Closely resembling a wolf, coyotes are commonly found in Alaska and all the way down to central America and Canada. They are known to even in areas where they cannot be spotted because of their presence in native American tales and folklores.
An important point to be noted is that, though coyotes are commonly seen in and around human settlements these days, they aren’t anything less than wild animals. It has hardly been only a decade since coyotes have become a common sighting in urban areas.
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are incredibly adaptable animals that explain how coyotes were able to successfully migrate from the wild to urban areas leaving their natural habitat behind.
Now that coyotes have become a common sighting in urban areas, so have their pups too. Yeah, coyote babies are called pups because they belong to the canine family. You didn’t know that, did you?
Similarly, if you are someone living near the woods, you might have seen how playful coyote pups can be. Coyote pups can be seen playing just like dogs wrestling and chasing each other around.
But does all these mean that coyotes are safe to be around like dogs? Or are they dangerous?
Yeah, though coyotes and their pups are commonly seen in and around our neighborhood, we don’t really know much about them. This is why in this article have compiled a list of everything you need to know about a baby coyote. Right from how they look, how they sound, and many more interesting things about them.
Hop on folks, let’s get going!
What does a baby coyote look like?
A baby coyote looks almost similar to a dog’s puppy. It is quite difficult to distinguish a coyote pup from a dog, which makes it dangerous. Unlike dogs, coyotes can be quite aggressive, especially when there are babies involved.
Coyote pups are curious enough to let you get close to them, and the chances are that they might panic when you are near.
The panicked pup will start to bark or whine, which means trouble for you. The adult coyotes will be close by, and they might jump in out of the blue and start attacking.
A coyote pup closely resembles a Chihuahua, and they don’t look much like an adult coyote. They have short muzzles, small ears, and dainty little feet till they are around four weeks old.
Their appearance starts changing by the end of 4th week with their muzzles becoming pointed, forehead becoming flat, and tail turning bushy.
The best way to identify a coyote pup is to closely observe its tail while running. Though a coyote pup’s tail is not as bushy as that of an adult, they will still keep the tail pointed downwards while they run. This behavior is very different from that of a dog’s pup.
How long does it take the coyote pups to be born and be independent?
The mating season of coyotes is generally between January and March, and they have an average gestation period of 60 days. Unlike other wild animals, these pups will be born after 90 days and will be fully dependent on their mother for almost 1 to 2 months.
They survive solely on mothers’ milk for a period of up to 3 weeks. After which they begin to slowly feed on semi-solid food apart from mother’s milk.
Once these pups begin to eat semi-solid food, which generally happens after 3 weeks, they slowly begin to venture out of their den. Mother coyotes won’t let them go too far away from their sight during this time.
These pups, once they are around 3 months old, start accompanying their mother to learn the basics of hunting. Coyotes stick with their offspring for almost a year, after which the family splits.
By the time the family splits, the pups would have turned into adults, and they venture out hunting alone, staking out their territory, finding a mate, and forming a new pack.
What does a baby coyote sound like?
Similar to an adult coyote, a baby coyote can bark, howl, and yip. It has been seen that even a couple of weeks old coyote can tilt their head backward can give a tiny high pitched howl. Before we discuss whether these pups do bark or yip, let us first see why coyotes make these sounds.
These noises that a coyote make is being used as a mode of communication. Each noise means a different command or message.
For instance, the huffing and snarling sounds you hear are the mothers calling the pups. While the yelp you hear might be signaling a complement or denouncing each other.
Similarly, barking followed by a squeal is an indication of threat. And the infamous and spine chilling howl you hear is done to keep in touch with the coyotes living nearby.
Now that you know what these noises are meant for, you might understand why a pup howls. Until the pup goes out hunting with their mom, they usually yip or whine.
What is a baby coyote called?
A baby coyote is usually called a pup, and a group of coyote pups is called litters.
Are baby coyotes dangerous?
