Pet Coyotes: Do Not Try This! Here’s Why

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: February 25, 2023
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Key Points

  • Coyotes may carry certain diseases including rabies, distemper, and canine hepatitis which are transmissible to humans and other animals.
  • Their feral nature and aggressive tendencies will likely result in their clashing with any other resident canine and getting the upper hand — every time.
  •  Feeding coyotes is not ideal either. These feral canines which have become a regular fixture in urban environments have become emboldened resulting in an increase in attacks.
mother and baby coyote on a rock
Coyotes are difficult to domesticate like dogs. This is because they have evolved to survive in the wild.


Many people wish to raise coyotes as pets, however wild animals like coyotes are difficult to domesticate like dogs. They have evolved feral impulses to survive in the wild. Some humans have successfully tamed wild coyotes through domestication methods, but this is not recommended.

Although rare, coyotes are known to attack humans. Keep reading to learn why you should not try having a pet coyote.

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Coyotes are quite territorial and would not do well in a forced or confined space. They are wild in nature and need to be free to roam.



Coyotes can spread diseases such as rabies, distemper, and canine hepatitis. These diseases can spread to humans and other animals.

Insatiable Appetite

Even as pets, coyotes are carnivores. For example, a coyote can eat your cats or birds. In addition, if not properly fed, they can feast on your chickens or livestock.

Wild Nature

Unfortunately, most domesticated animals end up chained or leashed in their backyards or other outdoor spaces. Coyotes can get crazy and start breaking things if they’re kept in small, confined quarters or in a house. This is because they are wild and do not possess the capacity to be tamed.


Even if you have a larger dog or animal in the house, you’re likely to see a lot of fighting. Due to the coyote’s feral nature, the other pet is almost always defeated in a battle.

Other People

Even if you manage to woe this animal, it may take a long time before becoming open to other humans. They might be highly aggressive to your friends, neighbors, and family members.

Imagine taking your coyote pet for walks in the park as you would with a typical dog without feeling confident with its temperament.

Many people end up killing these animals when they confront them. If by any chance your pet gets lost, it might be shot by gun-wielding property owners.

Why You Should Not Feed or Befriend Wild Coyotes

Exotic Pet Ownership coyote
Coyotes are extremely bold predators, who will sometimes attack pets right in the presence of one or more humans.

©Jukka Jantunen/

Instead of domesticating a coyote, why not befriend one? While it may be tempting to feed and be around a creature that resembles man’s best friend, do not do so.

Coyotes are becoming more aggressive towards humans in urban and rural regions. Dozens of attacks on youngsters in California and on the East Coast prove that we should recognize the coyote as a possible predator.

Coyotes In Urban Areas

Large coyote populations exist in Texas cities. Coyotes are tougher to control the closer they approach cities. Hunting is prohibited within most city limits and most places on the fringes of large cities. This allows coyotes to thrive with little control over their numbers.

City coyotes are daring and will raid garbage cans, steal your pet’s food, and possibly eat your dog. Los Angeles is home to an estimated 5,000 coyotes.

Increase In Coyote Attacks

When they are seen in the city during the day, most people mistake coyotes for dogs. Some even welcome them into their backyards. As a result, once rare coyote assaults on humans have surged in the last decade.

In California, 89 coyote attacks occurred including children, adults, and pets. In 56 of these attacks, someone was hurt. In 77 more cases, coyotes stalked youngsters, chased people, or threatened adults.

What About Hybrid Coyote Dogs?

Coydogs are coyote-dog hybrids which have a reputation for being temperamental

©Hunter Desportes / flickr – License

Coyote and domesticated dogs are known to be crossbred. They are called Coydogs. While lovely in appearance, these coyote crossbreeds can be quite temperamental. Wild canines and domesticated dogs have decades of temperamental and genetic changes that separate them.

We already know that wild dogs like coyotes and wolves may mate and procreate with domesticated dog breeds because of the popularity of wolf-dog hybrids. And, unlike other animal hybrids like the Liger (Tiger-lion crossbreed) or the Mule (Donkey and horse crossbreed), Coydog hybrids can even produce fertile pups.

Natural breeding of coyotes with dogs is unlikely. Why? First, they don’t match up when domestic dogs and coyotes are in heat. Also, they are unlikely to get along as they are very different in nature. Humans usually purposely create Coydog hybrids.

Where Do Urban Coyotes Live?

coyote standing in the field
Urban environments offer these adaptable canines an extensive range of accommodation options


Ever wondered where these new urban invaders hang out before emerging at dawn or dusk? Coyotes are impressively adaptable and urban environments offer these wily canines a host of options in terms of accommodation. They are not above digging dens in the soft soil; they may also sleep out in the open or snuggle under bushes — the thicker the better, especially close to the freeway. Storm drains are also another attractive option as are wood piles. They might decide also decide to move into abandoned houses, too.

In Conclusion

coyote howling from on top of a rock
Keeping a coyote as a pet is not advised. Do not feed coyotes either. This can make them bold and unpredictable.


Coyotes are wonderful animals that are far more adaptive than their red and gray wolf cousins. However, overall, keeping coyotes as pets is difficult and not advised. We should let coyotes exist free of human interference.

Fears of coyotes include rabies, predators, and damage to property, pets, and cattle. This is not designed to scare, but to educate people about potential coyote attacks. The essential point is that people should never feed or attempt to domesticate these animals. Feeding predatory animals teaches them to lose their fear of humans and become erratic in behavior.

If you live near woods, marsh, or fields, don’t be afraid, but keep a safe distance from coyotes.

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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