Be coyote-smart

Thu, 15 Aug 2019

Learn how to avoid negative experiences with coyotes

Coyotes are found in urban areas throughout Canada, including Oakville. They may be more visible during the spring and summer pupping season. Negative experiences with coyotes can be avoided by knowing what to do when you encounter one.

What to do if you encounter a coyote when walking your dog

  1. Leash your dog.

It is important to have full control over your dog so that they do not run toward, away from, or otherwise engage the coyote. Pick up and carry small dogs. The coyote may shadow you to make sure you leave the area.

  1. Haze the coyote until it leaves the area.

Keeping up a coyote’s natural fear of humans is the best way to avoid negative experiences. Haze the coyote by yelling, stomping your feet, waving your arms, popping an umbrella, flashing a flashlight, tossing sticks or other small items at the ground near the coyote and anything else that will frighten the coyote off. If the coyote freezes, or runs a little way away and turns to watch you again, continue hazing until he or she leaves the area entirely. Then calmly and assertively walk out of the area. Never run away as it can trigger the coyote’s instinct to chase.

  1. Consider changing your route.

If you encountered a coyote on your normal route, consider changing your route for a short time especially around dawn and dusk. Share these tips with your neighbours. If the entire neighbourhood embraces hazing, the coyote will be more likely to avoid people.

What to do to discourage a coyote from entering your property

  1. Haze coyotes every time you see them on or near your property – flash the lights, bang pots and pans.
  2. Do not let your pet outside alone, especially at night.
  3. Never feed or leave food out for a coyote.

If you have concerns about someone feeding coyotes, contact ServiceOakville at 905-845-6601.

  1. Avoid having any attractants in your yard, which means picking up fallen fruit from trees, cleaning the BBQ grill, securing lids on trash cans, covering your compost piles, keeping pet food inside, and removing anything else that might be a food, water, or shelter source for coyotes

Report sightings, noting any overly brazen, unusual, or aggressive behaviour on the town’s coyote reporting form at Contact the Oakville Milton Humane Society at 905-845-1551 if you encounter a coyote you believe to be sick or injured.

Learn more at our Coyote page or the Coyote Watch Canada website.