The California sun has finally decided to come out of hiding and show her beautiful face again. If you are anything like us, you’re already planning your weekends and nights with outdoorsy activities that you and your pup can do together to enjoy the nice weather. With the rising temperatures both in SoCal and nationwide, we thought now would be the perfect time to share some of our favorite tips on how to keep your dog from “spring breaking” it away from you:
Baby Gates for Your Dog
Whether you like to leave your doors open to enjoy a breeze or you’re just in and out of the house, you should always assess easy exits your dog might have. If you know your pup likes to make a quick escape the second you open the front door, consider using a baby gate to block them from a slick exit. Baby gates vary in price and features, starting with a basic gate you climb over and upgrading to one you can open and step through. Whichever you choose, it’s a simple investment for a lifetime of safety for your pet! Also, remember to block off any fences or railings your pup could easily slip through. A quick fix is using a puppy playpen to block any openings or simply replace the fencing in your yard for a more secure area.
Sizing of Harnesses and Collars
While you may think that all collars are created equal, it’s very important to research the best type of collar to use for your specific dog. You would be surprised how many different types are out there! Here are Wags and Walks, we always recommend that our fosters and adopters use a flat collar with identification tags, as well as an additional collar or harness for walking. This way, if the pup happens to slip out or get loose, he/she still has an ID on and can be returned to his/her owner. We highly recommend martingale collars and harnesses because they are secure and give more leverage against pulling and surprises - it’s much more difficult for your pup to slip out of these when they want to bolt! Your local pet store will be happy to help you size your dog so that their collar/harness is comfortable and the perfect fit!
Training of Young and Old Dogs
It’s never too late to teach an old dog (or a young one) a new trick. Practice your stays, sits and comes so that your pup learns to respect and listen to your commands - no matter what the circumstance. Plus, it’s always fun to try teaching them something new. If your pup is treat motivated, you might even get a rollover or high-five trick out of them! Another important training exercise (that is often overlooked) is walking on the leash. Ensuring your dog has good leash manners is crucial in keeping them safe. The more accustomed to walking on a leash they are, the less likely they are to make a run for it.
While training is usually reserved for puppies and is best started as young as possible, it never hurts to give an older dog a refresher course - especially if they have gotten away with their fair share of antics. Always make sure your pup knows that while he/she may be number one in your heart, he/she isn’t the boss in the house and they must listen to your commands.
Keep Your Pets Entertained
One of the most common reasons dogs get loose is out of boredom, so make sure you aren’t leaving them for extended periods of time with nothing to do. If you are going to be gone for more than a few hours, drop your pup off at a doggy daycare so they can exercise and socialize, or see if a friend can take him/her for the day. If you prefer to leave your dog at home, make sure he/she has plenty to play with inside. Ensure he/she has plenty of fun toys and bones to entertain themselves with during the day and is set up with a comfy area for him/her to nap in. One of our favorite toys for keeping your dog busy are kongs, which are stuffed with treats and/or peanut butter so that your dog has to work for his/her reward.
These are only a few of many ways to keep your dog from breaking free. We would love to hear how you keep your dogs safe in the comments below!
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