Health & Wellness
Backyards give dogs the chance to run free without their leash while in a secure location. And you may feel comfortable knowing that your pup won’t escape from their personal dog run, but you should be aware of other animals, like coyotes, that can come into your backyard and pose dangerous risks for your pup.
Coyotes, like all other animals, take part in a food chain. Unfortunately, their need for food can sometimes have dangerous consequences for domestic pets, like cats and dogs.
“Due to habitat loss and a decline in food sources, coyotes venture into neighborhoods,” Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch’s on-staff veterinarian, says. “When this happens, small dogs and cats can become their prey.”
Although coyotes are native to the Western United States, they’ve spread to every state except Hawaii, she adds. And this animal can adapt to and thrive in most environments (including urban areas).
Protecting your pets from becoming coyotes’ prey isn’t the only thing you should be concerned with. “Coyotes can carry and transmit parasites and diseases like rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, mange, fleas, intestinal parasites, ticks and leptospirosis,” Dr. McCullough explains.
While coyotes pose a risk to pets’ safety, there are some ways to protect your pets so the two animals can coexist in peaceful harmony.
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The thought of coyote attacks is overwhelming and scary, but there are some simple ways to lower the chance of coyotes bothering your pets. Here are some tips from Dr. McCullough:
Some accessories, like a coyote vest, can add an extra protection against coyote attacks. “Coyote vests are kevlar vests made for dogs that have spikes or spines along the back that are meant to deter coyotes from grabbing a dog,” Dr. McCullough explains. You can usually find these vests at pet stores or online.
Coyotes, like other animals, are scared of things, too. Loud noises, like whistles, bells and horns, can scare away coyotes, Dr. McCullough shares. So if you spot a coyote nearby, bring out your loudest object.
If a coyote attacks your dog, visit your emergency veterinary hospital or primary veterinary office as soon as possible, Dr. McCullough urges. It’s also wise to have a pet emergency preparedness plan in place so you’re ready to act fast during unexpected scenarios. Here are some tips to get you started:
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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Photo by Taylor Murphy on Unsplash