TYLER, Texas (KETK) — On the Nextdoor app, some East Texans have seen posts almost every day about coyotes being spotted in neighborhoods and many people are concerned for the safety of their pets.

“This time of year, what you have is two things going on. So you’ve got both male and female coyotes are looking for mates, females are looking for spots to put den sites where they think they can dig a good dean, protect their pups,” said John Tomeček, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

During this time, coyotes are looking for a safe place to make their den. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service said there are signs people should watch out for.

“If you got them in and around your home, we don’t ever want to see a situation where coyotes get habituated, where they get comfortable with people,” said Tomeček.

Agrilife added you can yell, bang pots and pans, or throw things to get the animal to run away. If they don’t, that’s when you need to call animal control or a wildlife specialist, because it could be a cause of concern for you or your pet.

“You definitely want to always be on guard, always checking your surroundings, being careful where you choose to take your dogs for walks, and certainly with cats in your yard, you want to take extra precautions for them as well,” said Shauna Curtis, owner and veterinarian at Faith Veterinary Clinic.

Experts said coyotes tend to go for chickens, cats and smaller dogs.

“The smaller ones are prey size. Coyotes are going to look at that and think they can make a meal out of it,” said Tomeček.

Faith Veterinary Clinic in Troup said there are ways to keep your animals safe like building tall fences, always supervising your pets while outside and never walking them when it’s dark.

“Be sure and just keep your yards picked up, they are very territorial, so they pick up on the scent of your pet,” said Curtis.

The best advice is to just stay away from the animals.

“I would not recommend touching a coyote,” said Tomeček.

The mating season has started. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service said the mating season peaks around Valentine’s Day and you will start seeing coyote pups around Easter.

For more information on how to keep your pets and home safe from coyotes, click here.

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