What to Do if You See Coyotes While Walking Your Dog: Potential Danger

EricHow To Guides, SafetyLeave a Comment

coyote 1
What to Do if You See Coyotes While Walking Your Dog: Potential Danger 5

As the weather warms and we all spend more time outdoors, encounters with wildlife, especially coyotes while walking your dog, are becoming more common in Calgary. The city’s wildlife team has reported an increase in coyote sightings this spring, coinciding with new pups emerging from their dens. For dog owners, understanding coyote behavior and knowing what to do during an encounter is crucial for ensuring the safety of both pets and their human companions.

Understanding Coyote Behavior

Coyotes, often more visible during the spring as they forage for food and protect their young, play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of our natural ecosystem. As omnivores, they act as the city’s top predators and are affectionately known as “nature’s clean-up crew.” They help control the population of rodents and scavenge on dead animals, effectively keeping our environment clean.

Coyotes often mate for life, forming strong familial bonds and defending territories that can range between 5 and 28 square kilometers (3 to 18 square miles), depending on the availability of food. These territories are crucial for their survival and are vigorously defended against perceived threats, which can sometimes include dogs and humans in shared spaces like parks and urban outskirts.

Their increased presence during this time can lead to encounters, primarily due to their need to secure food and protect their young. Understanding their behaviors and ecological benefits can help us empathize with coyotes, recognizing that their actions are more about territory protection than aggression.

coyote alert
What to Do if You See Coyotes While Walking Your Dog: Potential Danger 6

Safety Tips for Dog Owners If You Encounter Coyotes While Walking Your Dog

Keep Dogs on a Leash

Always keep your dog on a leash in areas where wildlife is active. This simple action prevents your dog from running toward or aggravating a coyote, which could lead to a defensive response.

dog walks in the woods
What to Do if You See Coyotes While Walking Your Dog: Potential Danger 7

Do Not Feed Coyotes

Feeding coyotes, intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to problematic behavior. Secure your garbage bins, avoid leaving pet food outdoors, and never feed coyotes directly.

Avoid Known Den Areas

If you’re aware of areas where coyotes have their dens, try to steer clear during the pup-rearing season. Respecting their space can significantly decrease the likelihood of confrontations.

What To Do During an Encounter

  • Stay Calm and Do Not Run: Keep your cool and assert control. Running could trigger a chase.
  • Back Away Slowly: Increase distance between you and the coyote by moving away slowly, keeping your eyes on the animal without turning your back.
  • Make Yourself Large: Make yourself appear bigger by raising your arms or opening your jacket wide.
  • Make Loud Noises: Shouting in a deep voice, clapping your hands, or banging on objects can help deter the coyote.
  • Throw Non-Food Items: If the coyote approaches, throwing objects near it can scare it off without causing harm.

Protect Smaller Pets

For those with smaller dogs, be prepared to pick them up swiftly. This action removes the immediate threat and can discourage a coyote from coming closer.

Encouraging Responsible Behavior

Coyotes play an essential role in our ecosystem by controlling the population of rodents and other small pests. It’s important to remember that most negative coyote interactions are the result of human behavior. By acting responsibly and following local guidelines, we can reduce these incidents.

Stay informed about the wildlife activity in your area and share this information with fellow pet owners. Understanding and preparedness are the keys to coexistence with our wildlife neighbors. Should you encounter or observe aggressive behavior from a coyote, report it immediately to the local authorities by dialing 3-1-1.

By fostering a better understanding and promoting responsible behaviors, we can ensure that Calgary remains a safe and enjoyable environment for both its human and animal inhabitants. Stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors with your furry friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.