It's breeding season for coyotes which means they're more active this time of year, and it's perhaps the most likely time for your pet to have an encounter with one of these wild canines. This is according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Coyotes have adapted very well to human development around them and can be found in parks, golf courses, green spaces, forested areas in towns and urban areas, cemeteries, and even in some neighborhoods themselves. This, of course, can put them and your cat or dog face to face.

As scavengers, coyotes eat other animals, birds, fruits, vegetables, insects, and regular household garbage. However, they attack your pet because they consider your pet a threat, not a food source.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, April and May, when coyotes are rearing pups is probably the most likely time your pet could be a victim of a coyote attack. Coyotes are seeking more food for their young and are more active. Additionally, they may be more aggressive towards animals that they feel they are competing with.

So how can these encounters be minimized? Make sure your yard is free from food sources for coyotes. Use scare tactics to instill a fear of humans in coyotes. And finally don't leave pets outside unattended especially at dusk, nighttime, and dawn. Finally, installing a fence six feet or higher around your home might help keep your yard free from coyotes.

For more on this check out the Missouri Department of Conservation's website.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

Gallery Credit: Nicole Caldwell

WATCH OUT: These are the deadliest animals in the world

More From Mix 92.3