MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Pet owners are being warned of the presence of coyotes and the potential dangers they pose. One Myrtle Beach veterinarian says she treated a pet for wounds from a coyote attack just about a month ago.
People have voiced concerns about coyotes and what could happen if their dogs or cats encounter one, amid sightings in areas like Carolina Forest.
State wildlife officials say coyotes typically breed from February to March, and it's not uncommon to see them in urban areas. While coyotes typically hunt small mammals like mice or rabbits, dogs and cats could be in danger of attacks.
Veterinarians urge pet owners to keep this in mind and be on the lookout when going on walks.
Dr. Isabelle Ying said when it comes to a coyote run-in with your pet, it could even happen at your own home.
"Coyotes can jump fences. They can jump upwards to five-and-a-half foot fences so keeping your fences at least 6 feet high and even possibly a little barrier on top would help deter coyotes from jumping into your fenced-in yard," said Dr. Ying, a veterinarian at Myrtle Beach Animal Hospital.
She added coyotes are afraid of noise, so if you plan to walk your dog you can bring an empty water bottle with coins in it and shake it if you come across one.
Wildlife officials recommend keeping your dog on a leash. They also suggest not to feed your pets outside because coyotes can be attracted to their food.