Coyote Awareness: Protect your Dogs and Cats from Urban Predators


Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort San Diego and Irvine is especially concerned with the safety of pets in and around the Irvine, Orange County and San Diego areas. With the widespread development of communities in the area, coyotes are frequently seen in neighborhoods, becoming more accustomed to humans and more brazen with interactions and attacks on our pets. Whether you are curious to learn methods of deterrence, looking for solutions to keep your pets safe, or are interested in learning more about coyotes, this article offers great resources for you and your furry family. About Coyotes and Coyote Behavior Coyotes are smart, clever, persistent and rather small, weighing in at around 35-45 lbs. Their cunning tactics and non-imposing size make them an immediate threat to pets. Often using the appeal of play, sometimes play with their own pups, coyotes are able to lure dogs away and attack as a pack. While coyotes are most certainly wild animals, they have grown very comfortable with humans, often trotting along near joggers in neighborhoods. They often use drainage creeks as a highway system, travelling throughout neighborhoods and parks. While they are not normally a threat to humans, they have grown much bolder in recent months. Coyotes are most active during breeding season and the months following the birth of new pups. Breeding season is normally January – February with pups arriving mid-March to April. Coyotes can be especially territorial, protecting their breeding grounds and new pups, making coyote awareness during the winter and spring months especially vital. Because coyotes are more active during dawn and dusk, you need to be extra vigilant during walks; keep your dog on a close leash, carry a whistle or pepper spray and remember to never turn your back on a coyote or run away. If your pet is used to a retractable leash, or has difficulty walking politely with you, we recommend checking out Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort dog training options. Remember – Coyotes are Opportunistic Just remember, coyotes will take advantage of an opportunity if it presents itself. Keep cats indoors, and if you have an outdoor cat, minimize their time outdoors during peak activity (dawn and dusk). When walking your dog, avoid retractable leashes, where dogs can wander far off from you. Use lighted leashes and collars at dawn and dusk and walk in a group when you can. Watch your dog in the backyard and do not leave them in the yard all night, or on a staked leash. Secure dog doors – don’t give a coyote direct access to your home and family. Deterrence Deterrence is the key to maintaining healthy boundaries between coyotes and your family.

  • Good fences make good neighbors – and they also provide a barrier of safety between your family and coyotes. We recommend at least a 6 foot fence around your backyard to help keep your pets in and coyotes out.
  • Close gaps in fencing, under porches and under sheds – eliminating hiding spots and easy access to your yard makes it that much more difficult to gain entry to your yard.
  • Garbage and compost piles should be kept secure in bins and surrounded by at least a six foot fence. Do not place garbage cans on the curb for trash pick-up until the morning of to avoid unwanted visitors at night.
  • Keep pet food and water indoors.
  • If you see a coyote, make loud noises, wave your arms high in the air and even throw a rock towards it – harassing coyotes by encouraging fear towards humans helps keep our communities safer.
  • Never feed coyotes – EVER!

Solutions Whether you are going out of town, live near open space, or enjoy hikes, we have some excellent solutions to deter coyote interactions.

  • Send your dog and cat on a playcation while you are on vacation! Book your pet’s stay with Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort (San Diego or Irvine) to keep your pets safe, happy and healthy while you are away. Visit our site or take a tour today to learn more about veterinary supervised dog boarding and veterinary supervised cat boarding options for your furry friends.
  • Carry pepper spray, citronella or a loud whistle when on walks, just in case you spot a coyote.
  • Coyote Rollers: rollers installed on your fences will keep coyotes out and keep your dogs in. Coyote rollers are an excellent option for those living near canyons and open space. They are relatively easy to install and can match your fence. Learn more about how coyote roller work here
  • Coyote Vest: You can even purchase a coyote vest for your small dog to help protect your pet against an attack…learn more here 

Coyote Interaction with Pets If your dog or cat has any interaction with a coyote, it is important to get them into the vet right away! Coyotes can carry different diseases and parasites, including rabies, which makes it vital to get your dog or cat checked out by a vet immediately. If you are in the Irvine area, call Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort Irvine’s veterinary hospital to schedule a visit – (949)385-8787 or in San Diego call Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort San Diego’s veterinary hospital to schedule a visit – (619)260-6060 Resources

  • You can report coyote sightings in your neighborhood as well as check in to see other sightings here 
  • The humane society offers information and tips on prevention of coyote encounters and attacks – see more information here
  • Check in with the Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort Blog for information on all things relating to your furry friends

With coyotes spread across the country, it is nearly impossible to avoid them completely. Irvine has especially been riddled with coyote encounters and attacks, making it even more important to maintain strong awareness and implement some of our solutions to keep your family safe. Whether you are going on vacation or just need a place for your dog to romp and play during the day, Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort Irvine is available to provide a sage and fun and environment for dog, large and small.