Coyote Safety in Neighborhoods
Learn how to reduce the potential for coyotes to harm your pets by taking simple preventative steps. Know what coyotes are attracted to and find out how to minimize the damage they may cause in a neighborhood.
In North Texas, coyote safety can be a pillar of a well-lived and long life — especially if you’re a domesticated pet. Some of the most beloved members of a community — cats and small dogs — are dangerously susceptible to the devices of these cunning creatures. To safeguard furry friends, take these steps to protect your neighborhood from wily coyotes.
Barbecues are practically in the DNA of Texans. If you live in coyote country, however, you may have to add a few more steps to your famous barbecue recipe. After your feast, thoroughly clean your pit. Resist puppy dog eyes and skip throwing a bone to your canine buddy, as leftover meat and bones can attract coyotes onto your property.
Protect your vegetable gardens and fruit trees from coyote incursions. Pick up loose fruit and keep compost bins tightly sealed. Move your pet’s food and water dishes indoors — in contrast to keeping them outdoors, coyotes won’t have access to them unless they grow thumbs and learn how to turn a doorknob.
Protect Furry Friends
A large part of coyote safety is simply prevention; take steps to minimize your pet’s potential for coyote contact. Always accompany your pet when he’s outside. Keep dogs on leashes to reduce the chances they’ll wander off into enemy territory or chase after them.
Consider turning felines and little canines into indoor pets. At minimum, be willing to let them sleep inside, as coyotes have a tendency for nocturnal activity. Install cat posts that are seven feet high to give felines the ability to leap to safety if they’re ever attacked.
Make your home as inhospitable to varmints as possible. Perform routine maintenance with sneaky coyote behavior in mind. Block off access to any areas that could provide habitat, like crawlspaces and areas underneath porches. Keep your storage sheds locked up tight.
Turn your home into a coyote-free zone by erecting fences at least seven feet tall. Line their tops with chicken wire to prevent scaling and jumping. Add extras to your fence to reinforce coyotes’ distaste for your yard. Place coyote rollers on the fence’s sides and bury hardware cloth or mesh netting at least two feet underneath the ground to deter desperate digging.
Reconsider your need for a bird feeder. Birds act as pied pipers to coyotes and they’ll often lead a trail of these wolf relatives to their food sources. If you keep a bird feeder in your yard, coyotes will likely stake out your property, which can lead to an uncomfortable powwow with your pets.
Deterring coyotes from running amok in your neighborhood can require a group effort. After all, if your neighbors don’t inadvertently invite them into their yards, it’s unlikely that you’ll stare down the snout of one in the future. Advise your neighbors of the presence of coyotes and suggest that they keep their own pets and their food inside. Explain that the alluring presence of small animals translates into easy prey and that keeping pet food outside could be perceived as a free buffet.
Suggest that neighbors install motion sensor lights in their yards to convince coyotes that your neighborhood is unsafe for nighttime prowling. If curious coyotes try to inspect backyards, a wave of tripped lights will likely keep them at bay. Finally, convince neighbors to adopt a trash policy and schedule. Agree to keep your trash in a secure container and area until the garbageman comes to pick it up, otherwise you could be unwittingly offering these incredibly smart beasts a never-ending, Texas-sized feast!