For the next two weeks, pet owners need to be on high alert during the scariest season of the year.
Rising threat to March
People who let their pets out are strongly urged to keep a close eye on their children now that coyote mating season is underway. Their safety is at greater risk because this is the time of year that these predators are most active.
Coyotes begin mating during the winter and will then give birth in early spring. During this time, coyotes are more aggressive, greedy and energetic. Female coyotes hang around with their cubs during the younger months while their mate will travel longer distances and hunt more intensively to provide for their young.
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Upstate New York warned That coyotes are opportunistic eaters and will go after cats, dogs, rabbits and other pets if it means a free meal. Wildlife biologist Steven Harkins told the outlet:
The problem with pets really only comes down to individual coyotes learning to follow cats for example or possibly small dog breeds. It’s not something that spreads through the population, it’s literally just individuals who have learned that they can catch cats and if they can, they will.
For those who have large dogs and can feel safe that coyotes are the least of their worries – think again.
Coyotes have learned how to take down even the strongest, largest dogs. The pack has been documented sending a member to bait and ambush the dog.
While a pet owner may think that their big dog will win any fight, any animal will struggle to hold its own in a fight against multiple opponents.
Coyotes are 3 to 4 feet in length and weigh up to 45 pounds. They are very common in New York State and some have wolf DNA mixed in, which can make them larger and stronger than the average eastern coyote.
Keeping pets safe
Now through March, pet owners are encouraged not to let their animals outside unsupervised. For dogs, owners are encouraged to keep their pets on a leash and, if they need to be unattended for any reason, to keep them in an enclosed run.
It should be noted that with female dogs entering their heat cycle, male coyotes will be attracted to them. Additionally, unsuspecting male dogs may be attracted to the scent of female coyotes in heat.
During coyote mating season, pet owners are also tasked with making their property less inviting to the animals by removing bird feeders that attract other predators such as squirrels and birds. People should also clean their yards of garbage and garbage.
Additionally, when taking pets outside, owners are encouraged to go out first and make noise to scare off nearby coyotes. Ways to deter these creatures include blowing whistles, making noisemakers, or clapping your hands while making noise.
Coyotes are most active between dusk and dawn, so owners are encouraged to keep these tips in mind if they need to take their pets outside during these hours.
Check out the video below for more tips and advice on keeping your pet safe this time of year.
For those wondering what can be done to protect their cats, owners are strongly encouraged to keep their cats inside until the coyote mating season is well underway. Go away.
The same can be said for small, outdoor pets like rabbits. For people with chickens, it is advisable to put up extra wire, especially around the base of the coop to prevent coyotes from getting into the buffet.
Finally, before people say coyotes were here first – stop it. Coyotes began to appear in New York between the 30s and 40s when the wolf population declined. They became fully established in the state in the 1970s.
Thus, this technically makes coyotes an invasive species. Use this information. DECAs you wish.
Stunning photos capture a toy-stealing coyote playing like a puppy.
Stunning photos capture a toy-thief coyote playing like a puppy.
Gallery Credit: Credit – Polly McAdams
Does that coyote in my backyard have mange?
Check out this coyote found in Rob Banks’ backyard.
Gallery Credit: Rob Banks