Is your pet an escape artist? Although the ingenuity many a fugitive pet demonstrates when escaping is impressive, at best, it’s frustrating. And each escape may put your best friend in grave danger. Some pets are just opportunists, they see an open door or gate, and off they go on an adventure. Other pets are professional escape artists and will do anything to gain their freedom. But expert or not, you need to keep your Houdini safe.
Most pets are happy being contained; others have wanderlust in their souls. Please understand that your pet isn’t trying to get away from you; he likes heading out on a reconnaissance jaunt. Below are some things you can do to lessen the chance of escape.
If you can figure out how and why your pet is hitting the road, that’s a big step to solving the problem. Many pets have a high prey drive, so they patrol the neighborhood for hunting prospects. If your pet isn’t neutered, they may be looking for love (often in all the wrong places). Other pets take off because they lack stimulation and are lonely. Pets that are fearful or have separation anxiety think they can run away from their fears.
Next, try and figure out how they are escaping. Is it through an open door? You may want to use gates in your house to limit door access. Are they digging or scooting under the fence? Maybe they are jumping the fence or vaulting over it off the dog house? Shore up the yard, fencing, doors, gates, and screens. Move things they could climb on away from your fence. If your buddy is tunneling under the fence, install some chicken wire that extends from the bottom of the fence into the soil. Please don’t leave your dog unattended in the yard; he may get bored and look for trouble outside the yard.
A few other ideas….Get your pet fixed, make sure both cats and dogs have plenty of toys that stimulate them physically and mentally, teach your buddy to have a good recall, spend time cuddling with them, schedule some doggie play dates, and be sure they get a lot of exercise including frequent walks. Pets that have anxiety problems may need to see the vet for some medication, or left in a crate when you can’t keep an eye on them. Cats may enjoy having a window seat or a cat tree near the window so they can watch the world go by.
With tight fences, gates in the house, and exercise, you can probably foil your escape artist. Just in case, be sure your pet has a collar, ID tag, and a microchip.