8 Pet Coyote Facts You Need To Know!

Can a coyote be a pet? No, most likely coyotes aren’t the right pet for you. In some states keeping one might even be illegal. However, there are always exceptions and some people do successfully keep a coyote as a pet. In this article, I will show you what it would look like and what one should consider before making a decision.

Pet coyote looking into the camera

Is It Legal To Have A Coyote As A Pet?

Before you adopt a coyote you should make sure that they are legal to keep as pets where you live. Most states have some sort of regulation for animals that belong to the local wildlife.

Often it’s not allowed to keep these species as pets for various reasons. There are safety aspects with dangerous animals like pumas or leopards. Health concerns must be considered with other species. And some are protected because they are listed as endangered.

Coyotes live in every state except Hawaii and are often considered a pest. But that doesn’t mean that they are legal as invasive species like starlings and sparrows.

To be sure what’s allowed in your city you should ask someone at the local department of wildlife. This is the only safe way, as laws can not only change by state but also by county or city. Visit findlaw.com to get a first overview of what might be legal at your place.

Are Coyotes Domesticated?

Coyote howling in the american desert

Can you domesticate a coyote? No, domestication needs a long time to take place. Our house dogs, which are closely related to coyotes, jackals and wolves, needed over 10,000 years to become the pets we love today.

Even a coyote puppy of the third or fourth generation in captivity is far away from being domesticated. However, it’s very different with taming. Many people use both terms interchangeably but they mean something completely different.

You can tame a coyote puppy when you raise it from a very young age and they can very well be tame and friendly towards humans. Some will even accept humans as family. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t wild animals anymore.

They will never be as docile and affectionate as dogs. And most likely will never become what their owner wants them to be. It’s always a one-sided love more or less with a few exceptions like coyote Wiley and his family.

But that doesn’t mean coyotes don’t want the advantages of living near humans. Many choose to live at city limits and they even started to become nocturnal to avoid contact. 

Health Concerns

Coyotes are known to spread pathogens, parasites and viruses like rabies. This can be a problem especially for dogs and other pets.

If you live in a city where coyotes are common, you should secure your trash to keep them away from your house. Every potential source of food can lure them. This is also for bird feeders which attract their prey.

Taking A Pet Coyote For A Walk

Coyote in the woods

A coyote can walk on a leash but you will definitely have a hard time teaching him commands. A dog will much quicker learn how to sit, lay down and walk by your side when you tell him to.

Another thing you should consider is that not everyone will agree that it’s cool or even ok to have a coyote as a pet. Some will say they belong in the wild, others will tell you they are a pest and the rest might simply have fear for their pets.

The Behavior Of Pet Coyotes

When a coyote lives in your house you can’t expect him to behave like a dog. Spraying and chewing on furniture and other things will become a topic. You will have to make adjustments to your belongings and accept that your pet will destroy one thing or another.

What To Feed A Pet Coyote?

In the wild coyotes eat mostly small mammals as well as bird eggs, birds, reptiles, amphibians and occasional fruits and berries. In captivity, it’s possible to feed a coyote mainly dog food. Even zoos often tend to make the diet simple.

Pet owners often want to offer some variety to their furry friends. In the case of coyotes you can buy some fresh meat or feed whole rabbits and other prey they would hunt.

Do Coyotes Need A Kennel?

It’s good to have a large outdoor enclosure for your pet coyote. However, I’m not a big fan of a traditional kennel but something like a large pen with toys, a den for shelter, grass and wood, would do a great job.

A coyote can’t spend the whole day in the house. They are used to having much space outside and will develop unbalanced behavior if kept inside all the time. So kept coyotes will show more destructive behavior than normal and make a lot more work.

Where Are Coyote Puppies For Sale?

Curious coyote puppy

Even if I don’t want to encourage you to get a pet coyote this article should contain all the information. You will find a few breeders in the USA who have coyote puppies for sale.

At Frazier Farms in Tennesee, you can buy a coyote puppy for $600. That is not much for an exotic animal and you will pay much more for many dog puppies. But have in mind that the costs of caring for a coyote are much higher.

In some states, you would have to pay for the license you need if you want to keep one legally. An outside enclosure has high initial costs. Veterinary care is hard to find and will most likely cost more than for traditional pets. Not to mention the cost of food which adds up quickly.