Every pet parents worst nightmare is to lose their beloved companion. An open door or window, a fall from the balcony, a loud sound on a walk - the ways people lose their pets vary. Looking at the frequent "lost and found" posts on social media it seems to be happening much more often than it should. Especially in a country like Lebanon with crazy traffic, poison and and frequent pet theft it can be very hard to find your furry one.
Therefore we compiled ten tips for you to prevent losing your pet:
1. Walk your dog on a good leash
We know it is every dog owners dream to have this perfectly trained dog that walks beside you without a leash, but let's be real: Even a fairly well-trained dog might run off when they see a cat, another dog or hear a loud,scary sound. It is still very important to train a good recall and stay command to your pup in case of emergency or if you want to take the leash off in a safe environment, for example on a hike. Make sure the leash and collar you are of good quality and appropriate for your dogs strength so they won't rip. Have a look here
for a selection of high quality leashes and collars.
2. Secure your balcony and windows
There is a myth that cats have a perfect balance and can estimate heights, but we can assure you from personal experience as well as many of our members stories that cats falling/jumping from a balcony (any floor) happens frequently. Better secure your balcony with a net if you don't want your cat to get hurt and/or lost.
3. Be selective about who is walking your dog
Many incidents in which dogs get lost happens while the dog is walking with another person than their owner. Your dog trusts you and they might behave in a different way with someone else, sometimes even try to escape. Also a stranger might not be as careful/attentive as you or simply not care enough. There is also finally a great website in Lebanon that that connects trustworthy dog walkers and pet caretakers to pet owners: It is called Sidelick
4. Be selective with whom you leave your pet when you travel
If you choose a bad boarding place your dog will not only be miserable but will likely try to escape whenever they get the chance. Don't save money on the wrong end. Choose a good place or ask trustworthy, responsible friends family members to take care of your furry one. If you have a cat, have try to find someone live in your place or pass by daily (if it's a short trip). Cats often respond poorly to relocation. If you don't know a good place have a look at our list of the best pet boarding places in Lebanon.
5. Be attentive when your door is open
Sometimes life gets busy and we forget to pay attention when we should. If workers come to your house, the pizza delivery guy arrives or the cleaning lady pays you a visit - make sure your pet has no chance to escape. If someone comes to your house in your absence make sure that they pay attention to this.
6. Fence your garden well
If you are one of the lucky people who own a garden, make sure it is escape proof. Not only should the fence be high enough but also not have any wholes (especially if your dog is on the small side) or ways for your dog to dig their way out of it. Make sure that your dog isn’t able to jump on something and then jump over the fence. Remember that pups are escape artists!
7. Spay your pet
You might wonder: Why is this relevant? Well, a pet who isn’t fixed is anxious to find a partner to mate because they produce all of those crazy hormones.If a pet wants to get out of his fence to rendezvous with the neighbor fluff, they will do almost anything to get out.
8. Put a name tag on your companion and microchip them
You can get a name tag at any vet or pet shop and it takes only a couple of days to engrave your number in it. It is the easiest way your pet can be found if they get lost. Also Microchipping is a good and not too pricey idea in case your furry one is found without collar.
9. Double leash your dog
If your dog is an escape artist and often finds his way out of their collar or harness just use two leashes - one for the harness and one for the collar.
10. Be careful when opening the car door
Most dogs get way too excited when you open the car and they manage to get out in light-speed. The safest way is to leash your dog in the car, however NEVER connect it to a collar. If you hit the breaks hard or have an accident your dog will break their neck. Instead use a harness. There are also seat belts available for dogs.
This article will be followed later this week by an emergency plan for the case you ever loose your pet (even though we truly hope it will NEVER happen to you).