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Coyotes live in every state except Hawaii. They are omnivores that have adapted to survive in habitats ranging from swamps to major cities, such as New York. Their mating season lasts 4 to 6 weeks and typically extends from February to March, though this can vary depending on region, weather and other factors. While these canines are a year-round concern, it is during these winter months that many sources claim male coyotes may become aggressive and pose more of a threat to pets.
Are coyotes more aggressive during mating season?
Despite the memes, warnings and many articles, coyote attacks do not rise significantly during mating season. Coyotes are most aggressive just after their pups are born, which is late spring and summer.
However, coyotes are much more active during mating season, so sightings increase dramatically. Food is sparse, so coyotes travel more and may become bolder. Additionally, they are monogamous, so the male will protect its mate when threatened. All of these factors combine to make it a wise choice to take precautions with your pets, not only during mating season but all year long.
How to protect your pet during coyote mating season
The following tips can help protect your pet from coyote attacks throughout the entire year:
- Don’t leave pets outside: Do not leave your pet outside and unattended, especially in the evening or at dawn or dusk. A fence will not keep your pets safe from a coyote. Similarly, floodlights may initially startle a coyote, but do not depend on them for keeping your yard coyote-free.
- Do not leave food out: Never feed wild animals. There is no guarantee which type of animal you will attract. Also, be sure to secure your garbage and compost to make sure you are not unintentionally inviting wildlife to your property.
- Keep your pets on a leash: A short, non-retractable leash is best when taking your pet for a walk. You want to keep your pet as close to you as possible at all times.
- Do not run: If you encounter a coyote while walking your pet, do not run. Instead, make eye contact and slowly back away.
- Keep a noisemaker on hand: In an emergency, a noisemaker, such as a whistle or a horn, should be enough to startle a coyote, making the canine flee without incident.
- Consider a coyote vest: A coyote vest is an outrageous-looking pet garment with features that can save your pet’s life in an attack.
- Report bold or aggressive coyote sightings: While you might not want to trouble the local authorities with every coyote you see, it is vital to notify them if you encounter an animal exhibiting bold, aggressive behavior such as growling, stalking or chasing.
Protect your pets from coyotes with these items
CoyoteVest SpikeVest Dog Harness
This protective vest is made of puncture-resistant Cordura fabric that can prevent a coyote’s teeth from injuring your pet. It has three sets of hard plastic spikes that will further deter predators from attacking. The hook-and-loop fastening makes this item easy to put on and take off.
Sold by Amazon
These neon-colored nylon bristles are an accessory for your pet’s CoyoteVest. They are harmless to your pet but can irritate a predator’s mouth, nose or eyes if they come close enough to attack.
Sold by Amazon
Raptor Shield Puncture Resistant Pet Vest
This lightweight, puncture-resistant polycarbonate vest can protect your pet from predators such as raptors and coyotes. The rear extender provides added protection for longer pets.
Sold by Amazon
PetSafe Premier Nylon Dog Leash
This durable option will do the trick when you need to keep your pet close to you during walks. The rugged construction has a comfortable loop on one end and a secure snap bolt clip on the other to offer comfort, security and control.
Sold by Chewy
Sudden loud sounds are enough to startle away many predators. This compact horn is less than 6 inches long so that you can take it with you on walks. It is easy to operate and can last for up to 100 short blasts.
Sold by Amazon
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.