Can Coyotes Be Pets? – The Challenges Of Domestication

Coyotes are one of the most fascinating wild animals in North America. Known for their cunning and adaptability, they have earned a reputation as highly skilled survivors. But as human expansion continues encroaching on their habitats, it is natural to wonder if it is possible to domesticate these remarkable animals. Many people ask on various forums, can coyotes be pets?

And that is why today’s article will explore the possibilities and challenges of domesticating coyotes. Stay with us till the end if you want to know whether can a coyote be a pet and the ethics of keeping them as pets.

Can coyotes be pets
Can coyotes be pets?

Why Coyotes May Not Be the Best Choice for Domestication

The idea of domesticating wild animals has fascinated humans for centuries, from taming horses to breeding dogs. But the question remains regarding coyotes: can you have a coyote as a pet? While coyotes share many physical and behavioral similarities with dogs, they are still wild animals with instincts and behaviors that may not be suitable for life as domestic pets.

Coyotes have a complex social structure that relies heavily on their instinctive behaviors and hunting instincts. This means that it’s incredibly challenging to train them to become loyal and obedient pets like dogs or cats. However, a coyote in the wild will be more comfortable as compared to a domestic one.

Furthermore, unlike dogs and cats, coyotes have not undergone any breeding programs to select traits that would make them better companions. This makes them prone to behavioral issues, such as aggression and territorial behavior. That is the reason many people also ask do coyotes attack cats. The reason behind is that they are concerned about their behavior with other pets.

Therefore, attempting to domesticate a coyote can pose significant risks and challenges that may need to be considered. Ultimately, it’s essential to remember that coyotes are wild animals, and even when tamed, they cannot be entirely domesticated. Let us dive into our discussion regarding can coyotes be pets.

What Does It Take to Domesticate a Coyote? ( If You Want To)

To make coyotes good pets, you need to get them when they are young.
To make coyotes good pets, you need to get them when they are young.

If you are still considering keeping them as pets, think that, do coyotes make good pets?
No need to fret, as we will thoroughly guide you in this regard too. To start the domestication process, you must get a coyote when they are young, ideally no more than two months old.

This is when their instincts are not fully developed, and they are more susceptible to imprinting. Imprinting involves associating human scent, touch, and behavior with safety and positive reinforcement.

Once you have the domestic coyote, you must spend time with them daily, introducing them to different sights, sounds, and smells. This helps the coyote learn that the world is not threatening and that humans are their caregivers.

However, even with extensive efforts, domestication is never guaranteed. Coyotes retain their wild instincts, and there will always be unpredictability when keeping one as a pet. Additionally, owning a coyote comes with significant risks and responsibilities, which may not be worth it.

What are the requirements for keeping a Coyote as Pet?

Requirements for coyotes to be domesticated
There are many requirements to domesticate a coyote; legalities, dangerous behavior, socialization, etc.

Keeping a coyote as a pet is challenging, requiring a lot of commitment and responsibility. Firstly, it’s important to note that owning a coyote as a pet in some states is illegal, so it’s necessary to check your local laws before adopting one.

If you are considering owning a coyote as a pet or are confused about whether are coyotes friendly, providing them with a spacious and secure enclosure will give you the answer. The enclosure should also include items to play with and places to hide.

The toys will also be great if you have coyote pups as pets. You should also ensure you can provide your pet coyote with a specialized diet that includes fresh meat and organs.

Furthermore, regular exercise and socialization with humans are crucial for a coyote’s overall well-being and happiness. These activities help to stimulate their minds and prevent destructive behavior.

It’s worth noting that coyotes can become very destructive and unpredictable, especially if they are not appropriately trained. It’s essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable trainer who can work with you and your coyote.

Are Coyotes Good Pets Even if Not Fully Tamed?

Can a coyote be tamed
Untamed coyotes pose a risk to owners.

Coyotes, by nature, are not domestic animals. Even when raised in captivity, they maintain their wild instincts, which could pose risks to owners and other pets. Coyotes can also be aggressive, territorial, and unpredictable, making them unsuitable pets, even when not entirely tamed. So there is a big NO to it. Even if you find a newspaper advertisement with coyote puppies for sale, we would not recommend that you go for it.

