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Will Coyotes Attack Dogs? 8 Ways to Protect Your Pup

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

coyote on brown grass

Will Coyotes Attack Dogs? 8 Ways to Protect Your Pup

When you think of coyotes, you might imagine them out in the wild, but the truth is that as coyotes’ natural habitats shrink, they are moving closer to where people live. And while they might go for chickens or other livestock first, if they are hungry enough, coyotes will absolutely try to make a meal out of dogs and cats, too. This means if you have a dog, it could be at risk.1

However, there are ways to protect your pup from a coyote attack. Most ways to keep your dog safe are simple and, combined, are very effective. Below you’ll find eight ways to protect your favorite canine companion from coyotes!

Coyote Attacks on Dogs

You may have heard rumors about coyotes, such as that they only hunt at night or that these animals can lure your dog away from you to attack. Well, not all the rumors are 100% accurate.

While coyotes do hunt most often at night, they can and do hunt during the day as well.2 As coyotes get used to humans, they’re more likely to come closer to homes and neighborhoods during the day. And if there aren’t many people around (such as in a rural area), a coyote will take advantage to go day hunting. So, your pup may not be entirely safe being tied up in the yard during the day if you live in a rural area. Also good to know is that coyotes are more likely to attack other animals during winter,3 as that is their breeding season, meaning they need more food to keep their offspring fed.

When it comes to whether coyotes lure dogs away from their owners, that’s a myth. That doesn’t mean, though, that your dog won’t pick up on a coyote that’s nearby and give chase! So, ensure your pet knows to come when it’s called and stay when it should in order to stop this from occurring.

And one thing you might not know about coyotes is that not all are fighters; some are lovers. So, they will sometimes mate with dogs—although this is rare due to how limited a coyote’s mating season is. The result is a Coydog,4 which is a bit different from other dog breeds due to its coyote parentage. For example, these dogs can make a hissing sound when threatened, which is definitely not a typical dog trait!

Coyote looking straight at the camera
Image By: MoniCh647, Pixabay

The 8 Ways to Protect Your Pup From Coyotes

Though coyotes tend to go for smaller dog breeds more often than larger ones, that doesn’t mean they will never attack a large breed dog. So, use these tips for any size dog if you’re worried about coyote attacks.

  • Don’t leave your dog alone outside! A coyote attack can happen in an instant, so always keep an eye on your pet when it’s outdoors.
  • Use a shorter leash when on walks. Coyotes are wary of humans, so the closer your dog is to you, the better off it’ll be.
  • Use motion-sensing lights in your yard. With these, you’ll see if a coyote approaches during the evening (and most coyotes will turn back from a yard being lit up, too).
  • Be loud. If a coyote approaches while you’re out with your pup, be loud, as this can scare them away. You might want to bring a horn or loud noisemaker out with you while walking your pet.
  • Invest in a coyote vest for small-breed dogs. What is a coyote vest? It is the invention of a family who lost their small dog to a coyote. It features a collar made with Kevlar and lots of spikes, all of which make it more difficult for a coyote to bite a dog.
  • Secure garbage. Much like raccoons, coyotes will happily dig through your trash for a meal, and if they know you leave garbage cans out routinely, they’ll come back again and again. Using animal-proof garbage cans and only taking cans out to the road on trash day will make your yard safer for your dog.
  • Keep your yard clean. Know what else attracts coyotes to your yard? Dog poop. Make sure you’re picking up after your pet when it goes out.
  • Put up coyote-proof fencing. Coyotes are athletic and incredible diggers on top of that, so regular fences aren’t going to keep them out. Aim for a fence at least 6 feet tall and 18 inches into the ground. Then, put something on top of the fence that will thwart even the most determined coyotes, like coyote rollers.
coyote in the wild
Image By: rauschenberger, Pixabay

Conclusion

Coyotes can and will attack dogs, especially if they’re hungry. And because coyotes’ natural habitats and food sources are shrinking, you’re more likely to find a coyote in your neighborhood these days.

However, you can easily protect your dog from a coyote attack by not letting it run out in the yard by itself and installing coyote-proof fencing. You can even invest in a coyote vest for smaller pups! As long as you’re cautious and aware, your dog should be relatively safe against coyotes.

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Featured Image Credit: Frans van Heerden, Pexels

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