Reminder: Protect your dog from coyotes in winter

(Photo credit: Seyedomid Mostafavi via Getty)

As winter ends, you may see an increase in coyote sightings. These omnivores breed in January and February and, therefore, tend to be more aggressive in this time frame. Coyotes are also known not to discriminate against seemingly uninhabitable living areas; they love the city as much as they love the woods.

For dog parents, that means being extra careful with your puppies during coyote breeding season. Here are some safety tips to avoid any encounter with a coyote this winter.

Don’t leave your dog outside unsupervised

Obviously, leaving a house dog outside is no way to treat a pet. However, some sheepdogs, like a variety of sheepdogs, like to roam around a fenced yard all day and come in at night. Although you should never leave your dog outside unattended at any time of the year, these dogs can be an exception.

Still, even if you have a sheepdog that prefers to be outside during the day, you need to keep a watchful eye. Coyotes are not likely to attack dogs, especially during the day, but this is not uncommon. Recently, a coyote followed a child walking a dog in Massachusetts. As humans encroach more on coyote territory, more sightings like this are expected.

Pick up your trash

It may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t leave trash outside your home. Coyotes love trash. The less enticement 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 a dog unattended on the other side.

Be up to date on vaccinations

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

Don’t bring your dog on an overnight hike

Hiking during the winter months can be a fun activity for people and puppies alike. However, if you plan to spend the night at a campground, you may want to consider leaving your dog at home. Being outside in the rural wilderness is dangerous for humans and even more so for domestic dogs. This is especially true if your dog is of a smaller breed, such as a Jack Russell Where Pomeranian. These small dogs are much more likely to be eaten by a coyote than larger breeds.

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