If you are still not convinced regarding can a coyote be domesticated, here are various points to help you decide.

The Risks of Keeping a Coyote at Home

Risks of Keeping a Coyote at Home
Coyotes carry many diseases.

Keeping a coyote at home comes with a long list of risks. For starters, coyotes are known carriers of various diseases, including rabies, distemper, and mange, which can spread to humans and other pets. If you do not believe it, just browse the net for, do coyotes carry rabies?

They are also known for their insatiable feeding routine and appetite, which can lead to aggression toward humans and other pets.

Even if tamed or you succeed to domesticate a coyote, it can be unfriendly with other family members and requires a lot of space and attention. Considering these risks before deciding to keep a coyote as a pet is essential.

Diseases Associated with Coyotes

One of the significant concerns of domesticating coyotes is the potential transmission of diseases. Coyotes are known to carry several zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, to name a few.

These diseases can not only affect the coyote but can also be transmitted to other pets and humans in the household. Proper vaccinations and regular veterinary check-ups are essential for the coyote’s health and safety and for those living with it. Despite these measures, the risk of disease transmission is still high, making it a risky endeavor for a domestic coyote.

Insatiable Feeding Routine and Appetite

One of the biggest challenges in domesticating a coyote is its insatiable appetite. Coyotes are omnivorous and require a varied diet to maintain their health. They eat small mammals, birds, insects, and plants in the wild.

If they are kept as pets, they need a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs. This can be difficult to maintain, and owners may need help to afford the high cost of feeding a coyote. Additionally, coyotes have an instinct to hunt and catch their food. Even if they are tamed, they may still exhibit this behavior and pose a risk to other household pets.

Aggressive and Territorial Nature with Other Pets

Coyotes are natural hunters with a predatory instinct, making them dangerous to other animals. If kept as pets, they may attack and kill smaller pets like cats, rabbits, and even smaller dogs. Coyotes are also known for their territorial behavior, which can lead to aggression towards other dogs or animals that encroach on their space.

Even the question is often asked, do coyotes eat cats? You can imagine easily that this trait makes it difficult for coyotes to live peacefully with other pets, even if they are tamed and domesticated. It is crucial to remember that despite their tameness, they still possess their instincts. Therefore, if you have other pets, it’s best to consider a different animal to domesticate.

Not Friendly with Other Family Members, Even if Tamed

Despite being tamed, coyotes still retain their wild instincts, which means they may not be friendly with other family members, including children. Coyotes are territorial animals, and even when they have been domesticated, they can become possessive of their space and food, making them unpredictable around others.

Additionally, coyotes may not take well to being touched or petted, which can lead to aggressive behavior. Even if they are comfortable around one family member, they may not tolerate others, making it challenging to keep them as pets. It is essential to consider these factors before considering coyotes as pets.


After weighing the pros and cons, it’s clear that domesticating coyotes is not a practical option for most households. The risks of disease transmission, aggressive behavior towards other pets, and unpredictable wild nature far outweigh any potential benefits of having a coyote as a pet. While there are ways to tame a coyote partially, it is essential to remember that their wild instincts cannot be eliminated. As an alternative, many other animals, such as dogs or cats, can make excellent pets and are better suited to domestication. Ultimately, it’s essential to carefully consider the responsibility and safety factors before bringing any animal into your home.


It depends on the state or country you live in. Some states allow the possession of a coyote with proper permits and licenses, while others prohibit it altogether.

It’s hard to put a timeline on it, as coyotes are not fully domesticated animals. Even with extensive training, they may still exhibit wild instincts and behavior.

Coyotes can learn to walk on a leash and perform tricks with patience and consistent training. However, it’s important to remember that they are still wild animals and may exhibit unpredictable behavior.

If you are interested in owning a pet with wild nature, consider adopting a domesticated breed with similar characteristics, such as a husky or wolf hybrid. Volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary or supporting conservation efforts can provide a fulfilling alternative.

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