COOK COUNTY (WBBM NEWSRADIO) - Coyote mating and birthing season lasts through May and brings risk to small cats and dogs.
Pet owners are being advised to stay vigilant, as coyotes may become more visible and aggressive this time of year.
Small dogs and cats may be seen as food or a threat to coyotes and their pups, so it's important for pet owners to be attentive.
The Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control recommends keeping cats indoors, especially at night and switching up your dog-walking routines, since coyotes can learn your schedule.
If you come across a coyote, you should make yourself loud and big to try and scare it away.
If a coyote is following you, don't panic. Experts say the animal is likely escorting you to make sure you don't disturb the den.
You can find more information about coyotes at Cook County Forest Preserves website.