Keeping your dog stylish — and safer from coyote attacks
Suburban pets can be targets for hungry coyotes and a pair of recent attacks in the Greater Boston area resulted in the deaths of dogs in Sudbury and Wayland. Police officials have warned people to be careful with their pets between sunset and sunrise, when coyotes are the most active, but in addition to vigilance, pet owners may have another option when it comes to protecting their animals.
One California company sells pet body armor that you can strap on to your pup before letting it out the door. The Kevlar outfit features plastic bristles, designed to deter a coyote from attacking a dog in the first place, and metal spikes, which help fend off a predator bold enough to try and snatch a pet.
And it has a bit more style than the ballistic vests often worn by K-9 police dogs.
Whether or not the CoyoteVest outfits look “punk rock,” as some Internet commenters have observed, they were initially designed for function, not for fashion, by a San Diego couple who lost their dog to a coyote.
“The idea was to protect my own two dogs so I could go out and enjoy my walks in the evening again,” Paul Mott told a Denver news station last year. “But of course, it’s visually very striking, and people started noticing it and asking ‘well you can make one of these for my dog?’ ”
The company’s website includes social media testimonials from several people who claim various pet armor protected their dogs from unfortunate fates at the hands of predators like coyotes and barn owls.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife recommends several tips for making your property less attractive to coyotes, which can be found throughout Massachusetts. Equipping your pet with a CoyoteVest is not on the list, at least not yet.