Yes, Your Pet Can Get Lost! But Here’s How You Can Prevent It From Happening
If there is one thing even the most protective and diligent pet parents cannot avoid, it is the possibility of their pets suddenly taking off, or worse—going missing. There are numerous reasons that lead to pets going missing. For instance, many dogs bolt out of their homes for their love of wandering, to find a mate or out of fright because of a thunderstorm, and sometimes, they lose their way. However, despite the many ways this awful situation can occur, there are just as many safety measures you can take to either prevent this from happening or strengthen your chances of reuniting with your pet in case it does. They are listed below…
Proper identification, in the form of a collar and an ID tag is essential for your pet. Make sure the collar is secure and not loose or easy to get out of. At the same time it should not be too tight or else it will choke your dog. Check regularly for signs of wear and tear and replace it if necessary. The ID tag should have your dog’s name but also your contact information. It needs to be relevant so make sure to update it in case you change your number.
Use a secure leash when outside
It is very important to use a leash when you are walking your dog outside. The only time you could let go of it is when your dog is playing in a confined space, like a backyard or a dog park (when the gates are shut). Leashes can snap with pressure, so make sure you are using one that is appropriate for your dog’s weight. If your pet is known to run after people/other pets/birds etc., use an adjustable leash to restrict movement when required.
The four essential commands to teach your dog are ‘stay’, ‘come’, ‘wait’ and ‘sit’. It is very important to teach your dog to ‘wait’ at the door and only walk out after you, or anybody else that walks them. If your dog is well-trained and responds positively to these commands, they are less likely to disobey if you use them in case they ever run out through the door. Even though older dogs can pick up these commands, it is best to start training them when they are young.
Appropriate safety precautions in the car
Very often, dogs spot things that excite them when they are looking through the window while being driven. This is why you should always roll the windows just a little bit so they have enough space only to stick their head out, instead of half their body. If your dog gets overly excited, keep their leash on when they are getting in and out of the car. You could also check for dog seat belts that are available on the market if you want to be extra cautious.
Spay or neuter your dog
Because of natural instincts, male dogs that are not neutered are more likely to leave the house to seek out female dogs. This puts them at a higher risk of getting lost. However, neutering eliminates this instinct and makes male dogs calmer and more dependable. Even female dogs benefit from being spayed as male dogs are less likely to attempt to mate with them. Less running and less chasing results in fewer chances of your dog going missing.
You could also try GPS tracking devices and collars, especially if your dog has a history of escaping. GPS trackers will reflect your dog’s location in real-time, allowing you to find them and bring them back home safely. However, it is important to account for dysfunctions and even the possibility of the tracker falling off.
We at FORPAWS believe that while safety measures are important, they need not be invasive. Another way you can secure your pet is by downloading the FORPAWS app and registering them using just a photo. The AI identifier tool then uses an advanced machine learning algorithm to identify and record all of your pet’s unique facial features to speed up the recovery process, if you ever list them as ‘missing’. Besides that, you also have the option to create a ‘Missing Pet’ flyer and post it to your social media handles as well as pass it on to animal welfare communities that are associated with FORPAWS.
To download the FORPAWS app, click here.