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Coyotes and Your Pet
Adapted from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


At first glance, the coyote resembles a small German shepherd dog, yet its color can vary from animal to animal. Shades include black, brown, gray, yellow, rust, and tan. Coyotes also have shorter, bushier tails that are carried low, almost dragging the ground, and longer, narrower muzzles than their dog cousins. Adult coyotes weigh 20 to 35 pounds, with males being slightly larger than females. At the shoulder, an adult male coyote is about 25 inches tall.

Preventing Conflicts

Prevention is the best tool for minimizing conflicts with coyotes or other wildlife. To prevent conflicts with coyotes, use the following management strategies around your property and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

  • Don't leave small children unattended where coyotes are frequently seen or heard
  • Never feed coyotes
  • Don't give coyotes access to garbage
  • Prevent access to fruit and compost
  • Feed dogs and cats indoors
  • Don't feed feral cats
  • Prevent the buildup of feeder foods under bird feeders
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn
  • Modify the landscape around children's play areas
  • Build a coyote-proof fence
  • Enclose poultry (chickens, ducks, and turkeys) in a secure outdoor pen and house
  • Keep livestock and small animals that live outdoors confined in secure pens during periods of vulnerability
  • Remove or bury dead livestock
  • For a large property with livestock, consider using a guard animal

For more information on coyotes, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. For questions about healthy or nuisance wildlife, please contact WDFW at or 425-775-1311.

RASKC values our animal welfare partner, PAWS, with who we work closely on animal issues related to adoption, rehabilitation and wildlife. As a recognized leader in the field, we are pleased to share these informational sources.

Pet Information Line
206-296-7387 (PETS)

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