Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe in Your Yard
Keeping your dog safe in your yard
The kids and Fido are anxious to enjoy the summer weather in your amazing backyard. All the activity going on can be distracting, and dogs can easily escape out of a door or gate that is inadvertently left open by a child.
Millions of dogs are lost every year, and most of them never make it back to their owners. Even worse, escaping from the yard also commonly results in bite wounds from another animal, injuries as a result of being hit by a car, or digestive symptoms after getting into carcasses or compost heaps. Any of these situations could prompt an emergency visit to your veterinarian, instead of sunbathing on your patio.
So, how can you keep your dogs safe and secure when the kids are constantly in and out of the house this summer?
Keeping dogs safe and secure
Fenced-in yards in proper working order are the gold standard for keeping your pets on your property. They can be expensive to install and maintain so many people turn to the next best alternative the invisible fence.
Invisible fences consist of sensors placed around the perimeter of the yard and a collar worn by your pet. The collar emits a weak electric shock when the pet crosses the invisible electronic fence. This weak electric shock is very effective, but does not work for every pet or under every circumstance, and dogs that love to chase cars or squirrels can easily overcome the barrier.
If your yard is not fenced-in, or if you don’t want to use an electronic collar, confining your pet so he cannot escape is the next best thing. Use a crate, or confine your dog to a bedroom or laundry room during the busiest part of the day, to prevent him from escaping. If your dog cannot be confined to a room or crate, and you do not have a fence, training techniques may be the way to go.
Teaching your dog to wait in a doorway until you signal him to go out is one technique you can use to keep your pet safe indoors. Training your dog to come when called can help keep him on the property, should he get out of the house. This type of training can be done at home, but consulting a reputable trainer for assistance is often the best way to ensure that your dog masters these skills reliably.
Teaching your children to close doors and gates may be more difficult than training the dog, but it can be done. Practice rewarding your young children for closing doors when the pets are not around. This can help reinforce the behavior, and keep Fido where he belongs.
In case your dog gets lost
Displaying tags with your name, phone, number, and address on your dog’s collar and having your dog microchipped can increase the chances that he is returned to you in the event that he does escape from the property. Keeping a set of current photos one shot from each side, the back and the front can be helpful for identification purposes, and for making “missing” posters.
Many pet microchip companies offer extra “lost pet” services for owners of pets that have their brand of chip implanted. They can send out mass emails and alerts to pet owners in the area that are also subscribed to their services.
There are a variety of barrier options and training techniques that can keep your dog safe in your yard, all you have to do is use them. Try them out and see which ones work best for your dog.
Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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