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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

It’s that dreaded time of year again: coyote season; when everyone has a horror story about their friend’s brother’s dog who got snatched up in the middle of the night. The thought of your own pet succumbing to such a fate can definitely stir up some anxiety, but we’re here to help ease your mind a bit with some easy tips and tricks to help prevent anything bad happening to your loved ones.

Don’t Leave Food Out

  • Bring in all of your pet’s food and water dishes.
  • Thoroughly clean your grill after every use. Predators can smell the hamburgers you cooked at the family BBQ even after you’ve eaten them all!
  • Be cautious with compost. Avoid adding meat, bones, and any whole foods to your compost piles. Many predators–like coyotes–are opportunistic eaters.
  • Clean up any fruit dropped on the ground from trees. Yes, coyotes will even go after those crab apples! This will also help get rid of smaller pests like flies.
  • Be sure that all trash bins are completely covered and minimize the time they are left outside.

Always Supervise Pets

  • Like many predators, coyotes are nocturnal, so keep an especially close eye on pets from dusk until dawn.
  • Cats are more at risk than dogs because they are more likely to roam around outside, unsupervised, and their size makes them ideal prey for coyotes. The safest lifestyle for a cat is to be kept indoors at all times, however, at the very least be sure your cats are inside at night. 
  • Keep bathroom breaks as brief as possible.
  • ALWAYS have your dog on a leash–preferably a shorter one so you have more control if they try to run. We suggest the Flat Out Dog Leash by Ruffwear. It’s 6 ft in length, which is plenty of space for your dog to wander, but not enough so that you wouldn’t be able to control them if the situation called for it. It’s also super strong, so you know it won’t snap if they run.
  • Try to avoid evening walks, or stay in well-lit, highly populated areas.
  • Don’t let your guard down just because you have a fence. Coyotes have been known to jump fences that are 6 feet tall. Many experts suggest installing rollers on the top and regularly checking to make sure there are no weak spots or holes.

Hazing 

One of the best preventative measures you can take is by hazing coyotes whenever you see them–and no, that doesn’t mean telling them to do a keg stand. “Hazing” is essentially the process of keeping predators from getting comfortable in your backyard. If you were looking at a new house but saw that the neighbors were loud and obnoxious, would you want to move there? Definitely not!

HAZING DOES NOT MEAN HURTING ANIMALS

Hazing is the act of safely scaring an animal away. Unless your life is being threatened and there are no other options, there is absolutely no reason to attack or injure an animal.

  • Always keep a safe distance, and never approach a coyote or other wild animal.
  • Never turn your back or try to outrun a coyote. They have the ability to run 40 MPH (Humans average around 15 MPH).
  • Make yourself seem BIG! Stand up straight, raise your arms and wave them, hold a coat about your head, etc.
  • Create a simple “Safety Shaker” by putting pebbles, pennies, or bolts into a soda can and sealing it with duct tape.
  • Keep your home and yard well-lit–especially during nighttime bathroom breaks with your dog.
  • If you see a coyote and you’re inside, open a window and yell, clap, or make any sort of loud noise to scare it away. Remember: you don’t want them to feel comfortable.
  • Tell your neighbors you’ve seen coyotes in the area, and encourage them to haze them, as well. Team work is always effective!

It’s scary to see any sort of threat to your furry family members. Just remember that as long as you stay cautious, smart, and calm, you’ll be able to keep your pet safe from harm.

 

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Most of us over the age of 16 drive a car, and most of us know how to interpret a traffic signal: Green means go. Red means stop. Yellow means caution.

Tara Palardy, a dog trainer Alberta, Canada, realized that some dogs require extra space and caution when being approached. There are lots of reasons this might be the case – maybe the dog is recovering from surgery, or is older and arthritic, or is a small dog terrified of larger dogs; or maybe the dog is too young to have had sufficient obedience training. In some cases, the dog is a shelter or rescue pet who has been abused or neglected, and struggles with pronounced anxiety among humans. These types of dogs are not necessarily aggressive, but very often contend with ongoing issues of fear or discomfort.

Tara realized that fostering an understanding of these special needs could help enhance the safety and well-being of dogs and humans alike. So in 2012 she began a movement to identify “Yellow Dogs” – in other words, dogs requiring a little extra caution, a little extra space. The Yellow Dog Project has since blossomed into a global initiative to assist these dogs and their pet parents. Its central goal is to educate the public (dog owners and non-owners alike) about how to approach these dogs in an appropriate way that helps them feel more comfortable and secure. It also helps pet parents to recognize when a dog they own may qualify as a Yellow Dog.

 

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Yellow Dogs are not necessarily aggressive dogs — they simply require a little extra space, compassion and TLC.

As a not-for profit organization, The Yellow Dog Project oversees educational initiatives that help us humans understand why it’s generally smart to get permission from a dog owner before initiating contact with any dog. It also promotes the use of special yellow ribbons that identify Yellow Dogs as needing some extra space; and encourages pet parents to develop relationships with local positive-reinforcement trainers as a proactive way to assist their beloved pets. All of the monies and donations raised by The Yelllow Dog Project are used to purchase additional ribbon material, representative tee shirts, and educational posters for display.

If you’d like to get involved with The Yellow Dog project, you can download additional details directly by visiting www.theyellowdogproject.com. This site allows you to sign up as a volunteer, make donations, and access helpful resources designed to assist with the unique challenges of Yellow Dog ownership. The organization’s Facebook page is listed as “The Yellow Dog Project” and it can be found on Twitter at @yellowdogproj.

Do you have a Yellow Dog? Do you have firsthand suggestions for interacting with a Yellow Dog, or for helping to make these special pets feel more comfortable and secure? Share with us below!

 

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The Yellow Dog Project uses special yellow ribbons to alert and educate people about dogs who just require some extra understanding.