Prevent your pet from going missing: How to keep flight-risk dogs safe

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A staggering amount of dogs and cats go missing each year – in fact 1 out of every 3 pets will go missing at some point in their life. It’s a devastating moment no pet parent wants to experience, but there are steps you can take right now to keep your pet safe.

Some dogs, called flight-risk dogs, are much more likely to go missing than others. You may have a flight-risk dog and not even know it: certain breeds are more prone to running away, and every dog can become a flight risk in triggering situations.

First, let’s clarify what these triggers can be:

1) FEAR

Furry friends feel fear just like we do. When that happens, it might trigger their fight or flight response, and they can quickly flee and get themself in life-threatening situations. The main causes for this are fireworks, thunderstorms, big crowds, and gunfire. If you know a triggering situation will be happening, make sure to keep your pet calm and indoors.

2) BREED

The top 5 breeds to run away in the United States are mixed breeds, Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Beagles, and German Shepherds.

3) RECENTLY ADOPTED/NEW SURROUNDINGS

Newly adopted pets are up to 4 times more likely to run away, and are especially vulnerable to fleeing in the face of fear or opportunity. The same risk goes for moving to a new home or going on a vacation, where even a longtime pet can become anxious in its new surroundings.

There are countless other reasons a dog may run away: boredom, separation anxiety, hunting or mating instinct, and more. What matters is the actions you take now to ensure their safety should anything happen.

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW

Invest in a GPS tracker like Tractive so you can pinpoint your pet’s location in seconds. Unlike a microchip, you don’t have to wait for someone else to find your pet first. The small, sturdy, waterproof device is a life-saver: it attaches right to their collar and sends signals straight to your phone so you can locate your lost dog in seconds.

Set up a PetHub account by linking your pet’s ID tag to a free and secure pet profile. If your pet gets lost, PetHub can send out a broadcast to shelters. And if someone scans your pet’s tag, they’ll be able to see critical information like your pet’s name, age, breed, medications, allergies, and your contact information.

Get your pet a microchip so that you can be notified if a kind stranger finds your pet before you do and turns it over to a veterinarian or shelter.

Secure your yard. Check your fence and gates to tighten security and prevent dog escapes. Make sure there’s no holes dug underneath the fence, or furniture nearby that escape artists could use as a stepping stool.

Increase your dog’s daily exercise. Many dogs have lots of energy to spare, and you’ll help them use the excess energy that they might otherwise spend digging, climbing, or jumping the fence.

Help relieve their boredom and/or anxiety by spending quality time with them, providing a variety of toys, and making sure they have a comfortable home.

Even the best-behaved dogs in the world can run away. Nobody wants to deal with a missing, or worse, a missing and injured dog. As responsible dog owners, it’s important to be aware of the common reasons why dogs run away and what you can do to stop it from happening. By following the precautions, you can make sure your dog never goes missing. Even if they do, you’ll have tools you need to be reunited again.

Our friends at Tractive GPS guest wrote this article for PetHub readers. Visit lostpetprevention.com for a chance to win a Tractive GPS and yearly subscription. 

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