It is against the law to feed wild animals. A simple bag of garbage, bowl of pet food, or plate of leftovers can cause severe harm to wildlife. Coyotes are one of the most adaptable animals in the world. They can change their breeding habits and diet and social dynamics to survive in a wide variety of habitats.
The coyote is a member of the dog family. In size and shape the coyote is like a medium-sized collie dog, but its tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of its back. Only five (5) to twenty (20) percent of coyote pups survive their first year. The coyote can run at almost forty (40) miles per hour. Coyotes can breed with both domestic dogs and wolves. A dog-coyote mix is called a “coydog.” Coyotes maintain their territory by marking it with urine. If a coyote bites you, report the injury to a hospital, which will notify the state department of health. You will have to get a series of rabies shots in order to prevent the disease from being transferred to you.
The coyote has five (5) digits (like toes) on the forefeet, including the dewclaw. And they have four (4) digits on the hindfeet. The coyote is digitigrade, meaning it walks with only its toes touching the ground.
At Home, Do
- Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates
- Feed your pets indoors or pick up uneaten food as soon as your pet is finished
- Trim ground-level shrubs to reduce hiding places
- Have adequate fencing (to keep your pets in and wildlife out)
- Install motion sensor lights
- Vaccinate your dog and cat for rabies
At Home, Don’t
- Leave your children, cats or small dogs unattended
- Make a pet out of your visitor
- Feed or otherwise encourage a coyote’s dependency on humans
- Allow your pets to run loose
- Attempt to tame a coyote
- Put trash out long before the scheduled pickup
What To Do If You Encounter A Coyote
- If followed by a coyote, make loud noises to scare it away
- If the noises do not scare it, toss small stones in the coyote’s direction to scare it
- Remain calm and call the appropriate agency if you are threatened