Central Ill. (WCIA) —

Officials are asking you to keep an eye out for one thing that could help keep your pets safe while outside –aggressive coyotes.

February through June is mating season for coyotes, so they may be extra aggressive. Wildlife division chief mike wefer with the Department of Natural Resources says coyotes may view other canines, like your dog, as competition.

If you take your pet out leave them on a leash and make sure to be watching. He says to be aware if you have a fence because coyotes can scale them. If you have a small or old dog, be extra cautious.

“Coyotes are wonderful at reading body language. They can tell that that animal is going to be more vulnerable and that makes it more attractive,” Wefer said.

Since coyotes are good at reading people, Wefer says if you come across one make a lot of noise and wave your arms. If a coyote keeps lingering around your yard, don’t be afraid to call animal control.