Protect Your Family from Coyotes
I wrote this week’s blog post upon request by one of The Animal Hospital at Lake Brant’s clients after she lost her pet cat to a coyote. Tragically, this is an account we are hearing more and more frequently as veterinarians in the Greensboro and Summerfield area. My hope is that we can help to prevent further heartbreaking stories like this one by making some small changes in how we interact with wildlife. It takes a community effort to affect change in the ecosystem.
Limit Easy Meals
Coyotes are natural predators but they are also opportunistic feeders and will eat out of your garbage, compost pile, or even your garden Keep your garbage well secured in sturdy barrels and do not add coyote-tempting foods like bones or meat scraps to the compost. Do not keep pet food outside where it can be scooped up by wildlife. Clean up any fallen fruit or vegetables in the garden.
Be a Bad Coyote-Neighbor
When you see a coyote nearby, many wildlife experts suggest you should “haze” it. Hazing is a behavior that drives the animals away. Some coyote hazing techniques are:
- Yell or make loud noises.
- Throw small rocks or other projectiles in their direction.
- Spray them with a hose, sprinkler, or water gun.
Ignoring coyotes does not make them go away.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Coyotes are notoriously difficult to eliminate from an ecosystem. If at all possible keep cats indoors where they are safe and do not tie out small dogs unattended. Walk your dog after dawn and before sunset to avoid times when coyotes are active Coyote attacks are not the only threat this species poses. Coyotes can carry infectious diseases such as rabies and canine distemper virus, and can also carry parasites. Keep your dog up to date on his vaccines and parasite screening.
With some slight adjustments to our behavior, we may be able to avoid negative interactions with wildlife. If you would like more information or resources regarding coyote management, please give us a call at The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt.
Tim Queeney, DVM