HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PET!
Nobody intends it, but lost dogs and cats happen: an experience no one should ever have to go through. However, we can increase the odds of keeping them safe and finding them if they do go missing. Here are a few things to add to your checklist.
- Secure your perimeter:
Often times people find dogs wandering their neighborhood and mistake them for strays, when really they accidentally just got out of their own property. Make sure to double check your fencing; you want the right height fence depending on the size of your dog so they can’t jump over it. Remember they may dig out too so ensure you have rocks or chicken wire along the bottom of your fence. If you have a paneled fence ensure they can’t squeeze through.
- Don’t leave your pet unsupervised:
Your dogs should always be within sight especially in unfamiliar surroundings. Distractions may lead to your pet running off into dangerous scenarios. Even in your own back yard, you should know where they are. Paying attention to your pet goes a long way in preventing them getting lost.
• Keep your dog on a leash:
Make sure the leash you buy is recommended for your dog’s weight. If you’re going for a walk in the park where other dogs might be present, you should have a shorter leash with more control so you can regulate your dog with more ease if, for instance, they try to go after another dog.
Be safe in the car; be aware of your dog’s tendencies. If they like to stick their whole body out the window, be sure to keep the window closed far enough so their body can’t fit through. What’s more, if your dog gets easily excited when you open the door, make sure you leave their leash on. Dog seat belts are helpful, but check that they have been safely tested. Finally, do not leave your dog alone in the car under any circumstance.
- Have your dog micro chipped or get a secure collar with dog id tags:
A microchip is an electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder the size of a grain of rice implanted under your pets skin. This gives your pet their own unique code which you can then add along with your details to the database at www.eastafricakennelclub.com. The procedure is simple and painless. It’s not a GPS device so in addition to registering the chip make sure to keep your contact details up-to-date. If you move or if your phone number changes, update your information with the company that provided the chip. It is recommended to have your pets microchip scanned annually to ensure that it is properly functioning. NB. If you intend to travel internationally with your pet, then microchipping is a legal requirement.
When using a collar, make sure it’s in good condition, loose or worn out collars can fall off with time. You don’t want your pet to choke either, so find a balance between secure and comfortable. ID tags make it easy for someone to identify your pet even from a distance. Tags should contain your pets’ name and your contact details. (Valley Creations: 0722 312 600 / 0722 909 000 make sturdy dog tags.)
- Train your dog:
Teach ‘come’ and ‘stay’ commands from an early age. Picture this, you’re are out for a walk and your dog sees something exciting and takes off. If your dog knows these commands and recognizes you as their leader, they are more likely to stop. Ensure your dog is trained on recall; it could save your pets life.
- Spay or Neuter:
An un-neutered dog is more likely to wander off from your home and get lost or risk getting hit by a car trying to seek out female dogs. Aggressive males can also cause a female dog to bolt, so it’s best to remove that temptation. Spay/Neuter not only helps curb overpopulation; it reduces the ‘value’ of your pet to anyone who may want to use them for breeding.
- Keep vital stats and photo evidence:
Proofs of ownership such as vet documents, photos, vaccination records, can make it easier to not only prove your pet is yours; it quickens the process of finding them. Keep phone numbers of your local animal shelters and recent photos of your pets handy as you may need to put up fliers to make it easier for those who may have found your pet.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG GOES MISSING.
- Immediately let the local askaris and staff in the neighbourhood know that your dog is missing. Show them pictures of your dog.
- Make flyers with your dog’s photo and include any discerning marks or details about its size, along with your contact details.
- Post the flyers up in the surrounding areas and hand them out to local guard companies, as they may spot your dog while out on patrol.
- Social media, especially Facebook, is a good forum for lost dogs. Post your flyer to one of the dog lover/lost dog forums and make it public so that people can share the information.
- Notify the KSPCA, EAKC and any vets in your neighbourhood and give them flyers to post on their noticeboards.