MPH Blog

Posts for tag: Animal Safety

By R. deLeon-Mims for Morena Pet Hospital
November 15, 2013
Category: Pet Safety


Coyotes are common throughout North America, including here in San Diego. From canyons to gated communities to public parks, coyotes have found their way into our neighborhoods. Though they are an important part to our ecosystem, we must take precautions to keep our pets safe from close encounters with coyotes.

Here is a list of safety precautions to help keep your pet safe from coyotes:

1.  Fencing

A coyote can easily scale an 8 foot fence if it has toeholds, so a smooth fence of 6 to 7 feet tall topped by a “coyote roller”, either a DIY PVC pipe roller, or a commercially available one can     keep coyotes from going over a fence. Alternatively a tall topped by     15-20” long extension outward at a 45 degree angle (picture the     fence behind the home plate on a baseball field) can be substituted.     Coyotes dig extraordinarily well, so hardware cloth sunk 2 feet at     the base of the fence is recommended.    

2.  Do not feed coyotes!

Willingly or by accident. Coyotes are opportunistic feeders, and though they enjoy large and small mammals they also enjoy the trash that you left in the backyard! Though 80% of a coyotes diet usually are small rodents, they will scavenge through compost, fallen fruit from trees, garbage, and will also prey on your pet! Please remember to feed your pets indoors, outdoor food bowls may attract coyotes.

3.  Secure your pets indoors.

Especially your cats! If you must let your cat outside, provide a “cat post”. A cat post is your cat's escape route, it is a 7 foot or higher post with a platform at the top of it. Rabbit hutches are also tempting for coyotes, so you may want to bring them inside, or provide protection around the hutch (coyote safe fencing or chain link fencing with a roof). Small dogs should never be left unattended outdoors and larger dogs should be kept on leash.

4.  Bring noise makers or pepper spray with you on walks or when hiking.

If  you encounter a coyote while walking or on a hike, do not turn your back to it, and create plenty of noise if it approaches. Noise allows you to appear larger and therefore more threatening, and hopefully will help you to avoid a confrontation.   

5.  Remove undergrowth and hiding places in your landscaping.    Enclose under porches and decks to eliminate those hidden areas.

6.  Spay and Neuter your pets!

In heat female coyotes can lure intact male dogs to the pack and attack.  During mating season, January through March, coyotes are more likely to attack over territorial issues. 


Additionally, Coyotes are also disease carriers of Distemper, Rabies, Parvo and internal parasites. A recent study determined that 20% of Southern Californian coyotes are positive for heartworm. So, keeping dogs safe may include parasite prevention, both intestinal and heartworm as well as vaccinations.

Coyotes will continue to be close neighbors to us here in San Diego. We need to continue to take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of our families including our furry family members!

Farley, Amy D.V.M. (2013) Keeping Pets Safe From San Diego

California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (2012) “Keep Me Wild” Brochure

Simons-Krupp, Vikki. (2012) Living With California Coyotes. Native Animal Rescue