If you have a dog, this is the time of year to be on high alert for coyote attacks. Because these animals are in the middle of their mating season, they are more aggressive than ever, and coyote attacks on dogs have increased.
Right across the country, there are news stories almost every night about coyote attacks. Rabbits, squirrels, mice, even calves and fawns all fall prey to the coyote and his close relative the wolf.
Small to mid-size dogs are no exception; and there is even the rare attack on people.
It’s heartbreaking to read these stories because, in nearly every case, the dog was in his own yard, or was with his human. But coyotes can be lightning fast, darting in to snatch a dog and then disappear.
Coyotes sightings are not unusual in cities; and these animals can easily jump over backyard fences.
Spot a coyote
- coyotes are smaller than their relative, the gray wolf
- males usually weight around 20 to 40 pounds and females are a little smaller
- coyotes stand 15″ to 20″ high at the shoulder
- fur is predominantly light gray and red, or light gray with black and white throughout
Photo by pixabay on freepik.com
Is it a coyote or a wolf?
Is it a coyote or a wolf?
There are plenty of details on how to tell which is which, here at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
A coyote’s face is narrow and pointed, with a small nose pad while the wolf has a broad, blocky head, with a large nose pad.
Wolves are bigger and heavier, running 26 to 32″ high at the shoulder, compared to coyotes at 15 to 20″.
Similarly, coyotes are much lighter; wolves run between 70 to 150 pounds.
Coyotes are gray or reddish brown, grizzled. Wolves are usually grizzled grey but they can be almost all black, cream or white.
How dangerous is the coyote? He’s “more predatory” than the notorious jackal, found in Eurasia.
Make no mistake, the wolf, coyote and fox are all dangerous predators when it comes to dogs.
Coyotes are abundant throughout North America, and down into Central America. They live on:
“animal meat, including deer, rabbits, hares, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, though it may also eat fruits and vegetables on occasion” according to Wikipedia
Both coyote and wolf attacks on humans are rare. But these hunters will attack a dog and almost any kind of livestock or game.
Experts say, if you encounter a coyote or a wolf, make lots of noise, stand up tall and raise your arms to look bigger and snarl and growl. Meanwhile, back away slowly.
Tip: Carry a whistle with you to scare off coyotes.
Try the Coyote Vest™
Pet Body Armor designed to protect. This crazy looking vest just might save your Morkie’s life one day.
It features stab-resistant Kevlar panels and removable spikes to ward off attacks from coyotes plus other predators like hawks.
See all the models offered on the CoyoteVest Pet Body Armor site.