If you have the Nextdoor app, you may have the same love/hate relationship with it as I do.  I love when neighbors share info that keeps others safe and informed, but I HATE when they use it as a forum to complain about others and life in this fair city. (I especially hate the multiple gunshots vs. fireworks questions I see on a daily basis during the summer months).

Get our free mobile app

Over the last week or so I've seen multiple posts on Nextdoor about coyote sightings and attacks on pets in the Rockford area, and since I have two little dogs, these posts worry me constantly.  Yes, we all know coyotes live in this area. Yes, we know we need to keep a careful eye on our pets when we let them outside, (especially if we live in an area with high coyote sightings), but what concerns me is the elevated activity during this time of the year.

When Is Coyote Mating Season in Illinois?

Coyote sightings in Illinois are usually up during mating season which occurs between January and March, and breeding season which is between April and May. Since we are not in the midst of either of those time frames, why are residents reporting so many coyote sightings and incidents? Critters Gone Urban Owner Tim Walker recently told WIFR;

A lot of times, there are signs that are present that are overlooked, when you have a coyote presence during the day and that coyote is approaching you and your pet that seems to be a reoccurring issue that’s probably a coyote that needs to come out.

If you see a coyote during the day, and it is approaching you or your pet, wildlife experts say to show your dominance. Coyotes may be meaner than us, but we are by far bigger, so make as much noise as you can. Yell, clap your hands, stomp your feet, throw something at it, in short, show that coyote who's boss. After you've done that, make sure you report any coyotes misbehaving in the daytime to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Behavior like that during the day is unusual and is not a good sign for the coyote.

One last thing, if you feed your pets outdoors, STOP. You're just inviting a coyote to come to dinner too.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

28 Big Things Everyone Else Loves But Rockford Folks Can't Stand

You've more than likely heard the old expression, "opinions are like ________, everyone has one." This list more than validates that expression.