It's a dangerous time of year for pet owners that live in coyote country. That's the word from the Missouri Department of Conservation as they're warning about coyotes and keeping a close on your pets.

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The Missouri Department of Conservation said in a press release this week that this is the time of year when coyotes are rearing pups.

“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.

It's worth noting that coyote encounters with humans and/or pets are rare. The Missouri Department of Conservation advises reducing possible food sources for coyotes on your property and if you do see one, make it feel as unwelcome as possible. They say that "yelling or making other loud, threatening noises, throwing rocks, spraying garden hoses, or blowing air horns" will normally scare off coyotes.

They also warn about leaving pets outside unattended this time of year if you live in coyote country. The Humane Society did back up the concept that coyotes will sometimes attack dogs they see as a threat.

How Stuff Works tackled the controversial question about whether it's true that coyotes are a real threat to pets. They note that while coyotes have a reputation as dangerous predators for pets, they're really shy creatures that don't seek out human or pet contact.

You can check out the Missouri Department of Conservation press release for more details on why this is the time of year to watch out for coyotes.

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