Runners, Jumpers & Escape Artists: How To Keep Dogs and Cats Safe At Home, and What To Do If Your Pet Does Run Away

Keeping your pet safely contained at home is important for many reasons. To help keep you pet safe we found some simple and cost-effective ways to help you do that, and, in the case of an escape, we’ve listed some ways to help you bring them back home safely. Keeping pets at home, and out of shelters is a priority for us all. 

 

Tire Them Out

Taking your dog for a walk, run, or to the dog park can do two very important things in reducing the chances of them running away. A tired dog is less likely to want to get out and they’ll be more than happy to take a nap instead. When they get out to explore their neighborhood, they become more aware of their surroundings and will have less of an urge to escape and explore. Giving a bored dog something that is mentally or physically stimulating will reduce their chances of running away. Check out our other post on training your pet at home during quarantine and the benefits of giving them more mental stimulation throughout the day!

young beagle (17 weeks) looks over the garden fence

Akc.org

Make it More Difficult to Escape

If your property is not well-fenced or protected, make sure you are outside with your pet at all times, and have them on a harness and leash. If you do have the ability to fence in your outdoor space, there are specific types of fencing, like deer fencing, that can keep your pet in for lower costs. Walking around the premises and making sure there are no gaps in fencing on a regular basis is also important. You want to know where the weak spots are so you can act accordingly. Underground “invisible” fences can be effective, but they are not as successful in stopping a pet who really wants to go for a “stroll.” 

 

Keep them Occupied

More often than not, pets run away because they’re bored. By giving your pet an interactive toy or long-lasting treat you can curb their interest in running away. Mental and physical stimulation are important in stressful times, especially during quarantine when your pet may not have access to doggy daycare or the dog park, or other activities that typically keep them stimulated. Keeping them engaged is a key aspect in keeping them calm and content at home. Chewy and PetCo both have some great and inexpensive options on toys specifically designed for keeping your pets occupied. 

Petsami.com

Sometimes, even if you are being highly responsible in tending to your pet’s well-being, your pet can still run away from home. It’s important to know the steps to take after your pet goes missing so that you can spring into action.

 

What to do if your pet runs away 

If your pet runs away it’s vital that you get the word out, and as quickly as possible. Report you lost pet immediately to your local municipal shelter, in Miami, that is Miami Dade Animal Services. Post flyers in the general direction of where your pet ran away, around your neighborhood, and even in local businesses with a bulletin board. You can post in neighborhood or town Facebook groups with an attached picture and description of your pet’s appearance and demeanor. There are apps and websites specifically for locating lost pets. PetAmberAlert, Miami-Dade County Service for Lost & Found Pets, Pawboost, and CatNetwork are all great resources for finding your pet ASAP. Many of these sites offer a location filter so you can search through areas near and far to try and bring your pet home. 

 

Keep in mind that running away from home can be a very stressful experience for your animal so they may not be themselves and could run away from people trying to help them. And if this is the case it’s a good idea to remind people not to chase your pet, but to take a photo and send the location to you. You know your pet. Will they be lured by a treat or certain type of food? Make sure to mention that in your communications. 

 

Also, checking local veterinary clinics and shelters is a great idea. These are usually the first places people call or bring an animal when they find a lost pet. We also suggest looking into getting an ID Tag and microchipping your pet. In the event that they run away it gives them a much better chance of being reunited with your family. 

 

And most importantly, don’t give up! Be aggressive in your search. Pets have been known to come home after a few days and starting early in your neighborhood locations could make a big difference in the situation’s outcome. 

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