DON'T RISK IT | How to avoid losing your dog
Understanding what causes your dog to run away so that you can take necessary actions to prevent it from happening. The following reasons and measures may help you.
Tragically, millions of dogs go missing every year in the US. And while it might never happen to you, it can be devastating when it does.
Why your dog get lost?
1. Language barrier
Dogs have evolved to become exceptionally adept at reading the emotion, intonation and volume of their masters, however they are unable to speak the same words as people. While you can train them to comprehend simple words, phrases and certain signals, the communication is not exact, and this language barrier can be a reason why you lose your dog.
2. The dog has been startled
The sudden sound of fireworks, noisy car alarms, and unexpected blares from sirens, can all frighten and startle your dog. The instinctive fight-or-flight response can cause the dog to run away. Even dogs that have been trained for emergency situations are still susceptible to this hardwired behavior.
3. Excessive curiosity
Almost all animals are naturally curious, especially dogs, which are attracted to fast moving objects and eager to run after and catch them. Some dogs will even run away as soon as the owner unfastens their collar, and ignore verbal commands to return.
4. The dog beguiled by food
Unfortunately, it is quite easy for a hungry dog to be tricked by strangers, as most dogs are unable to resist the temptation of delicious food. This can raise the likelihood of ill-intentioned strangers to abduct your dog.
5. The dog owner is careless
You might come across an acquaintance, attend to a phone call, or deal with some unexpected distraction, while walking your dog. This means you can’t focus your attention on your dog all the time; if the dog sees something of interest, they can potentially run off during your moment of inattention.
How to prevent your dog from getting lost?
1. Help your dog get acquainted with new surroundings
New unfamiliar places will certainly increase the probability of losing your dog. Help your dog get acquainted with new surroundings, for example, if you have moved to a new area, always take your dog for a walk around it, and let the dog sniff everywhere so that it will become familiar with the way home.
2. Always collar and leash your dog
Ensure your dog always wears a high quality dog collar, whether it's a martingale collar or a GPS collar. A martingale type collar provides more control without the choking effect of a slip collar, while a GPS collar helps you track your dog's current location from your smartphone. Either dog collar design significant helps to prevent losing your dog.
3. Always practice recall exercises
Train your dog to sit, stay, and release via verbal commands. Give your dog a clear name, and train your dog to return as soon as it hears its name. This recall exercise is an important part of utilizing behavioral control instead of physical control.
4. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
If your dog always wants to go out, one possible reason is that it may be lonely or bored. Take your dog out for a daily walk for physical exercise and to relieve its boredom. As with humans, physical exercise is necessary to maintain a dog’s health.
5. Use a dog microchip or ID tag
A microchip is another common way to help to quickly return your dog to you. Unlike a GPS, microchips are not a tracking device –they are actually radio-frequency (RF) identification implants that do not require any power source. They provide permanent identification for your dog, so if it gets lost and someone finds it, the chip can be scanned the chip and you can be notified of your dog's whereabouts. This allows your dog to return home easily, even if they lose their collars.
A proper ID tag should be a priority loss prevention tool. It should have the dog's name, your name, your street address, and phone number. In case the tags fall off, you can also write this information on the collar using a permanent marker.
6. Refuse food from strangers
Train your dog to refuse food from stranges, only accepting food from you or your family. Food from strangers is not always clean or safe, and can even be poisonous. Remember always protect your dog from the harm that others can do.
7. Get your dog neutered
Most dogs will try to run away if they feel the urge to mate, especially male dogs, so neutering is one way to resolve this issue.
Take your dog to your vet or the ASPCA (America) to get it safely neutered. Generally, a male dog can be neutered any time after eight weeks of age, while a female dog’s sexual maturity is reached 8 months after birth. Generally, a dog should be neutered before reaching sexual maturity. So the best time to neuter a dog is 6-8 months old.
8. Create a cozy home for your dog
Observe your dog's habits, learn what it likes; give it a clean and cozy personal space with a suitable pet bed and toys. Always play with it so it bonds with you. All of these actions will help to prevent your dog from escaping.
For most dog owners, their pet is an extension of their family and means the world to them. Dog safety always matters, so be sure to follow as many of these tips as possible to reduce the chance of losing your dog.
Hope it helps!
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2017-06-01 By Zim Watson
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