Secure Yard & Home
One of the most common way pets go missing is by escaping their yard.
- Make sure your fence is an appropriate height for your pets.
- Check for holes or loose panels they could break through.
- Ensure gates are properly secured and closed, especially if you’ve had any work done at your home.
- Make sure the gate is closed and locked before letting your pets in the yard.
- If your pet is a digger, consider putting rock or chicken wire down near the fence line.
Spay & Neuter
Spaying and neutering your pets is key to keeping your pets from wandering off and getting lost.
- Intact male dogs have a higher tendency to seek out female dogs because of natural sexual behavior. This also puts them at a higher risk of getting hit by a car.
- It’s equally important to spay female dogs, so that fewer males will seek them out to try and mate with them. Aggressive males can cause a female dog to seek escape, so it’s best to remove that risk by spaying and neutering your pets.
Don’t allow dogs to roam freely—keep them contained or on a leash.
In the city of Memphis, it’s against the law for dogs to roam freely. Dogs must be confined by a fence on your property or on a leash or other suitable restraint. If you do not have a fence and are unable to contain your pets when they go outside, they need to be taken out on a leash or other suitable restraint.
Well-Fitted Collar & Leash
A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit 2 fingers underneath the collar comfortably:
- If your dog’s collar is too loose, they could easily slip out of it.
- If it’s too tight, your dog will be uncomfortable or in pain.
Make sure there are no rips or tears in the collar.
A sturdy leash is also important in keeping your pet from getting lost.
- We don’t recommend flexi-leashes or retractable leashes.
For dogs that pull hard, a well-fitted harness can be a helpful management tool to make walking them easier until you can train them for loose leash walking.
Keep your pet inside when you’re not home.
Keep your pet inside when you’re not at home so they don’t get loose by mistake.
It’s very likely a passerby will think your lost pet is a stray, when really they’ve just escaped from their house and can’t get back inside because no one is home to let them in.
If you have smaller pets, they can also become prey to predators like coyotes and hawks, especially with no one home to monitor them.
Training: Teach “Come” & “Stay”
Teaching simple commands such as ‘Come’ and ‘Stay’ will reduce the likelihood of your pet getting lost and could even save their life. Your dog could spot or hear something they’re interested in and take off, but if they know these commands REALLY well, they’ll be more likely to stop and listen to you.
No unsupervised walks with young children.
Younger dog walkers may not be able to anticipate and avoid dangerous situations.
They may not be strong enough to avoid being pulled down by an excited dog or having to let go of the leash.
Children can tag along safely if an adult has control of the pet’s leash.
Be Safe in the Car
Be aware of your pet’s typical car behavior.
- Do they try to bolt out of the car when the door opens?
- Do they try to escape out the window if it is open too far?
- If so, keep their leash on in the car, so you have something you can quickly grab onto when they try to escape
Dog seat belts are a great tool to keeping your pets safe and secure when traveling.
Never leave your pet alone in the car under any circumstance.
- Temperatures in the car can become dangerous.
- Your pet could be stolen from your car.
If using a tie-out, make sure it’s sturdy and chew-proof.
If your pet must be contained in your yard using a tie out, make sure:
- It’s sturdy
- Your pet is not able to chew through it
- It’s long enough for your dog to move around without getting tangled
- Your dog’s collar is properly fitted so they can’t get out of it and escape the tie-out
Bust boredom to keep them out of trouble.
Offer plenty of enrichment and exercise opportunities for your pets.
If your dog is bored and not receiving regular exercise and enrichment, they can become anxious and bored and will be more likely to wander off.
Pay attention to your pets.
Simple but effective: pay attention!
Keep them in your eyesight, especially in unfamiliar situations