Yeah, baby coyotes can be dangerous. They are considered dangerous not because they can be aggressive; rather, it is because they might be carrying disease-causing deadly pathogens and viruses. Most of these diseases can be easily transmitted to humans through direct contact.
Coyotes, in general, are found to be carriers of the deadly rabies virus. If you have other pets at home, chances of the coyote transmitting the virus to them are very high.
As mentioned in the earlier section, though coyotes may seem to be harmless, they can be quite aggressive too. Having coyotes at home, especially if you have kids, is an unwanted risk you are willing to take.
Apart from being carriers of deadly viruses, another threat is the adults becoming too territorial and aggressive. Coyotes mate from January to March and give birth to the pups after 90 days. Though coyotes, in general, aren’t aggressive, their behavior changes while nearing birth and after birth.
Coyote parents become more protective and territorial during these periods, and encounters with them can be quite dangerous.
That doesn’t mean that when there are pups in the den, coyotes will attack without any provocation. They will only attack if they feel you or your pet’s presence near their den to be a threat to their babies. In most cases, pets are the most vulnerable to these attacks.
Baby coyotes are curious and playful like the other babies, and they will let anything or anyone go near them. And the chances are that when something gets near them, they panic and begin whining, which is their distress call.
The adult coyotes will be nearby, and they will pound on to anything they feel to be a threat to their babies even if it is a human. If you have spotted the presence of a coyote den with babies, the best thing to do is to stay away.
Can you tame a baby coyote?
This is one of the commonly asked questions about a coyote. Many people would want to have them as a pet. But before you decide to get one, remember that just because they are found in urban areas doesn’t make them anything less than a wild animal.
Though they may look cute and seemingly harmless, they can be quite aggressive. It doesn’t matter how well you take care of it or domesticate its natural wild instincts kicks in. If you are sure about domesticating one, read on!
So yeah, you can tame a baby coyote. It is, in fact, much better and far easier than taming an adult wild coyote. Taming a wild coyote when it is young is the best way to go about taming it because of the high chances of the pup being receptive to humans.
As mentioned earlier, coyotes are not meant to be domesticated. Apart from being aggressive, coyotes are known to be carriers of rabies. And coyotes can eat up your small pets such as cats, birds or even the poultries.
What to feed a baby coyote?
Before we discuss what to feed a baby coyote, you need to have a clear understanding of their dietary pattern in the wild. A coyote pup till they are 3 weeks old survives solely on their mother’s milk.
Only after 3 weeks will they slowly start eating semi-solid foods apart from milk. Not just for a coyote, before feeding any domesticated animal, you should feed them whatever they have in their natural habitat.
If your coyote pup is less than 3 weeks old, feed them only milk. Feed them milk using a dropper at regular intervals. Whereas, if the coyote is more than three weeks old, you can start feeding them small rodents, frogs, fishes, and so on.
Sounds daunting, huh? This is one of the many reasons why domesticating a coyote is not an easy thing to do.
Though it may seem perfectly okay to feed coyotes the normal pet food, it won’t end well. Coyotes are omnivorous mammals, and almost 90% of their diet comprises of rabbits, small rodents, insects, frogs, and even deer.
No pet food can provide them with adequate nutrition as the food items mentioned above. If the reason for feeding a baby coyote is because you find an abandoned pup or an injured one, it is advised to take him/ her to the nearest vet or animal shelter.
Found a baby coyote? – What to do next
Okay, this is the tricky part of handling a baby coyote. The first thing to do if you find a baby coyote alone is to look around closely.
The chances are that its mother will be somewhere nearby, and you don’t want to be anywhere near the pup when the mother comes. That being said, if you are certain that the baby coyote is alone, injured, or need help, don’t hesitate to help it.
Follow these steps to decide whether the baby needs help:
- See if it is a neonate baby (eyes closed, no fur and tiny) or of the baby is out there alone whining.
- If you find a baby near a dead mother, it might need your help.
- See if the baby is injured or has any open wounds.
- If the baby is whining, weak, looking sick, or trying to follow you, it might need your help.
