NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - If you own a pet, beware. Wildlife officials say you need to be on the lookout for coyotes, especially this time of the year.
It’s coyote mating season. It starts now and continues through March. When that happens, the coyotes can become more aggressive.
Coyotes are out there, and you may not see them, but they could see you.
This time of the year they are looking for mates and places to sleep. Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s Jason Harmon said the possibility increases of you running into one.
“They can den anywhere, in abandoned buildings, abandoned barns,” said Harmon.
That could make coyotes a little more aggressive, looking at your pet as food. Many dog owners said they already keep a close watch on their pets, making sure they don't leave their sight.. even for a minute.
Pet owner Kenneth Patton always takes precautions this time of year. He owns a 45-pound mixed-breed dog.
“He doesn’t go out at night unless I’m with him,” said Patton. “He goes with me everywhere. He’s family.”
The TWRA said here’s what pet owners should do to help keep coyotes away.
“In urban areas, make sure to put food up, pet feeders away and bird feeders higher up,” said Harmon.
If you do spot a coyote in your neighborhood, make a little noise.
“You can rattle pots and pans, make some racket, show them you don’t want them there,” said Harmon.