A pet can bring so much joy to your life. So it is only natural that you want to keep your furry pal safe and prevent them from getting loose. Sadly, the American Humane Association estimates that over 10 million pets get lost or stolen each year. That is a lot of pets and a lot of sad families. There are several simple steps you can take to ensure your pet remains safe and contained. Keep reading below for ten of these tips.
10. Don’t Leave Pets Unattended Outside
Many pet owners are not able to stay at home all day with their pets to monitor their every move. However, the best practice is to ensure that when your pet is outside in the yard, he or she is supervised. If you have a dog door for you pet to come and go during the day, make sure that your yard is secure and they are unable to escape. You can hire a dog walking service to come and take your pooch out for walks or potty breaks while you’re at work. For more escape-artist pets, consider a doggy daycare or crate training.
9. Keep Them on a Leash
Dogs should be kept on a leash at all times when in the community and on walks, no matter how well-trained they are. Dogs can get easily startled or distracted and could take off without warning. Many cities also have leash laws, so check your area to make sure.
8. Spay or Neuter
Cats and dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to attempt escape or wander off. They have less drive to mate and therefore are more likely to be content at home. This is also important if you dog or cat does get lost. You will not have to deal with an accidental litter of kittens or puppies when you are reunited with your furry friend.
7. Micro-chips and Trackers
When you adopt your pet, make sure to have them micro-chipped by a vet. If they get lost and are found, they can be taken to a shelter or vet who can scan your pet’s chip and find you quickly. This is not always a sure thing, your pet may refuse to be “caught” by someone trying to help and then they won’t be able to get scanned. Consider purchasing a small GPS tracking device that can be put on their collar. Then you can track your pet through your phone to find their location instantly.
6. Secure Your Yard
It is important that your home and yard are secure to prevent your pet from escaping. Take the time to regularly check for potential weak points that your dog or cat could take advantage of. Make sure that gates are latched or locked and that fences are secure on the top and bottom. For dogs that like to dig, you can place large rocks at the base of the gate or bury chicken wire to prevent escape. Electric fences are not fail-proof, so do not rely on them alone.
5. Don’t Leave Pets in the Car Alone
Every year, thousands of pets are stolen from unattended vehicles. Best practice is to make sure someone is in the car with your pet at all times. If you can’t take them in with you, leave them at home where they are safe.
4. Keep Cats Confined
Cats, indoor cats especially, are easily spooked when they are taken out of their environment. If you have to travel with you cat, make sure they are in an appropriate carrier. When indoor cats get lost they can be very disoriented and may have difficulty finding their way home.
3. Choose an Appropriate Harness and Leash
Dogs and cats are pretty smart and will start to learn how to slip out of their collar or harness. Spend a little time researching harnesses that are not easily escaped. Or, head to your local pet store for some suggestions.
Training is an important step to take when working to keep your pet safe. If you pet is not trained to come when called, you could easily lose them. A dog that is trained to come when called is more likely to be recovered quickly than a dog who is not.
1. Identify Triggers for Escape
Each year, many dogs and cats go missing during holidays like the 4th of July or New Years Eve due to fireworks. If your pet is startled during these times, it is important that you locate them prior to fireworks beginning and keep them in a fully contained an secure room or crate. There are also accessories, like thunder jackets, that can help calm your pet during these times. It is important to make sure that their safe place is somewhere they want to hide, so take note of it and make sure that space is available to them during fireworks or thunder storms.
Hopefully, you are already employing many of these tips to keep your furry friend safe at all times. Make sure to check your yard if it has been a while or purchase a new harness if your pup’s is getting worn out. Your pet deserves to be safe and cared for at all times. By using these simple tips, you can prevent your pet from becoming one of the 10 million lost or stolen pets this year.