Fort Worth

Even in the city, coyotes are roaming. Four tips for keeping your pets safe

Early Wednesday morning, a coyote was caught on surveillance tape roaming the backyard of a Tanglewood home. Here are some tips to help keep your furbabies safe:

1) Check the backyard before letting the pets out. Those early morning and late night potty breaks definitely aren't ideal, especially in these freezing temperatures, but a quick survey of the yard could prevent scenarios much more dire than an inconvenient moment outside. Outdoor lights and a fenced yard can also help.

2) Keep your dog on a leash whenever possible. If a coyote crosses your path, pick up the dog if you can and do not let it off the leash to chase the coyote.

3) Make sure you're not accidentally providing the unwanted visitors with free meals. Be sure all garbage is secured and inaccessible to hungry scavengers. Don't leave pet food or bird feed outside, and pick up fruit that's fallen from trees.

4) Trick the coyote into thinking you're as big and scary as possible. If you do come across one of these predators, don't turn your back to it, and definitely don't try to outrun it. Instead, flap your arms and yell or make other loud noises to scare it away - the more ridiculous the better.

Lena Blietz: 817-390-7571, @LenaBlietz