Here is how to deal with a pet escape artist. The moment you turn your back, he is gone! A pet escape artist can move through the smallest of tunnels, slither under any fence, and sneak through any open door with the subtlety of a ninja, or so it may appear. In reality, you cannot relax your vigilance if your pet enjoys exploring.

There are several causes for pet escapes. The best place to start is by determining the underlying cause of your dog’s or cat’s wanderlust.

Recognizing the Reason

Dogs and cats are innately mobile. Instinctively, many breeds can roam many kilometers each day in order to establish their territory. Also to communicate with other animals by smell, and seek a mate. However, when it comes to your beloved pet, we inhibit the gratification of these innate urges by training, enrichment at home, and spaying or neutering before the first heat.

For certain animals, there may be other underlying factors that contribute to their compulsion to wander. For others, it is a lack of education and socialization. However, there appear to be a few common underpinnings, such as:

Lack of activity or enrichment can cause anxiety, worry, and boredom in pets. Especially high-energy breeds like athletic or herding dogs.

If your pet suffers from noise-related anxiety or comparable phobias, loud noises such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or a car backfiring might cause him or her to flee. A pet may also flee out of fear of people or captivity. Separation anxiety is a frequent behavioral issue that can drive a dog or cat to wander out in pursuit of its family.

Loneliness – Pets, and canines in particular, are sociable animals who require interaction to flourish. Some dogs are less likely to escape when they have a playmate, can spend time with other dogs at daycare, or can spend time with other pets and people on a group dog walk.

Aggression or territorial behavior – If your pet has strong territorial tendencies, he or she may attempt to flee in order to ward off a perceived intruder.

If you have not fixed your cat or dog, it is more likely to seek out a partner during estrus or “heat.” In this scenario, the straightforward (and moral) solution is to spay or neuter your cat.

Pet Security Measures/ How to Deal with a Pet Escape Artist

Keep in mind that training and behavioral modification may be necessary prior to discussing at-home preventative measures. Similarly, medicines and veterinary treatment may be more effective in treating animals with intense anxieties or phobias. In each of these instances, you should seek advice from your veterinarian.

Once you’ve determined what you think to be the cause of your pet’s disappearance, the next step is to secure your home and yard to prevent your pet from escaping. Bear in mind the following:

If your escape artist companion is the family dog, try erecting 6-foot fence that extends 1 foot into the ground (especially for those prone to digging).

Reconsider letting your cat wander outside, especially if he or she is known to escape the yard or block.

Provide your high-energy dog with a variety of toys, an agility course, and other enrichment items, as well as daily walks or runs.

Consider acquiring a second pet for pets that are “only children” — sometimes having another friend makes all the difference.

If you work long hours, dog daycare may be the best option for your rambunctious dog.

Ask guests to secure any window screens, doors, and entryways, and to close the door behind themselves.

In the majority of situations, positive obedience training and behavioral consulting will be the most successful means of addressing escape concerns. Frequently, the answer to preventing your furry Houdini from escaping lies in meeting his or her daily activity requirements and giving adequate companionship and stimulation.

If your efforts to modify your pet’s behavior at home are unsuccessful, we recommend seeking expert assistance. If you work long hours or are going on vacation consider boarding your pet with us at Charolette Kennels.