I care about coyotes? I live in a huge city!” However, according to a recent estimate about 2,000 coyotes currently live in the same area that you, more than likely, do as well….. Cook County. Just check out this article from a Portland newspaper that talk about a coyote population right here in the Chicago area.
So what to do to keep your pet safe? I got to thinking about this the other day when I spotted a coyote running across the road on the way to work. It is possible that your Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Terrier, shih-tzus or other small dog could end up a tasty snack for Wile E?
More than likely the answer is no but there are a few things you can do to keep the odds stacked in your pooches favor. These begin in your own back yard and are especially helpful if you leave your dog out on nice days to enjoy the outside.
- If possible install a 6 foot tall fence or higher. This height will deter coyotes but not eliminate them.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting.
- Trim landscaping to eliminate hiding places.
- Remove bird feeders, pick up fallen fruits and nuts from trees, and regularly harvest gardens; the food attracts not only coyotes but also their natural prey.
- Keep trash cans in the garage or secure the tops until garbage day.
These efforts will also discourage other animals like possums and raccoons from creating messes in your yard and alley. Also, if you happen to be out on a walk and you spot a coyote most times the coyote will simply run off to avoid detection. However, if they do not it is suggested that you get a firm grip on your leash and wave your arms and yell loudly at the animal. If that fails throw something, anything, at the coyote and it should simply run off as encounters with people are very rare. More than likely this is all academic but as Ben Franklin once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” for your Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Terrier, shih-tzus or other small dog.
Chris Stavrianos, Owner