Sometimes our pets love exploring the world almost as much as we love them. This is particularly true of scent hounds like beagles. They put their nose to that delicious scent on the ground and just go! Unfortunately, that urge to follow a scent or otherwise explore their world can lead to a beloved pet disappearing.
Keep track of your four-legged explorer with these pet safety and monitoring tips:
Microchips and tags
Always make sure your pet is microchipped and your complete contact information is on file. Also make sure your pet is wearing your contact information! That information should include at least one phone number and an email address. It’s even better if your pet’s tags also include contact information for the microchip registry.
Personalize his collar
You can get a collar embroidered with your phone number. This is an especially good idea if your dog is timid or might be perceived as aggressive. It lets a good Samaritan call you without having to read your phone number off the tag.
It’s hard enough to read those tags while cuddling with your dog on the couch. Imagine trying to do it with a frightened, and possibly unfriendly, stray! Make it easy for people to help you bring your dog home.
A collar like that will also discourage a stranger from taking the collar off to see the tags better. Remember, this is a dog that’s already on the lam. The last thing you need is for your pet to bolt again – this time minus his collar and tags!
Add some light
Add an extra layer of protection to your pet’s collar by choosing one that’s reflective. If your pet is still on the loose after dark, you want to give drivers every possible chance of seeing him. That’s especially true for that head-down, scent-absorbed hound dog… In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to hang a light on his collar, either. Better yet, use a collar that lights up for the whole world to see!
Track him down!
Of course, even if your pet is lighting up the neighborhood while he’s on the prowl, it doesn’t help you find him if it isn’t your neighborhood. That’s where a GPS tracker comes in handy. The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker will let you track that wandering hound no matter how far he trails a scent.
The app even lets you set boundaries for your pet and alerts you if he crosses over his customized ‘Whistle’ zone. Coming home to an empty yard and missing pet is scary – doubly so when you have no idea how long he’s been gone. Did he wander off five minutes ago and is just down the block? Or was it five hours ago and he’s halfway out of state?
The sooner you know he’s missing, the sooner you can bring him home. Your pet will have less chance to get hurt, too. Instead of guessing in which direction to begin your search, this app’s live GPS tracking will let you go directly to your wandering pet.
Monitor his activity
If you’re interested in a proactive approach, this dog monitor from Petcube lets you speak to your dog. If you have people going in or out while you’re gone, it just might let you prevent an escape in progress! When you hear your dog barking, sending him to his bed may distract him from darting out the door!
It also lets you watch what your pet is doing so you can praise his good deeds and potentially put a stop to those not so good deeds. The shock value of your voice coming from out of the ether when he knows you aren’t home is likely to keep him on his best behavior. After all, he’s less likely to try to pull something naughty if he knows you’re watching and will scold him for it!
For those ‘squeeze’ artists
Of course, prevention is always better than even the best cure. If you have a miniature escape artist, outfit him with a Puppy Bumper. These colorful, lightweight ‘lifesavers’ are reminiscent of the familiar candy and almost as sweet. Just slip one over your puppy or small dog’s neck to keep him from squeezing through a gap in your fence or balcony railing.
It’s a ‘puzzling’ situation
According to Petfinder.com, one of the major reasons neutered or spayed dogs go missing is loneliness or plain old boredom. Spend plenty of time interacting with your dog when you’re home. Then leave him with interactive toys to keep him occupied while you’re gone.
A fun toy will keep him so happy and busy he may not even notice you’re gone. That’s especially true if it’s a toy that dispenses treats. Just make sure that those treats are difficult (but not impossible!) for your dog to get. Otherwise, the fun will end almost as soon as it starts.
What to do if your pet goes missing
Despite your best efforts, your pet may go missing. If he does, contact FidoFinder right away. Think of this service as a crowdsourced method of reuniting lost pets with their owners. Also, read this Petfinder article for some great tips on where to look and what to do. A dry run following the tips in the article will make sure you’re prepared just in the event of a worst case scenario.