One of the greatest worries of pet ownership is that your pet will get lost or stolen while out of the house or come to harm on the road outside your house. For any pet that has access to the outdoors e.g. dogs, cats, rabbits, even horses you should take measures to ensure their safety and security. Purebred cats and dogs are especially at risk of theft so you should be particularly vigilant in this case. Here I’ll look at the variety of options available:
Collar Name Tags
Pet name tags that hang on the collar are a basic and effective way of giving anyone who finds your pet the contact information needed to return your pet to you. These are extremely common in pet stores and online in a variety of forms from a capsule that contains a piece of paper with your number or address to beautiful engraved tags. Most dogs need a collar in order to walk them so why not add a name tag for safety. If they stray whoever finds him or her can simply read the id tag and contact you. Cats and other pets often wear flea collars so again it is easy to add a tag to the collar just to be on the safe side.
You could choose a tag that alerts people to your pet’s microchip or to any medical condition they suffer, just as human’s wear medical id bracelets. Brass tags are very hardwearing and can be deeply engraved so the writing doesn’t wear away -a smart choice if you know your information is likely to remain the same for many years.
Microchipping has been available for many years and is a secure way of ensuring your pet’s identification details are permanently with them. Your vet will insert a small microchip under your pet’s skin that is then associated with a national database which contains your contact information. Microchipping is suitable for most pets but if you’re unsure call your vet for advice. If lost and found your cat, dog or other pet can be scanned to check for a chip and your beloved furry friend can be returned safely to you.
From 2016 in Britain you’ll be legally obligated to have your dog microchipped. This is in an effort to reduce the number of strays in the UK and make owners more accountable for their dogs. The great advantage of microchipping over special collars or name tags is that it isn’t something that can be quickly removed or that can fall off. You can update the information on the database if you move or change numbers which is quicker and less expensive than re-engraving collars. There have been many success stories of lost and stolen pets that have been identified by their microchip and reunited with their owners.
GPS Pet tracking
GPS pet tracking is exactly like it sounds; a GPS device, which is attached to a collar on your pet, helps you find your lost pet through satellite positioning. This is probably the fastest and most precise way of tracking down a lost pet. The tracking device connects to your phone number or email and can be picked up on maps on a smart phone. As the trackers can be quite large these suit dogs better than smaller animals.
You can take the system with you anywhere and set ‘safe’ areas so your pet can move freely within that space but the moment he or she leaves a ‘safe’ area you’ll receive an alert so you can act as quickly as possible. The collar is designed so that it cannot be removed without a key, locking at the buckle and produced of super tough material so it’s difficult to simply cut off.
Anti-theft Dog Lead
If you enjoy taking your dog for a walk but need to be able to tie him or her up temporarily outside a shop you want to be sure he or she will be safe while you’re inside. A lockable dog lead, made of very strong, anti-cut material allows you to tie up your dog, safe in the knowledge that only you can release the lock again. This is similar in nature to the collar on the GPS tracking device but in a more basic form.
You’re dog will be delighted to go out on more walks with you and you’ll have the freedom to tie him or her up for short periods while you run errands- fantastic for both of you!
Invisible fencing uses a radio signal to create a perimeter around your home that allows your pet(s) to roam outside without straying further than the bounds of your property. A wire (buried in the ground) and a transmitter are placed outside, marking off the areas where your pet can’t go. You then place a battery powered receiver around the animal’s neck, exactly like a collar, that emits a beeping sound when they stray too close to the invisible fence after which a buzzing sensation is felt by your pet(s) if the perimeter is breached. Your animal(s) will learn that the beeping and buzzing are unpleasant and will learn to avoid them by avoiding the places in your garden where they have experienced them, keeping them close to home, off the road and safe within your property.
Apart from stopping wandering and guarding against the risk of theft, invisible fencing is also beneficial for keeping your animals off your neighbours’ lawns- a common annoyance among neighbours.