small steps to Prevent Losing Your Dog
No one plans to lose their dog, however there are things you can do to help prevent it and if he should get loose, things you can do ahead of time to ensure your dog makes it home safely.
- Be sure to pet-proof your yard by checking you fence regularly for any new escape routes. If you are using an electric fence, please be sure to properly train your dog to respect the fence. Also check often that the batteries are fully charged. Check and be sure that all fence gates are securely locked, to avoid any unwanted visitors or wanted visitors that may not realize your pet is in the yard.
- Be aware of your dog's personal and breed characteristics. Siberian Huskies were bred to run and cannot be trusted off-leash. Greyhounds are sight-hounds trained to chase small animals; with all the squirrels and bunnies in most neighborhoods, they should not be trusted off-leash. Even if your dog is a more reliable breed, he could get distracted by small animals, children playing or a dog down the street. If he's on-leash, he can't run away. If you make sure doors and fence gates are always closed, he can't escape. The key is to be careful and take preventive measures as much as possible.
TAGS & IDENTIFICATION
Statistics say that 95% of dogs that are lost with ID's are returned to their owner. 95% of dogs without ID's are never reunited with their owners. This is a pretty strong argument for having ID tags on your pet! You should periodically check your pet's tags to make sure they are readable. Pet ID tags should always have your current phone number on it.
Places to get tags:
Talk to your vet about a microchip implant. A chip provides positive and reliable identification for your pet and all modern shelters scan animals for this ID device. Be sure to still use a pet ID tag with your information, because if someone finds your dog and doesn't take your dog to the shelter, they do not have a scanner to check for the chip.
You can also ask your vet about pet tattoos. The problem with tattoos is that while they provide positive identification if done correctly, they can often be very difficult to read because hair has grown over it and/or the lost animal is frightened and will not allow inspection. If you do use a tattoo, we feel that the best place to apply it is on the inner thigh. Pet thieves have been known to cut off a tattooed ear!
It is absolutely vital that your pet have a CURRENT rabies tag on it at all times! If a county happens to be under a "Rabies Alert" or a "Rabies Quarantine" and your pet is picked up without a current rabies tag, they WILL kill your loved one! It's a public health issue, so you will have no recourse. Please don't let this happen to your pet!
SPAY AND NEUTER
- Spay or neuter your pets! Both males and females will be much less likely to wander if they are "fixed." An added benefit is that they will live a longer, happier, healthier life if they are spayed or neutered. Read this information about the advantages to spaying or neutering a pet.
- All it
takes is once. One time for your dog to see or find something in the distance
more interesting than you and they can be off and gone. Please always use
a leash, it is the law. Be sure to check your leash often for any fraying
or weaknesses. Don't take the risk, if your leash has been chewed on or is
fraying, replace it. Please click here to read about a deadly disease called
- A little ounce of prevention goes a long way. One way you can help to prevent your dog from becoming lost without tags is to find a good sturdy collar for your pet to wear. Attach your dog's rabies, liscense and ID tag to this collar. When you are taking your dog out a second collar should be used with the leash. This would help in the event that the collar connected to the leash breaks when you are walking your pet. You also want to be sure that the collar you are using for walking your pet is tight enough that they can not back out of it. The proper fitting for a standard collar is to be able to fit two fingers between your pets neck and the collar. You may also want to consider using either a choke collar or a semi-choke collar for walking your pet. Please note that neither of these type of collars should be left on your pet unattended. They are meant for walking and training purposes only and if left on them when you are not around, they could easily hurt themselves if they get it caught on something.
- It may not work when the time comes...but then again it may and it certainly increases your chances. Teach your pet a come command and be sure to always make it pleasant for your pet to come to you when called. Often people use the pet's name everytime they do something bad. Inevitably the pet associates their name as being a negative and they won't come when called. Practice each day calling your pet and when they come give them a treat then let them go and play again.
You should always have recent photos of your pet available. A puppy picture of your pet who is now missing at the age of 4 isn't good enough, so make sure to have recent photos on hand. Take close-up shots so that details show up well. Be patient and take lots of pictures and try to do your best to capture what your pet really looks like. It also helps to have some pictures of your pet in cute poses or with a child. These photos in addition to your close up shots are invaluable if your pet is ever lost. The cute shots help to show onlookers of your flyers that your pet needs to come home where he/she is well-loved. Better yet, have a flyer made up with his picture and general information, such as his age, sex, breed and size and your contact information; this saves you from having to waste time making up the flyer after he's lost. When he gets lost, you can simply add the date and location where he was last seen to the flyer and start making copies.