Coyotes in Los Angeles: How to Protect Your Pets

One of Los Angeles’ urban coyotes passing by the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park.

Photo courtesy Steve Winter

One of Los Angeles’ urban coyotes passing by the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park.

Passersby were shocked when a coyote attacked 2-year-old Lejend Joseph in El Cariso Regional Park. Though the July 13, 2021 incident ended well –– the coyote was thankfully chased off –– these attacks have increased in recent years. At the same time, coyotes have become more concentrated in urban areas. Coyotes have found there are simply too many benefits in terms of food to be ignored while living near humans. As they have connected humans with food supplies, coyotes also can consider pets to be food. To many pet owners that can be concerning, especially as many coyotes have gotten used to humans and no longer fear many actions that would traditionally send a coyote fleeing. Thankfully, the American Kennel Club provides many tactics that can protect your pets from coyotes.

First, consider getting a coyote vest for your pets. Coyote vests are designed with 1-inch spikes around a collar and the back, protecting the areas coyotes like to attack. The spikes will act as a quick deterrent to any would-be attacker. Second, supervise pets when they are outdoors if you’re unable to get coyote-proof fencing around. These fences must be at least six feet tall to account for coyotes jumping and dug 18 inches deep to prevent coyotes from digging under. 

Next, at night, provide motion-based lighting outdoors. Coyotes investigating your backyard will be surprised by the sudden light and quickly learn that the backyard and your pet are off-limits. Also, even should the coyote not retreat immediately, it will proceed with more caution. Fourth, pick up things that could attract coyotes. Windfalls, leftover scraps, and even animal poop can attract coyotes, so carefully cleaning up and securing these items can leave coyotes little incentive to wander near.

Finally, on walks, be prepared that a coyote might attack if you live in an area with coyote sightings. Bring a walking stick or air horn, and keep your pet on a leash. If a coyote appears, make loud noises. If the coyote still is not deterred, you are legally allowed to throw rocks at it to protect your pet.

While coyotes have increased in number in suburban areas, there still are many ways to keep them away from your pets. Convincing coyotes to not connect your pets with the food they can get can be an important step. Protect your pets whenever possible and take care when they are outside.



Lotz, Kristina, How You Can Protect Your Dog From Coyotes, American Kennel Club, August 29, 2021

CBSLA staff, Coyote Attacks 2-Year-Old Child At El Cariso Park In Sylmar, CBS Los Angeles, July 15, 2021