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Will Coyotes Eat Dog Food? How to Keep Them Away from It

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

close up of male coyote dog outdoors

Will Coyotes Eat Dog Food? How to Keep Them Away from It

Some people have a soft spot for stray dogs and will leave food out for them. Other people have outdoor dogs that spend most of their days running around the yard, and they will leave food out for their energetic canines. In both cases, they could accidentally feed the local coyote population in addition to their dogs. You might not think about it, but coyotes can and will eat regular dog food. The same kibbles that your dogs enjoy so much will also feed coyotes. If you leave dog food out, you can attract coyotes to your property, which can be a problem.

Here are some foods coyotes can and will eat, how you can keep your food safe from coyotes, and how you can keep coyotes away from your house. You might want to help stray dogs out, but you don’t want to feed and attract coyotes.

Coyotes Will Eat Dog Food

Coyotes are notorious scavengers who will gladly eat dog food if they can get their paws on some. Some people keep dog food on the porch or feed their dogs outside. This is a surefire way to attract coyotes. Coyotes will eat dog food, cat food, dog treats, and dog bones. If you leave any of these items outside regularly, there is a good chance that nearby coyotes will eventually find them and help themselves.

Coyotes are fairly similar to pet dogs, especially in their eating habits. Coyotes and dogs can and eat some of the same foods. Large portions of their diets overlap, and that includes dog food. If you find that your outdoor dog food is disappearing or if you find yourself encountering far more coyotes than normal, you could inadvertently be feeding them and attracting them with outdoor dog food.

dry dog food in bowl and on wooden table
Image By: 279photo Studio, Shutterstock

What Coyotes Like to Eat

Coyotes are scavenging omnivores that will eat almost anything. They can eat vegetables, chickens, insects, stray cats, carrion, dog food, cat food, trash, animal poop, and food waste. Coyotes are not above digging through the garbage, climbing into yards, attacking outdoor animals, and eating out of the gutter.

If you leave anything remotely edible outside in an area where coyotes are common, you could be feeding them. Feeding coyotes, even inadvertently, can cause them to become more active around your home and increase their numbers, which can be dangerous.

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How to Keep Coyotes Away from Your Dog Food

handyman building a fence
Image By: Khromova Anna, Shutterstock

The easiest way to keep coyotes away from your dog food is to bring all of your dog food inside. If you feed your dogs outside, try to feed them in an enclosed area behind a fence in or cage. This will keep the coyotes from being able to access the food. If you plan on keeping your dog food outside, lock it up with a latch to prevent coyotes (or raccoons) from getting into it. You can also lock your dog food up in a shed or storage area, but be sure that the area is enclosed and latched to prevent roaming coyotes from getting inside.

  • Bring all dog food inside if possible.
  • Keep outdoor dog food secured in a lockable container.
  • Keep dog food in a garage or shed with no way in for coyotes.
  • Only feed your outdoor dogs in a fenced-in yard or outdoor kennel.

How to Keep Coyotes Away from Your House

If you’re worried about coyotes around your house, there are some things you can do to try to reduce their activity and numbers. Coyotes are easily startled, making them easy to scare away in most situations.

Here are ways to keep coyotes away from your home:

Keeping the yard clean will dissuade coyotes from coming around. A fence and a dog will provide obstacles to coyote activity. Automatic lights, noises, and sprinklers can startle coyotes and cause them to run away. If it happens more than once, they will remember that your house is scary and will avoid it in the future.

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Coyotes will definitely eat dog food. Feeding animals outside, whether your animals or strays, can inadvertently attract coyotes. The best way to avoid this problem is to stop feeding animals outside. Move all outside dog food to the inside and keep it appropriately locked up. Coyotes are scavengers, and if you make their life difficult, they will move on to another location. Coyotes can be a nuisance, and you want to keep them away whenever possible.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Mircea Costina, Shutterstock

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