ST. LOUIS — Missouri Department of Conservation warns pet owners to be careful of leaving their pets outside unattended after recent coyote encounters.

“Coyotes are teaching their pups how to hunt and travel right now, and that can lead to conflicts with pets and people … especially in an urban setting,” said MDC Wildlife Damage Biologist, Patrice Pyatt.

Pyatt said coyotes might attack pets, especially dogs because they can be seen as a threat to their territory.

MDC recommends keeping trash covered, installing a fence that is at least six feet high so coyotes would not be able to jump over it or dig under it, and not leaving pet foods outside unattended.

MDC advises pet owners should watch their pets and be cautious walking their dogs around dusk when coyotes are most active.

For more information on dealing with coyote encounters, click here.