Chesterfield, MO, November 18, 2020 – With winter on its way, predators like coyotes are becoming more desperate for food and encroaching on neighborhoods. Though this is especially a concern for cats and small dogs, even larger pets can be targets for predators. Here are just a few tips to protect your pets from predators like coyotes and birds of prey.
Tips on How to Protect Your Pets From Predators
Supervise outside time.
While it might be more convenient to let your dog stay outside alone, it definitely isn’t the safest option. Supervise your pets while they are outdoors. This is especially important around dawn and dusk when predators are most active. If a predator were to attack, you might be able to scare it away before any serious damage is done.
Make your yard less appealing to predators.
Coyotes are scavengers, so they will eat just about anything they can find. Remove anything from around your house that might be tempting to a coyote – like trash, barbeque grill drippings, and fruits or nuts that have fallen from trees on your property. It is also a good idea to remove bird feeders. These attract small birds and mice, which attract birds of prey. Also, move bowls of water or food indoors.
Keep cats inside.
While indoor-outdoor cats have long been the standard, there has been a recent push in the animal welfare community to have people keep their pet cats indoors. Unlike dogs, cats are hard to contain with a fence or garden wall, so you have very little control over where your cat goes when outdoors. Cats are often prey to coyotes, birds of prey, and even stray dogs, so it’s best to keep your cats indoors where they are safe.
Invest in body armor.
There are several companies that make suits for dogs specifically designed to protect them from wild animal attacks. CoyoteVest designs suits for dogs and cats of all sizes. They feature metal spikes strategically placed to protect your pet from teeth and claws. The owner started the company after his own dog was killed by a coyote in a dog park. The CoyoteVest recently saved a Jack Russell Terrier mix in Ohio who was charged by a coyote; the predator got close, but the spikes and spines on the vest scared it away. It might look silly, but your pet’s chances of surviving an attack greatly increase when they are wearing body armor.
Know what to do in case of an attack.
In the event of an attack, your best bet is to scare the animal away. Keep pepper spray or an air horn nearby so you can startle a predator from a safe distance, and use a broom or baseball bat to separate your pet and the predator if need be. It is also a good idea to read about wildlife laws in your area; it is rare, but you might be charged or fined if you harm a protected wild animal while protecting your pet.
Losing your pet to a wild animal attack is a pet parent’s worst nightmare, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid such a tragedy. Predators like coyotes and birds of prey can be a threat even in urban areas, so educate yourself, your family, and your neighbors on the best ways to protect your pets from predators.