Whose Dog is Going to Go Missing Next?
What are the clues that tell if your dog is in danger?
I recently conducted a survey of Pounds and Shelters that revealed a top ten list of warning signs that your dog may be the next to go missing, and how to prevent it!
#10: Old Age
Dementia, Blindness and Deafness can pose a big problem. If your dog is up in age or suffers from Dementia, Blindness or Deafness, take the time to familiarize the dog with new surroundings and take extra care to ensure adequate confinement areas are secure. If they have a chance to wander off, they won’t know how to get back home. Always walk your dog and never let them out alone.
#9: Boredom – Lack of Exercise
All dog owners need to be aware of the exercise requirements of their dog. If your dog gets restless, consider day care. Make your dog a part of the family. Including your dog in your family trips can go a long way in providing the stimulation required to satisfy your dog.
#8: Digging Under Fences or Bolting from home/backyard
Digging: If you notice that your dog has been digging where they are normally kept, provide stimulation and exercise for the dog to alleviate boredom and the urge to dig.
Bolting: Make sure your dog is trained, and that you keep your door/gate closed. It is recommended to teach your children how to enter/exit doors safely, train dog to respond to sit/stay command and use a baby gate to keep dog confined away from doorways.
#7: Leashes that do not fit– breaking collar/chain/rope tie out etc.
Make sure your dog is unable to slide out of the collar or harness and inspect equipment regularly for frayed collars or ropes, signs of chewing on rope, rusted chains and clips on chains. Do not keep your dog tied out for long periods of time.
#6: Fear (Loud Noises, Socialization, Separation Anxiety)
Loud Noises: Dogs can become very stressed during thunderstorms or with loud noises. When a storm is approaching or during holiday celebrations involving fireworks, take measures to be with your dog or have someone stay with your dog. Take special care to confine adequately. Another option is to send to Day Care or to medicate.
Socialization: For the dogs that are afraid of other dogs, chase cars or lunge at people or other dogs, it is recommended to intensify their socialization at dog parks.
Separation Anxiety: Kennel the dog when you are out. When you are ready to leave the house, give it a big smoked done bone to keep it busy and only give it to him when you leave.
Small dogs and purebreds are especially prone to theft. Do not leave your dog alone in an unlocked yard or tied up outside of a store. Keep an eye out for strangers walking onto your property to talk with your pet, and pay attention to an increased rate of missing dogs within your neighbourhood.
#4: Not Spayed/Neutered
A few warning signs such as the dog being agitated, constant vocals, pacing the door or not be interested in the owner when outside is a clear indication you may be in for some problems. Dogs will track a scent for miles. Make sure to spay/neuter your dog.
#3: Allowed to Run at Large
Many dogs are allowed to run at large, but this is obviously a problem for dogs that have any of the aforementioned attributes and lack of training. If your area is unfenced, put up a dog run or tie animal out on a line. Invisible fencing is also a good alternative.
Know your breed. Huskies, Border Collies and other breeds have been bred for centuries to run and jump. If they don’t come when called or consider it a game when they escape, install high fencing and make your yard a fun place to be with a lot of activities for them. Keeping this dog busy and having fun in its own environment so it won’t leave is highly recommended.
Some breeds are runners and will take any opportunity to run freely. Certain breeds such as Huskies can become aloof and have an inherited trait to be free (Closely related to the wolf). It is recommended that owners take special effort to exercise and give the dog the stamina needed to satisfy this urge.
#1: Lack of Training
Does your dog think they are the boss? Will your dog always come when you call them, or does your dog think it is a game when they escape from your lead? These are only a couple of the warning signs your dog is at risk. Proper training of your dog will greatly increase your dogs safety and well being.
A BIG thank you to all the Pounds and Shelters that participated in this survey! Your expertise is greatly appreciated!
- Kim Harrington, Founder of Neighbourhood Alert