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Coyote deterrent?

Over the last several months, the city I live in, and particularly my neighborhood, has been seeing more and more coyotes. I saw one myself right in front of my building a few months ago, and multiple neighbors have reported sightings. They’ve eaten some local cats, and I’ve heard stories of them snatching dogs off leashes and even going though a doggie door and killing a dog inside in one case (though I’m not sure how apocryphal that last one is).

Since I have two small dogs (10 and 15 lbs.) who I walk several times a day (and who I can’t avoid taking out after dark, since I live in an apartment without a yard), I am getting increasingly freaked out, and I’m not sure how to best protect them.

Several people have suggested pepper spray, but other people have pointed out that you have to get quite close for that to work, and if it’s windy it may hit you instead of what you’re aiming at. Other people have suggest “pet correctors” (like this or this) but I think they’d have the same proximity problem. Also, my hands are generally full balancing the dogs and poops bags, so I’d have to put something like that in a bag, which means I wouldn’t have instantaneous access.

Have any of you lovely people dealt with this before? Do you have any suggestions?

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