Keeping Our Homes Safe from Urban Coyotes
Updated: Jun 8
KEEP YOUR HOME AND YARD SAFE FROM URBAN COYOTES
Coyotes hang out in areas where they can find food or shelter. Make your home and yard safe by removing any potential food or shelter areas. This may seem to be a lot of work and may disrupt your daily routines. Weigh whether the precautions are worth protecting your pets (and children), especially during mating or pup-rearing season or if you know that coyotes are in your neighborhood.
Urban coyote population in Los Angeles is exploding. Their natural predators are wolves, bears, cougars, and alligators. None of those are generally found in urban areas. Read on to see how you can keep your children and your pets safe.
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GARBAGE CANS AND DUMPSTERS
Keep garbage cans in a secure location, i.e., in a shed or garage where you can close a door.
Make sure garbage cans have tight-fitting lids and/or secure the lids with bungee cords or rope so they can't be opened or tipped over if they are kept outside.
Put all trash in trash bags and then put them in garbage cans rather than letting the bags lie in the yard. Trash can attract rodents which are coyotes’ main food source.
Put weights on dumpster lids.
Set the garbage cans in the street only on the mornings when pick-up is scheduled.
ELIMINATE FOOD AND WATER SOURCES
Cover compost piles.
Feed pets during the day and remove their dishes when they have finished eating.
Keep barbecue grills clean and covered.
Keep compost in secure containers.
Make sure greenhouse doors close securely if food is grown inside.
Move large objects such as chairs and tables around your yard because coyotes don’t like novelty.
Pick fruit or vegetables in your yard when it gets ripe and remove it when it falls to the ground.
Pick up your dog’s poop!
Protect fruit and vegetable gardens with heavy duty garden fences on all sides and the top.
Remove bird feeders, bird baths, puddles, and any standing water. Alternatively, bring bird feeders and baths inside at night or securely cover them because they can attract not only coyotes but also rodents, which are coyote’s main food source.
Remove pet water bowls at night.
Clear brush wood, brush, and compost piles so they don't serve as hiding places for rodents and other critters.
Cut low hanging branches so coyotes cannot climb them to get fruit from trees or if outside your yard, use them as a “ladder” to get into your yard.
Plant thorny bushes around the outside perimeter of your yard.
Trim hedges, bushes, and other shrubbery and clear a space of at least 1 foot from the ground to the leaves so coyotes or other animals will be less likely to hide.
Trim overgrown landscaping to eliminate hiding places.
Close and lock pet doors from dawn to dusk. Go out with your dog during that time.
Close off crawl spaces under your home, porches, decks, and sheds because coyotes can use them as dens.
Install “coyote fencing” on top of your fence. Don’t think because you have an 8-foot fence around your yard that you are protected. They can scale that easily.
PETS AND CHILDREN
Always stay outside with and watch small dogs and children in your yard.
Bring pets indoors at night.
If you have an outside dog run or catio, make sure it is totally enclosed, including the top, with a concrete floor or the side fencing buried at least 1 foot below the ground because coyotes can dig to get to your pets, especially if you have a bitch in heat.
If your yard does not have a fence, your yard is on a hill, or you have a large yard, keep your pet close to you while you are outside, preferably on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Make sure your doggie doors are closed and locked. Coyotes will not likely come into your house, but your dog can run outside to investigate and be eaten. This happened to a friend of mine who lived one block off of a major street, so it's not some secluded place.
Teach your children what to do. (See What to do if You Encounter a Coyote on your Walk.)
Teach your dog not to bolt out any outside door when you open it.
DETERRENTS IF YOU SEE A COYOTE IN OR AROUND YOUR YARD
Bang two pans together.
Blow a whistle.
Install coyote roll bar fencing to prevent coyotes from entering your yard.
Open and close an umbrella towards the coyote.
Throw multiple shaker cans (aka penny cans) near them not at them because it is illegal to harm wild animals. A shaker/penny can is an empty soft drink can containing about 10 pennies or small rocks and sealed with tape at the opening. Have several prepared in an easily accessible area.
Throw tennis balls.
Turn on a hose or high-pressure water sprayer.
Use an air horn.
Coyotes may get used to one type of deterrent if your yard is attractive to them, so rotate deterrents.
LINKS TO ALL BLOG POSTS IN THIS SERIES ON URBAN COYOTES
MY BOOKS AND TRAINING
If you like these posts on urban coyotes, please check out my other posts and books which are specifically on dogs and puppies. I have been a dog trainer/behavior consultant for 30 years, was the first trainer to be certified by 5 dog training organizations, and am an award-winning author of 10 books. I offer in-person private training in the Los Angeles area and Zoom training in the Los Angeles area as well as worldwide.
Puppy Potty Training – The Expert’s Guide to Easy Housetraining FAST2015 Gold Global eBook Award Winner
Doggie Dangers and Safety Tips – Preventing Accidents In and Around Your Home and Yard
Puppy Socialization – An Insider’s Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness
Puppy and Dog Potty Training
Teacup Puppies & Dogs – Choosing a Breeder & Choosing a Dog
Teacup Puppies & Dogs – Supplies, Pre-Puppy Prep & First Week Home
Teacup Puppies & Dogs – Feeding, Care, Safety, Health & Grooming
Teacup Puppies & Dogs – Obedience Training, Games & Play
Teacup Puppies & Dogs – Potty Training & Behavior Issues