If you find a coyote baby in any of these conditions, it might need help. But never take things to your own hands unless you feel that the baby is in danger.
In that case, you can lift the baby using a thick bath towel and take it somewhere safe. Be cautious as not to get bitten or scratched by the baby because these baby coyotes are the carriers of the rabies virus. If the baby is not in immediate danger, you should call in a vet or an expert to decide whether it needs help or not.
If you find a baby coyote that’s healthy, eyes open and able to walk, think twice before you go anywhere near it. They might just be playing right outside their den or exploring their surroundings, and their mothers might be watching. Mothers can be aggressive if they feel that their babies are in danger.
Baby coyote fun facts
Baby coyotes are not much different from the adults except that they are fully dependent on their mother for the first 3 weeks after birth. They begin exploring and learning the basics of hunting only after the first three months. Let us have a look at some of the interesting and fun facts about a baby coyote.
1. Baby coyotes are known as pups. Though coyotes resemble wolves/foxes, they belong to the family of dogs.
2. A baby coyote (pup) may look very much alike to a Chihuahua.
3. These pups have short muzzles, small ears, and dainty little feet.
4. Even a new-born coyote pup con howl. It is fun to see a baby coyote tilting its head backward and giving out a small, high-pitched howl in unison with the adults.
5. Coyote pups are curious animals, and their curiosity frequently lands them in trouble.
6. The baby coyotes have an incredible sense of hearing and smell like the adults.
25 baby coyote names
As mentioned earlier, domesticating a coyote is not a good idea considering the risks involved and the difficulty in finding food for them. But if you still decide to get one, you are going to need some names to call them and have you covered there.
In this section, we have compiled a list of names for baby coyotes.
12 name for male baby coyotes
- Coyote Jr.
- Mr. Puppy
- Mr. Tiny
- Mr. Small
13 names for female baby coyotes
- Mrs. Small
- Mrs. Weeny
How much do baby coyotes weigh, and how big are they?
Baby coyotes are tiny at the time of their birth like any other babies, and they can weigh anywhere between 200gms to 500gms at birth.
These neonatal babies will not have any fur on their body; neither shall their eyes be open. It will take these babies almost 9 months to attain the weight of an adult, which can be anything between 9 to 18kg.
How to identify a baby fox and a baby coyote? Baby coyote vs baby fox
Because both the coyotes and foxes belong to the canine family, it is difficult to distinguish them at first glance. Though they both have more or less the same morphological features, they do have some differences.
But these difference becomes prevalent generally after 2 to 3 weeks when the babies start to venture out of the den and play with the other puppies. That being said, it isn’t easy for an untrained person to identify a baby coyote form a baby fox during its neonatal stage.
Among the many difference, the most important one is that foxes are solitary animals, while coyotes are social animals. This means that there will be many coyote babies playing together than in the case of fox babies.
Similarly, foxes are smaller in size than coyotes, which is the same in the case of babies too. Coyote babies will be bigger in size than foxes.
The most commonly seen foxes in and around human settlements are the grey and red colored foxes, which makes it easier to distinguish a red-colored fox from a coyote which is has a grey colored fur.
Distinguishing a grey colored coyote and a grey colored fox required a close observation. A coyote has dark grey colored fur over its entire body except for the underbelly that has a light grey colored fur.
Another notable difference is the way a coyote baby holds its tail while running around. Coyotes keep their tail pointed downwards while they run, unlike a fox. Apart from this, coyote babies have a shorter tale than a fox. Then comes the size, coyote babies are generally bulkier than the baby foxes.
To summarise, it is virtually impossible to distinguish a baby coyote from a baby fox during its neonatal state. Wait till the baby is big enough to identify them by their size, tail, and color.
How to take care of a baby coyote?
The first thing to keep in mind is that no one can take care of a baby better than its mother. This applies to a coyote too. Never take the pup until you are sure that it has been abandoned or is lost.
The best thing to do before you pick the coyote up would be to wait and see if the mother comes back for the pup. Don’t go anywhere near the pup until you are sure that that the mother isn’t in the vicinity.
