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Watch your pet, coyotes are hungry

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More reports have been coming over the wire lately about the increase in coyote attacks again. Although many believe that coyotes are more prevalent in the summer months when it is warm and more animals are out and about, but that is actually a falsehood.

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First and foremost, coyotes breed in the winter months, thus they are hungrier and need more energy during the cold season. That means those of you that feel that you can simply let your canine out in your yard because they will be safe from coyotes in the cold and the snow have another thing coming. More dogs are attacked in the winter months than they are during the spring and summer months!

For those of you that think that coyotes are one of the species of animals that hibernate during the winter, think again. In fact, coyotes are one of the most adaptable animals that exist in our world. Although they typically do breed in the winter, they have been known to change their breeding habits to justify other events going on in their environment. They have also been able to randomly change their diet as well as their social dynamics in order to survive in a wide variety of habitats.

Coyotes do become bolder when they are hungry. They may even approach a dog when they are with their human, out for a walk. Some dogs may not back down and this could ward off the coyote, causing them to go in the opposite direction, but if a dog does back down, cowers and/or shows fear, the coyote may be more likely to attack – even out in the open. As per the Cook County Coyote Project website, "Dogs were attacked while outside in their back yard (both alone and in the presence of their owner) and also while being walked by their owner in a park."

Wheaton, Illinois residents have always had to be cautious of coyote attacks, but again recently, Wheaton police have reported a series of coyote attacks. Two involved small dogs being snatched. In the third incident, a dog had to be euthanized after receiving extensive injuries from a coyote attack.

The Cook County website has tracked the nearly 30 different breeds of dogs reportedly attacked by coyotes. When analyzed, it is not surprising to discover that smaller breeds of dogs were attacked most often. The analysis stated that 20 small breeds, three medium breeds and six large breeds of dogs were attacked. When the larger breeds are attacked, it may be by more than one coyote at a time; often alpha pairs.

So, be careful out there. If you see a coyote in your neighborhood or one that approached you on your walk with your pooch, it is best to throw caution to the wind and go in the other directions; keeping your dog away from this wild, hungry animal. Remember, it is winter, coyotes are out and about hungry and hunting for a mate. Don’t let your canine be its next supper!

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