Q: A coyote attacked and killed a dog in our neighborhood. I am really very worried. What should I do? — L.M, San Diego
A: If there are ever coyote sightings anywhere near you live, keep cats indoors (beneficial for cats anyway) and also don’t allow dogs in the yard without adult supervision. While humans are generally safe, still it makes sense not to allow young children in yards without adult supervision, and never infants, even for a second.
We’re quick to criticize others for not co-existing with wildlife, such as African farmers who may contend with lions, hyena, leopards and herds of elephants, who might even trample a home. By comparison, coyotes are pretty meager threats.
Yards can be protected against coyotes. Coyote-proof fences are either at least 8-feet tall and made of a material that coyotes cannot climb or at least 6-feet tall with a protective device on top, such as a coyote roller, that rolls off any coyotes that try to scramble over the fence. Do-it-yourself piping or chicken wire to the top of your fence also can prevent coyotes from getting the foothold they need to make it over. To prevent coyotes from digging under a fence, make sure the fence extends at least 12 inches underground.
Wolf urine may further deter coyotes. Just spray the wolf urine of the yard.
If you see a coyote, according to the Humane Society of the United States, hazing can be the best deterrent. For example, if adults were to holler at coyotes, throw sticks in their direction and even chase after them screaming, “Go away!”
Most often coyotes are solo hunters or travel with a mate, but sometimes they work as family groups, which can be intimidating. If you’re concerned about hiking with your dog, you too can travel in a group — ask friends with dogs to accompany you.
The bottom line is that coyotes are merely attempting to survive and feed their young. Being crafty and daring by nature is a double-edged sword. Most coyote attacks could and should have been prevented by taking appropriate precautions.
©Steve Dale Pet World, LLC; Tribune Content Agency