Always be careful while handling a baby coyote because the chances are that it might be carrying some deadly viruses or pathogens. Make sure that you use a thick towel to carry the baby around so that it can give you some protection.
Apart from the protection, it can also give the pup enough warmth. If it’s a neonatal baby, rush it to the nearest animal rescue center because it might need expert care.
The reason why we don’t entertain keeping a neonatal coyote pup is that the first thing the pup should see after opening its eyes should be another coyote and not a human. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to release him/her into the wild once they are old enough.
Can you domesticate a baby coyote?
Baby coyotes are irresistibly cute, and who wouldn’t want to keep one as a pet? It would be great to domesticate a coyote similar to dogs, right? There are even people who have tried doing this, but unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as they expected.
Coyotes may appear seemingly harmless and friendly but don’t be deceived by their look because they are wild animals, and they are not meant to be domesticated.
Among the many reasons why it isn’t advised to domesticate a coyote, the baby is because it loses its natural behavior. Coyotes are wild animals that are meant to forage for food, find a mate, reproduce and roam around in their natural habitat. Though food might be abundant for a domesticated coyote, the rest would still be a luxury they cannot afford, and therein lies the problem.
These baby coyotes will lose their charm and cuteness in 6 or 7 months, and their natural wild instincts may come out. Imagine your pet coyote howling in the middle of the night? Or sneaking up to your neighbor’s yard and killing his poultry. It is for sure that domesticated coyotes are going to end up in trouble, and you decide to let it out into the wild.
That isn’t going to be easy because, by the time you decide to let them out into the wild, they would have become adults. An adult coyote who knows nothing about its wild habitat cannot survive even a day in the wild, and it will come back to urban areas.
Even the wildlife shelters won’t take in a domesticated coyote, and they would be legally euthanized—more than that, it is illegal to domesticate a coyote in some part of the world.
And if you still decide to keep one, there lies a major hurdle that you need to tackle – feeding them.
Coyotes are wild animals, and you cannot feed them the normal pet food. No pet food can provide them with adequate nutrition as the food they eat in the wild.
You would need to feed them rabbits, rodents, fishes, and frogs for them to stay healthy. And baby coyotes need to be strictly kept on an all-milk diet till they are three months old.
So, in short, our answer to the idea of domesticating a baby coyote would be a big NO!
Spiritual meaning of a baby coyote
Coyotes are considered to be a spirit animal or a totem in many cultures. It is believed that a coyote as a spirit animal comes into your life when you feel that you have lost your way or when you are struggling in life.
The significance of coyote as a spirit animal lies in the fact that a coyote can live anywhere and can be found everywhere, which talks about their ability to adapt themselves to circumstances.
An encounter with a coyote baby might mean many things, and it entirely depends on your circumstances. Let’s have a look at the common symbolism that is associated with a baby coyote.
Baby coyotes might be symbolizing that you need to bring in a change in your life. A change can mean anything from making changes to your lifestyle or to the way you as a person are.
It fundamentally symbolizes the fact that life is not meant to be lived doing the same things over and over again. It might be a message from the universe that you need to believe in yourself and do the things you have wanted to do with faith.
It might symbolize your urge to let go of the sentimental attachments that have been weighing down your wings. This might be your call to break the chains of past and focus on what you are doing in the present or on what do you want to do in life.
A baby coyote reminds us that nothing in life is constant and that everything is bound to change at some point in time.
Coyotes are known for their ability to survive in different terrain. For instance, they are found to survive in the desert, the beach, the forest, and the mountains.
This speaks a lot about how coyotes have learned to find ways to survive. Similarly, seeing a coyote while you are at a bad stage at life means that they are ways for you to come up in life.
All you got to do is accept, adapt, and find ways to succeed. It also means that you need to start seeing beyond the illusions of life.
If you are not sure about what to make up from an encounter with a baby coyote, trust your instincts. Before you jump into conclusions, take a deep breath, calm your mind, and relax. Always trust in the universe and believe in yourself!