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Coyote Attacks and Your Pet

Coyote attacks are becoming more and more common through Southern Ontario. It’s a threat to your pets even if you let them outside in your own backyard. Coyotes are notorious for slipping in and out of human civilization and, in contrast with most native animals, they have increased their territory by learning how to live in urban environments. You may never see them or notice their presence – but it doesn’t mean they’re not present.

How to Protect Your Pet
Coyotes are natural predators of rabbits, mice and even Canada geese, helping to keep their populations in balance. But, they can also be predators of your small dog or cat. They are opportunists and will eat what they come across. Here are some ideas on how to keep your pet safe.

• Supervise – only let your pet outside if you are out there with them. A coyote will not approach if you are near. This is a good principle to live by all the time, whether or not coyotes are present. Keeping your dog chained in the backyard may be setting them up for a confrontation.
• Do not keep food dishes outdoors. If you feed feral cats, then establish set times when you feed and remove any leftover food and dishes after a short period of time. Feral cats will get used to your schedule.
• Good fences make good neighbours, and that goes for different species too. You’ll have to be extra careful to construct your fence with sufficient protection, including:
◦ Minimum height of 6-feet
◦ Must extend underground at least 6-inches
◦ Adding PVC piping or chicken wire to the top of your fence can also decrease the chance of their jumping over the fence.
◦ To keep coyotes from digging under a fence, you can also add a mesh apron to the bottom of a fence that extends at least 12-inches out from the wall, secured with landscaping staples.

If you want to protect any feral cats in your backyard from coyote attacks, remember that the cats can climb a wooden post or tree trunk while coyotes can’t. Providing them with such a climbing post gives them an escape route.

There is little data on coyote attacks and Coyote Watch Ontario are aiming to correct that information gap by compiling data on coyote attacks.

• Look up Coyote Watch Ontario on Facebook to stay informed –
• You can report any coyote attacks with this form – personal information will never be shared without permission and we will never SPAM or sell the contact information.
• You’ll find a live map with information about coyote sightings at this link:

Enjoy your summer!


Dr. Gary Arzem, Newmarket’s Go-To Veterinarian

About Dr. Arzem and The North Yonge Veterinary Hospital:
Dr. Gary Arzem received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario in 1989. He is the founder and head veterinarian at The North Yonge Veterinary Hospital in Newmarket, Ontario. Having practiced veterinary medicine for more than 25 years, his skills and special interests include surgery, dentistry, diagnostic imaging (ultrasound and radiography), dermatology, internal medicine, cardiology, ophthalmology and public health as it relates to pets and their owners. He is a founding member of The Veterinary Emergency Clinic of York Region in Newmarket. Dr. Arzem is recognized as an educational leader in the community and is involved with The Ontario Veterinary College, York Region District School Board, Simcoe County Board of Education, and Seneca College’s Co-Operative Education Programs. Dr. Arzem also participates in several continuing education conferences, including The North American and Western Veterinary Conferences and he is actively involved in fundraising for a number of charitable organizations, such as The Pet Trust Fund, The Farley Foundation, The Hospital for Sick Children and the Canadian Cancer Society. He has also appeared on City T.V.’s Animal House Calls and Rogers Your Pet Your Vet television shows and has written several articles for Newmarket’s Snapd Newspapers.

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