Coyotes in Indiana: Tips to Stay Safe and Protect Your Pets

Learn how to coexist with coyotes and prevent negative interactions and conflicts in Indiana.


How to Keep Your Pets Safe

To ensure the safety of your pets, it is advisable to feed them indoors whenever possible. If you have to feed them outdoors, make sure to pick up any leftovers to avoid attracting coyotes. Additionally, store pet and livestock feed in a place that is not accessible to wildlife.

Always keep your pets leashed, and if they are kept outside, provide secure nighttime housing for them. When it comes to outdoor pet or poultry runs, make sure they have a top to increase security, and consider burying the fence in the ground to prevent digging underneath.

Cats should be kept indoors for their own safety, and when your dogs are outside, keep a close eye on them to prevent any encounters with coyotes. The only pets that can be left unattended are those in a kennel with a covered top.

Tips for Living Near Coyotes

To minimize the attraction of coyotes to your property, eliminate water bowls and other artificial water sources, if possible. Position bird feeders in a location that is less likely to attract small animals, and consider bringing them in at night to prevent coyotes from feeding on the bird food or other animals. It's also important to avoid discarding edible garbage where coyotes can access it.

Secure your garbage containers and trim the shrubbery near the ground level to reduce hiding cover for coyotes or their prey. If you start seeing coyotes around your home, make efforts to discourage them by making loud noises, shaking a container of coins, using an air horn or whistle, spraying them with a hose, or throwing rocks or tennis balls. However, it's crucial to never corner a coyote and always allow them a free escape route.

For more advanced options, you can explore the use of ultrasonic dog repellents or pocket-sized air horns. If you want to keep coyotes out, consider installing a 6–7-foot fence, buried about a foot deep. Additionally, be sure to pick up fallen fruit from trees, keep compost secure, and tightly lid and secure trash cans. Avoid leaving loose trash outside and never store pet food outside or leave it out overnight. Lastly, refrain from providing food and water for other wildlife, including birds, as it can attract rodents, which are natural prey for coyotes.

About the Author

Karl Schneider is an environment reporter for IndyStar. You can contact him at or follow him on Twitter @karlstartswithk.

IndyStar's environmental reporting project is supported by the nonprofit Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.