So here's how to prevent your dog from escaping your home, and what to do if they ever go missing.
Why do dogs run away from home and do they ever come back?
Many dogs were bred to hunt and track prey. If dogs with a high-prey drive catch a scent, they're hardwired to chase it and can cover considerable distances in a short space of time. Dogs like these have a good enough nose to make it home, but if they stray too far, they can get lost and disoriented.
Why do dogs run away from home if all their needs are met?
As dogs become sexually mature, they're more likely to go off in search of potential mates. This is especially the case with male dogs. To put it politely, they're often overwhelmed by their ‘natural urges,’ especially if they pick up the scent of any unspayed females.
Many dogs run off after hearing loud noises, such as fireworks. Animal shelters always see a spike in runaways around bonfire night and new years eve.
My dog ran away, what do I do?
Spend around 30 mins walking around the local area, calling out your dog's name in a friendly voice. Chances are they'll soon come bounding up to you.
If that doesn't work, contact local animal shelters. Then put up 'missing dog' flyers and get as many people as possible to share your dog's pic on social media.
If you've got pet insurance, contact your provider. They can give you advice on who to locate your dog. Many people fit their pets with an ID tag, but you should have your dog microchipped. In fact, it's now a legal requirement. So call your microchip provider straight away, making sure your contact details are up to date.
How to prevent my dog from running away?
Start by make sure your dog is getting enough mental and physical stimulation. A bored pooch is much more likely to turn into an escape artist. Getting your dog spayed can also prevent them from running away.
How to prevent your dog from escaping
Dogs escape from the yard in lots of different ways. They can walk through an open gate; they can jump over the top of the fence or crawl through bushes around the edge of your garden. So look for any potential escape routes and start making the necessary adjustments around your home.
How to fix a fence so dogs can't get through?
Look for gaps or weak spots in the base of the fence and replace damaged panels ASAP. In the meantime, nail temporary boards over the gaps or cover them with large rocks.
How to stop my dog from jumping the fence?
You can teach your dog to stop jumping up when they're a few months old, which means there will be less chances of them jumping over the top of the fence when they mature. And if you think that's not possible, think again. Some dogs can leap as high as six feet!
Dog-proof garden fencing
Chicken wire is cheap and easy to install. However, it won't stop larger or more determined dogs from escaping. They'll quickly figure out how to push through the bottom of the wire.
Alternatively, go for chain link fencing. It's expensive compared to chicken wire, but you're getting much more security for your money. Even the strongest dogs won't break through a chain-link fence.
Are there any easy to set up large dog proof dog fences?
The VossNet pet fence range and Flexipanel folding fences are easy to set up and do a great job containing smaller and medium-sized dogs. For bigger dogs, or those expert escape artists, you should look into hiring a professional to erect some fully secure fencing.
The best way to stop a dog from running away is to make sure they're happy. But even if you're the best dog parent in the world (which you are!), there's always the chance they could pull a Harry Houdini style escape act. So get dog-proofing your home today and keep a close eye on them during high-risk times of the year, like bonfire night or new years eve.