A picture of a coyote - what does their poop look like?

Coyote Poop: What Does it Look Like? (Real Pictures)

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Spread across the entirety of North America is the majestic coyote. Although many people consider them pests, coyotes play a crucial role in the ecosystem by ridding areas of other nuisances, such as rats, squirrels, and other small mammals.

But that doesn’t mean they’re all good news. Coyotes often leave their poop in people’s yards or near their homes. As a responsible pet owner, it’s a good idea to be able to identify it.

Let’s go through how to identify coyote poop and discuss some of the hazards associated with it. 

What Does Coyote Poop Look Like?

The best way to describe coyote scat is as a knotted rope. Some parts of the poop are skinnier, while other parts, often in the middle, are wider. In general, coyote poop has a tubular shape, but what a coyote eats can affect its poop significantly.

The best way to recognize coyote poop is to look for its dark color, differences in width, and tapered ends. Coyote poop often has hair in it from eating small mammals.

Pictures of Coyote Poop

Below is an actual picture of coyote poop via Wildlife Illinois:

Picture of coyote poop

Coyote Poop vs. Fox Poop: The Difference Between Coyote Poop and Fox Poop

Coyote droppings and fox poop look very similar. So, when it comes to determining fox poop vs. fox poop, you need to be aware of the minute differences. The primary difference between the two is size. Fox poop is usually half the length of coyote poop. 

You can also look for identifiable shapes in the poop. Foxes often have more berries in their feces, but coyotes can also eat those foods depending on their area. Unfortunately, foxes and coyotes eat very similar diets, so it can be difficult to tell the two apart. You may want to search for coyote poop images on your phone or computer browser. 

Size, Texture, Shape, and Color

Coyote poop is between 3 and 8 inches long and between a half-inch and 1.5 inches in diameter. Coyote droppings generally look dark brown or black, but that can change drastically due to their diet.

People often call coyote poop a twisted or knotted rope because of the variances in width. Coyote poop has an odd texture due to its diet as well. Often, coyotes will have pieces of fur, bones, or feathers in their poop, causing it to have a soft, unformed consistency. 

Is Coyote Poop Hazardous for Pets?

The main hazard for pets and people caused by coyote poop is potential parasites. That’s not to say that coyote feces is free from bacteria or viruses. Instead, it just means you or your pet is more likely to pick up a parasite than another type of infection. 

The most common parasite people pick up from coyote feces is a tapeworm. Tapeworm enters your body as eggs from infected feces. Once those eggs enter your intestines, they become worms. 

Tapeworms have serious health consequences that can even include death. If you encounter what you think is coyote poop, make sure you’re prepared before you begin disposing of it. That means wearing gloves and thoroughly washing any equipment you use.

Tips from Our Vets

Though it may seem weird to try to identify different animals’ feces, there are many cases where you may need to do exactly that.

Many home and property owners come across animal feces and are concerned about what animals may be lurking. Being able to identify the feces that wildlife and rodents leave behind will not only let you know what animals are in the area, but also can give clues as to how many of them are present.

At first, it can be distressing to find foreign looking animal feces in your home or on your property. Fears of aggressive or rabid animals, as well as the diseases they may carry are often the first worries.

Protecting your family and pets is of utmost importance. However, taking the time to correctly identify the feces is essential in assessing the threat or risk from the animals.

This research will also enable a home or property owner to devise an effective strategy for keeping any pest animals out of their homes, barns, or other areas where they are not welcome.

Scat Identification Techniques

  1. The first thing to do if you come across scat, or feces from animals, is to observe the location of the droppings. Notice where the feces are in relation to buildings, other structures, other animals, water, roads, and vegetation. Different animals will place their droppings in particular locations and this can be the first clue to identifying them.
  2. Next, observe the placement of the scat. Are the feces hidden or buried? Are they randomly dropped all over an area with seemingly little regard for placement, or are they tucked away in corners or neat piles? These factors can greatly narrow down the list of possible culprits.
  3. Note the size of the scat. If you are investigating feces found in your home or on your property, it is a good idea to obtain a ruler or tape measure that you can use to measure. Some animals’ feces may look identical to others from the same family, and size may be the only distinguishing feature. *REMEMEBR: animal feces can carry both diseases and parasites so they should never be handled without gloves.*
  4. What is the shape of the found fecal matter? Some shape characteristics to look for include if the feces are round, tapered at the ends, completely tubular, round pellets, twisted, or moist mounds.
  5. An additional clue to the species of animal leaving the scat is what is included in the feces. Berries, hair, seeds, and plant parts should all be looked for in the droppings. This information can be used to identify the animal that left it.
  6. Lastly, look around the area where you first identified the scat. In cases of feces from animals that have similar appearing feces to another species, it can be helpful to search for nearby footprints or tracks left by the animals. This can be used to confirm species.

Final Thoughts: Coyote Scat & Your Pet

You can find coyote droppings anywhere coyotes frequently go, including your backyard if you’re not careful! If you see any coyote poop around your yard, ensure you take the proper precautions. That way, you can keep yourself and your pets safe and healthy! 

Not sure about the droppings you’re seeing? Check out our other guides to animal scat:

Coyote Poop Frequently Asked Questions

What does coyote poop look like?

Coyote poop looks like a knotted rope. Some parts of the poop are skinnier, while other parts, often in the middle, are wider. In general, coyote poop has a tubular shape, but what a coyote eats can affect its poop significantly.

The best way to recognize coyote poop is to look for its dark color, differences in width, and tapered ends. Coyote poop often has hair in it from eating small mammals.

How can you tell coyote poop from dog poop?

Coyote poop does look similar to dog poop, but it’s typically darker, more rope like, and will often have hair from prey in it.

What does it mean when coyotes poop in your yard?

Coyotes typically go to the bathroom to mark territory. It will often mean there is a group of coyotes near by if you find coyote poop in your yard.

Why is coyote poop black?

Coyote poop is black because they are feeding on live prey.

Should you pick up coyote poop?

Coyote poop can contain parasites, so you should carefully dispose of it if you have pets (particularly if they’re prone to eat feces).

What does coyote and fox poop look like?

Coyote droppings and fox poop look very similar. So, when it comes to determining fox poop vs. fox poop, you need to be aware of the minute differences. The primary difference between the two is size. Fox poop is usually half the length of coyote poop. 

How do you know if its a coyote poop?

Look for hair or bones of prey, dark color, and rope-like strands of scat.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.