One of our biggest fears as pet owners are losing our furry loved one and not being able to find him. Every year, animal shelters receive lost or stranded dogs and cats and unfortunately, a small percentage are returned home. To make sure this never happens to your pets, here are a few tips you can do to ensure your dog doesn’t end up at an animal shelter, unidentified.
1. Collar and Identification tag
This is probably one of the more obvious and traditional forms of identification, but your dogs and cats should have a collar with ID tags at all times, especially if they are outdoors often. Make sure the collar is a non-choke collar as those are dangerous and can lead to injury. Your pets should be wearing these collars at all times because you may never know when they are going to get out, especially if you’re not home most of the day.
Microchipping your dog should not be the only form of identification, but definitely, should be a backup. Collars and ID tags can easily fall off or be taken off. Microchipping is a permanent and effective form of ID. The cost is definitely worth the piece of mind.
3. Keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced location
Squirrel! If you’ve ever seen UP or have owned a dog, you know they can be unpredictable, especially around fast moving, furry creatures. It’s best to be safe and leave your dog in an enclosed space or tied up when they are unsupervised. Even some of the best behaved dogs can’t help themselves when they see a squirrel dart up a tree.
4. Keep your cat indoors
Cats are very sneaky, one moment they are there and next they are gone. The best way to keep track of them is by keeping them indoors and out of trouble. Less than two percent of cats are claimed by their owners at shelters. Also, you never know what other animals are out there hunting them like dogs or coyotes.
5. Teach your pet a reliable recall command
Pets get out, regardless of how careful you are. Calling their name over and over again with no response is not helping anyone. Come up with a recall command that is not often used and train them to respond to that word. “Here” or “come” are fairly common recall command words, try using ones that are not so popular like “hier,” which is German for here. When he responds correctly, reward him with treats and pets.