5 Tips for Lost Pet Prevention and Pet Safety
1. Secured = Safe
Keeping your pets leashed when on walks (except in designated off-leash, fenced-in areas) is an easy way to make sure your dog doesn’t suddenly startle and make a run for it if spooked by an unexpected noise. After all, even dogs who are great listeners and follow voice commands well can be affected or scared by sudden loud sounds. When at home, make sure to pet-proof your house with doors that close and latch easily, keep ground-level windows shut, and if you need to keep the front door open for an extended period, consider keeping your pet in a crate or secured room while you do so. A securely fenced yard (and keeping your pet on a leash for extra safety) is a great way to ensure they don’t make a quick getaway when out in the backyard. Plan ahead for any times when things might get extra loud (think fireworks or big parties!) and make sure your dog isn’t at risk of running away.
2. Time to get Technical
If you haven’t already, now might be the time to consider investing in some pet-tech to keep eyes on your pets even when you’re not at home. Think video doorbells, indoor pet cameras and digital IDs to help keep track of your dogs and cats - or even just having access to neighbourhood apps where you can quickly report a lost pet or check to see if yours has been found. Collars with IDs on are great for easy identification, but also consider a microchip so that if your animal ends up lost, a vet or shelter can easily scan them to find all the information they need to get them safely back home.
3. Neutralize the Problem
An unneutered male dog is more likely to go looking for female dogs - and could end up wandering away from home and getting lost (or even injured by passing cars) in the process. Neutering your dog prevents these issues by removing this instinct and making it less likely that they will leave the safety of your home. Likewise for our female canine companions, getting them spayed means that fewer males will attempt to mate with them, something which can cause female dogs to bolt in response.
4. Travel Safe
Having a pet doesn’t mean never taking a vacation again, but it’s important to take safety into consideration when you bring your pet along with you - both for the journey and the destination itself. When taking a pet on a road trip, make sure their crate is well-ventilated, big enough for them to turn around and lie down in, and secured so that it doesn’t move around if the vehicle has to stop suddenly. If a crate isn’t an option for you, make sure to keep your pet in the backseat, in a harness attached to a seatbelt. And don’t forget to keep an extra eye on your pet once you arrive - animals can find themselves disoriented and at a greater risk of distress in a new environment, so try to get them settled and used to their surroundings once you’re there.
4. The Power of Positivity
When it comes to keeping your pet safe, it’s mostly a no-brainer for responsible pet owners. Pay attention, secure their environment and consider investing in some pet-tech to go that extra mile. If your pet is a bit of an escape artist, remember that positive reinforcement training can go a long way to helping solve the problem. Rather than punishing them for escaping yet again, reward their good behaviour - especially listening and learning to stay close by! (And if you’re looking for the perfect, nutritious training treat, why not try some Smack?)