As some of my clients know, I lost two of my three dogs to a coyote attack in my own backyard about a decade ago. Tragic, devastating, and heartbreaking are the first words that come to mind even after all this time.
My family and I were away for the night to celebrate a birthday. I had a trusted pet sitter coming in to check on our beloved dogs twice a day & we had a dog door that allowed them to come in and out as needed to do their business. This was my fatal mistake... not putting the dog door in at night and forcing them to stay in the house where they would be safe. To think that I was concerned about them going to the bathroom in the house when in retrospect, that was to become the very least of my worries. We grieved the loves we lost, Cody & Doodle, and cherished the one who managed to survive, Piper. Never allowing my dogs to have free reign to the outside without someone being home is the lesson learned. And, what a painful one at that. Their safety is and will always be priority #1.
Here at Paws & Whiskers Dog Walking & Pet Sitting, I bring those experiences and lessons learned to your pets. The safety, health, & well being of YOUR DOG or CAT is ALWAYS our highest priority.
FOUR BASIC RULES FOR WALKING DOGS IN COYOTE TERRITORY:
1. Keep your dog on a 6-foot leash. This length is long enough to let your dog have some freedom, but not so long that you can't easily control your dog should you need to. Retractable leashes are of little help to a dog owner, since it's very difficult to reel you dog back in if they are pulling on a long line way ahead of you.
2. If possible, avoid areas known to have coyote activity, especially during breeding season (between the months of August & January). During this season, mom & dad coyotes will be more defensive of their den sites. If there are signs posted, or you've heard neighbors report coyotes sighted in certain areas, make the common sense decision to avoid walking in those areas.
3. Stick to trails and open paths, avoid areas with thick brush. Going off trail where there is thick brush lining the path increases your chances of running into a coyote. If you are on trail with open areas, you have plenty of time to spot & react to a coyote.
4. Avoid walking your dog at sunrise and sunset. Coyotes are naturally active during the day, but most active at twilight hours. If you're walking your dog during sunrise or sunset, be aware that it increases your chances of an interaction with a coyote.
For more information, check out the urbancoyoteinitiative.com