July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, the perfect time to review your existing safety measures and find new and creative ways to break your dog’s habit of escaping your yard.
The National Council Of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society report devastating statistics about lost pets. Every two seconds, a family pet gets lost in North America. Over 10 million pets are lost each year, and just one in 10 are ever reunited with their families.
Too many pets are getting lost. It’s a common problem, but you can prevent it from happening to your family using TetherTug’s loss prevention tips.
It’s best to supervise your dog whenever they’re outside. Your dog will quickly grow tired of staying in your yard if it’s not a fun place to be. Interact, train and play with your dog outdoors to make your yard more fun.
Keep your dog’s mind stimulated with new games and toys. You’ll decrease chances of boredom while giving your dog plenty of good reasons to stay home.
Use interactive toys like TetherTug to challenge your dog’s body and mind. Your dog will not need you to play with them. This will help your dog learn to rely less on you to keep them entertained and out of mischief.
If your dog digs, you can create an L-footer for your fence. It’s just what it sounds like – the bottom of the L lays on the ground, or is buried, making it impossible for your dog to get close enough to the fence to dig under it.
If your dog jumps, you can add a small inner fence or hedges will keep the dog from getting close enough to the barrier to clear it.
Escaping isn’t only a problem for large, athletic dogs. Small dogs can fit their heads between rods on gates, balconies and fences. A harness or collar attachment like Puppy Bumper or Dog Gamutt can make your dog “too big” to fit through.
Dogs are less likely to run away if going home always means a good time.
Each day, build positive associations with “going home.”
When you walk your dog, praise and reward them as you reenter your yard or walk through the door. You can teach a cue, “go home!” by simply saying this phrase as you end your walk.
A well-reinforced recall is also helpful if your dog is about to escape your yard, or is already halfway down the block.
Call your dog and give them lots of praise and a treat or toy when they return to you, no matter what. Always praise your dog for returning, even if it takes them a while. Practice your dog’s recall in a fenced-in area or with a leash in safe spaces as your dog learns to return to you, even in areas with distractions.
If your dog still finds a way to escape your yard, your chance of getting them back is much greater when your dog has multiple forms of identification.
Your dog needs a collar or harness to wear at all times when they’re outside. If your dog tends to dash through open doors, or uses a doggy door, you may want to keep the collar on 24/7.
The collar or harness needs to have an ID tag with your address and phone number. Your region may require you to register your dog. Some areas have laws requiring that your dog always wears a rabies tag or city license.
A microchip is smaller than a grain of rice. It’s injected between your dog’s shoulder blades by your vet. If your dog gets lost, their finder can take them to a vet to have their microchip scanned.
The vet will be able to access your contact information so you can get reunited with your dog. Any time you move or change phone numbers, remember to update your pets’ information.
Share with us how you’re keeping your pets safe at home. Leave a comment or give us a shout on social media via @tethertug!
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