Missouri conservationist explains how to keep pets safe as coyotes become more active

Picture of coyote

Picture of coyote (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – Coyotes are more active in Missouri during this time of year, which means more sightings. Seeing a coyote can be startling, but the main concern should be your little pets.

Coyotes are very active in the spring as they look for food for their young and food sources become more abundant thanks to the warmer weather, Nexstar sister station KTVI reported.

If you see a coyote, what should you do?

“The first thing to remember is that there have been no documented coyote attacks on humans in the state of Missouri,” Dan Zarlenga with the Missouri Department of Conservation said. “The thing that might be something of a concern is pets. Small pets like cats could possibly looked at as prey by a coyote and other dogs, especially the smaller dogs.”

Often when a coyote attacks a dog, it’s territorial. They see the dog as a competing or invading canine.

Keep your small pets safe by going outside with them, especially at dawn, dusk, and at night. Fences can also help as one more barrier making it harder to get into your yard or to your dogs.

The best way to prevent any potential conflicts is by trying to scareoff the coyotes.

“That can be anything from really bright lights you shine in their face to shooting them with high powered hoses. You can throw things at them, use air horns, whistles, bang pots and pans.”

Coyotes can be attracted by trash, pet food and grills. Bird feeders can attract rodents, which can also then attract coyotes.

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