Exotic Pet Wonderland

Pet Coyote Care Guide

Coyotes as Pets

Sharing your life with a pet coyote can be beautiful chaos or a living nightmare all depending on your expectations. They aren’t an animal that everyone should have, but if you are interested in learning about what it takes to care for and share your life with a pet coyote, you’re in the right place.

A photo of a woman with red hair and glasses wearing a green jacket and brown work boots sitting on the ground inside an enclosure for a rescued pet coyote. The coyote stands about a foot from her and is looking at her playfully

Is owning a pet coyote legal in your state? Before you even consider having a pet coyote in your life, you need to look into legality.  Not every state allows pet coyotes, and even if the state allows coyotes, there may be restrictions within your city, county, or even your HOA if you have one where you live.  PLEASE DO NOT TAKE WILD COYOTES IN AND TRY TO MAKE THEM PETS. If you find a wild coyote in need of assistance, please find a rehabber immediately. Rehabbers can be found by contacting your local wildlife department or by downloading Animal Help Now. 

Enclosures for Pet Coyotes

Coyotes do not make ideal house pets and need a very large, secure outdoor enclosure where they can run and expel all of their extra energy.  They are very high energy and can be very destructive if not given the proper outlets. 

We highly recommend a full top and bottom for your coyotes safety as they can climb, jump and dig, and if someone sees your pet coyote loose there’s a high probability that they will kill it out of fear. You can use heavy gauge welded wire buried or concrete as the floor, and at the top you could go with a full metal or shingle roof, or use heavy gauge wire for it too. If your enclosure is tall enough, you can even avoid a full solid roof by providing lean ins with coyote rollers and hot wire to prevent you pet from being able to climb out. 

As an extra safety measure, you need a catch door, or double door, so that you can enter and exit without fear of your pet coyote running by you. 

 They need the largest space you can possibly give, and as a minimum we recommend at least 24x48x6, with at least 8ga welded wire and  no larger than 2″x4″ openings. 

a photo of an outdoor pet bobcat enclosure made of wood and welded wire located in the woods at exotic pet wonderland, an animal sanctuary in tennessee
A photo of a rescue pet coyote sitting in front of a blue wall and smiling into the camera

Pet Coyote Diets

If you were to decide a coyote is the right pet for you, please remember to make sure you’re prepared to feed your pet coyote healthy, appropriate meals.  Coyotes need a raw meat heavy diet as they are not a domestic canine, so while you can provide some dog kibble for them to snack on, they still require a balanced raw meal daily as well, because they don’t get everything they need from kibble alone.  While coyotes are omnivores, their diet is still mainly comprised of meat, and around 85-90% of their diet should be raw meat. Out of the 85-90% around 10% can be raw bones, 5% should be liver, and 5% should be another form of offal such as kidney, spleen, pancreas, etc. The portion of their diet that isn’t meat can be veggies, fruits, and eggs.

A bowl of food for a pet coyote with a dead baby rabbit in the middle

Pet Coyote Vet Care

Like any animal you choose to share your live with, your pet coyote is going to need proper veterinary care to stay happy and healthy. Before getting a pet coyote, it is important to establish that you have a veterinarian in the area willing to see your animal. As closely related coyotes are to domestic dogs, these are not animals that normal vets (or even exotic pet vets!) will see. Do some research into finding a vet that specializes in zoological medicine and large exotic pets.

There are two important vaccines that your pet coyote needs: the DHPP vaccine and the rabies vaccine. The DHPP vaccine helps protect your pet coyote against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. And as its name suggest, the rabies virus helps prevent rabies.  Additionally, getting your pet coyote spayed or neutered may help with some behavioral issues and things like marking.