Losing a dog when they escape can be heartbreaking. According to American Humane, a non-profit organization, about 10 million pets become lost in the United States.
Dog owners, therefore, must take measures to keep fido safely contained within their property. On top of fitting their pooch with microchipped and up-to-date identification tags, they should do the following:
If your dog has tried to venture out on their own multiple times, you’ll first need to dive into the reasons behind their attempts. Here are a few common reasons:
- Boredom and Loneliness – Your pooch may feel bored if you leave them all alone. Dogs like to play a lot, so you should make sure to keep your pet engaged from time to time.
- Territory Protection – If your dog barks whenever neighbors enter your yard, they may try to leave to keep the area safe and chase away the “bad” people in their territory.
- A New Friend – If you have an un-spayed male pooch that has picked up a female dog in heat, your pet will likely attempt to leave the yard and track the scent.
- Chaser – If your dog likes to hunt, they may escape and do whatever is necessary to catch their “prey.” Your pooch, for instance, may venture out of your home to chase a squirrel or any type of fire truck that passes through your neighborhood.
2. Build a Fence
You can erect a fence to make your backyard more secure. Different fencing materials are on the market. You could put up an aluminum fence panel, block walls or a chain-link fence. When you install this structure, make sure that it’s tall enough to stop your pooch from jumping over it.
3. Teach Your Dog Boundaries
Dog training is something that every pet owner should do. You should train your pooch while they’re still a puppy, so they could respond well in everyday situations, such as interacting with people and other animals.
One of the first things you should teach your dog is boundary training. They need to know the areas that they should not cross along with the established safe zones of your home.
The simplest way to get started is to use natural boundary flags, such as fences and rocks. Walk your pooch alongside your established boundary. Let them sniff and investigate it, but make sure they don’t cross it. Be firm when your dog crosses the boundary, and reward them if they practice restraint.
4. Turn Your Backyard into a Pooch Paradise
Transforming your yard into a fun place will make your dog less likely to leave your home. Start by constructing a rest area that your pooch could consider their “second home.” This could be a comfy outdoor dog bed, a simple dog crate, a dog house or all three combined. You could even take this idea up a notch by adding a paddling pool or an umbrella to allow your pet to cool off during hot summer days.
Besides a rest area, create a playtime zone just for your pooch. If you have dogs that get distracted easily, consider adding stuffing-free dog toys, durable rubber chew toys, plush animals and toy ball puzzles in your play area. When you have a pooch that loves to dig, put a sandbox in your yard and train your dog to dig only in that spot.
5. Spend Quality Time with Your Dog
Keeping your pooch company can prevent unexpected yard escapes. This works both ways: you need your dog to keep you company and they need you to be with them. Dogs are social animals – they love being part of a family or pack. Your love and companionship will discourage any attempts to flee.
When you’re at home, spend time with your pooch by being in the backyard with your family and friends. If you’re going to do your hobbies, such as reading and working out, do those in the yard with your dog. You could even get your dog to follow your moves while you’re exercising.
6. Spay Your Pooch
If you have a male dog, you’ll want to get them neutered. Doing so makes them far less likely to escape and search for female dogs that are in heat. Spaying is also good for your community. It minimizes the number of stray animals on the streets, which could frighten kids, damage plants, cause vehicular accidents and prey on other animals.
Prevent your dog from leaving your home. Always consider your pooch as part of your family. This means giving them the love and attention they need – just like any member of your household.