How to keep your pets from escaping Friday 10 April 2015 @ 15:03

For animal lovers, there is nothing more heart-breaking than a missing pet – and there is nothing more frustrating than realising that their escape could have been prevented.

If your pet does go missing, Lost Pet Finders will help you every step of the way by sending out pet alerts, advertising within our community, and giving you advice on tracking them down. But in order to make sure that your pet doesn't escape, every dog and cat owner should take a few basic measures in and around the home.

1. Give them spaceDog in fence

Dogs will get frustrated if they are confined to a small space, or tied up for long periods of time. Their pent-up energy can manifest itself in antisocial behaviour such as scratching, digging and trying to escape.

Make sure your dog is well exercised every day and has plenty of space to roam around your house or garden in between walks.

2. Make sure they are stimulated

A bored pet is more likely to start looking for their own adventures, so make sure they have everything they need to stay stimulated in your home and garden. Grow a little catnip patch where cats can frolic, and set up a few scratching posts and cat hammocks around your house and garden.

Make time to play with dogs and keep a few chew toys lying around for their enjoyment. If you’re going to be away for a few hours at a time, hide a few chew toys around your dog’s enclosure for them to seek out and play with throughout the day.

3. Create a varied landscapeComfortable Dog

Fear is one of the main reasons that pets escape - this could be a loud noise, a heavy rainstorm or a sudden disturbance. Make sure your pet has a safe place to shelter when they are afraid so that they don’t run off searching for a hideaway.

Make sure your pet has constant access to water, warmth and shelter when you are not there. This will make them feel safe and secure in their local environment, and they will have no reason to run off if something makes them scared.

4. Teach good manners

When you are training your puppy, focus on teaching ‘good manners’. Make sure your dog knows to enter and exit after you, and not before, and reward slow and steady movements rather than impulsive behaviour.

If you have a working dog (e.g. a retriever, terrier or spaniel), discourage them from chasing small animals early on. This will minimise the risk of your dog escaping to chase a wild rabbit or rodent.

5. Stick with a routineDog Cat Eating

Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and they will soon learn where they need to be at dinnertime. Feed your pet at the same time every day to reinforce this habit, and whatever they are doing, they will make sure they are at your door at that time.

Similarly, try to walk your dog at the same time each day. Once they know that they can expect a walk imminently, they will be less inclined to jump the fence and go on a walk of their own.