Keeping Dogs Safe From Coyotes

Keeping Dogs Safe From Coyotes

 I don't know about you but here where we live we have big coyote problem.  We don't live in the mountains, we live in a busy suburb of Los Angeles.  It almost doesn't seem to matter where you live any more because they are every where here in SoCal.  

I know what some of you are about to say "you need to live with them you are living on their land" and that's just not true. The coyotes WERE NOT always here where we live.  They came about 5 years ago.  Let me tell you they have been relentless. We have no more neighborhood cats, they have eaten them all. They have attacked dogs on walks, at parks, and in their yards.  This is why the coyotes have stayed. People think it can't happen to them or their dog and leave their dogs in vulnerable situations where the coyotes come in and take what they want. A few months ago a dog one street over was attacked in its yard.  Thankfully the husband heard a scuffle and went to check and saw what was happening.  The man had to fight with the coyote for 3-4 minutes trying to get their beloved dog out of its jaws. The dog is thankfully alive but it had to have 2 major surgeries and now had permanent nerve damage in its legs. Just last month another dog, a big labrador, was attacked while in its yard unattended.  That dog survived as well but I also know of a couple who didn't. 

My number one priority is to keep Bella safe and I am sure if you are reading this you have a dog you care about too so today I am sharing all my tips and tricks as I have learned to help keep you and your dog safe from coyotes.  

On A Walk

Bella and I walk 2x a day, every day of the week for the most part so we have had a lot of encounters with coyotes. 

~ Have a plan.  The first thing you want to do is have a plan.  What would you do if a coyote came after your dog?  I want you to think about different scenarios and how you would react to them. When I am out walking Bella and we encounter a coyote I always stand between her and the coyote and make noise.  I make noise first with my air horn because it is the loudest thing I have with me and it usually deters them pretty quick. Along with the air horn I use my voice.  You can also stomp your feet and wave your arms. If your dog is small you will want to pick them up immediately. 

~ Prepare your self.  When I walk Bella I always bring an air horn and a stick.  This air horn is small and fits in my walking bag easily. I also just ordered this pepper spray at the suggestion of a neighbor.  Let's talk about the stick, there are two schools of thought I have with the stick.  I know a lot of people bring long walking sticks with them in the hopes they can create space between them and a coyote with it.  Thats a good idea and if you have one bring it with you. I think anything is better than nothing in this case.  I personally bring a shorter stick. It's more like a longer thicker version of a  hammer handle.  This way I can wave it if I need to but I can also help Bella it tried to attack her.  Please know I never want this to be the case, trust me!!!! I hate the idea of hurting an animal! But I have heard countless stories of dogs being attacked and even taken while out on walks, yes you read that right TAKEN by coyotes!!! Coyotes have come and taken dogs while on leash and with their people.  Bella is too big to take but not too big to try and attack.  I will protect Bella with everything I have. 

*Quick note about the air horns*  They don't last forever.  I get maybe 10 ish blasts from each one.  It all depends on how long you press it how long it will last. The price I pay for the air horn is small when I think it's keeping Bella and I safe. 

~ Don't allow your dog to be off leash.  This is a recipe for disaster.  Make sure to walk on a regular leash and not a flexi leash.  Keep them close, you don't want your dog far away from you incase you encounter a coyote on a walk.  You will not have the control you need in a situation like that with a flexi leash or being far away.

~ Be present and pay attention.  This isn't a time to listen to your headphones and not be paying attention.  A few weeks ago while out walking Bella I saw a neighbor with his dog at the corner and what he didn't see was a coyote hiding behind the bush they were next too.  I tried yelling and getting his attention so he could scare it away and keep his dog safe but he didn't hear me because he was listening to his headphones. Thankfully my yelling was enough to deter the coyote and it went the other way away from them.  But had it not the coyote might have attacked his dog or him.  

Our Yard

~ Bella is not allowed outside alone ever.  Don't let your dog outside alone by its self.  Dogs of all sizes can become prey to a coyote.  

~ If you live in an area with coyotes your yard isn't safe, I don't care how tall your fence is.  I have seen coyotes jump 7 foot fences easily and effortlessly.  I have also seen photos and heard from neighbors that they can jump up on to the roofs of houses. So if they can do that they can certainly get to your back yard no matter how high your walls are. 

~ If you have a small dog it is best to keep them leashed and connected to you when outside even in the yard any time of the day.  I see coyotes in our neighborhood all hours of the day and night.  Don't think because it's daytime your dog is safe because it's not.

~ Have deterrents ready.  I keep an air horn by my back door incase I see any I will blow it.  It does deter them.  This is the air horn I use.  I also keep a flashlight by the back door so I can check the yard before I let Bella out at night.  I also have a gate up so she can only go in part of the yard. 

~ Cut down over grown bushes.  Coyotes love having places to hide so if you clean up your overgrown trees and bushes they will not have places they want to hide in your yard.

~ Having chickens, a garden and composts are all attractors to coyotes so if you have any of those be even more careful. My neighbor has all three so knowing that I am extra careful with our time in the yard. 

If your dog were to get attacked by a coyote make sure and take it to your veterinarian right away.  

When it comes to coyotes preparation is they best way to prevent tragedies. I've seen lots of people in some of the coyote groups I'm in online try and suggest a coyote vest, motion activated sprinklers or even coyote rollers for the tops of fences. I can't speak to any those things personally because I don't think any of them will do much.   You paying attention, taking action and being prepared will help your dog most. Coyotes are desperate and we need to keep that in mind when caring for our dogs.  

Please don't think this kinds of things won't happen to your dog because they can happen.  So many posts I see online start with "I didn't think this could happen to my dog" or "I thought my walls were high enough" "I didn't think it would jump the fence" and so many more but the worst one by far is "I can't believe my dog is gone"  Don't let this be you my friend.  Keep your dogs and cats safe.  

Do you have a tip for keeping your dogs safe from coyotes that you think I should add? Let me know!


***This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through my links I may earn a small commission. I only share products I love and use myself!! It costs you nothing, but it makes a big difference to me and helps me keep the treats flowing for Bella!

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1 comment

Alexandra, this blog was outstanding!! You covered all the bases. Good job!!!

Jeanne Norwine

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