July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, and just in time, too! With the 4th of July just days away here in the US, pets are in serious danger of becoming loss due to fear of fireworks, someone being careless with a door at a party, or escaping during travel. I've thankfully never lost a pet *knocks on wood with fervor*, and I plan to keep it that way!
This is also the prime time for me to share how I keep Nola safe while we travel - as you all know, we just got back from BlogPaws 2016, and experienced flying for the first time (as well as a cab and a shuttle), as well as keeping safe and secure in a very busy and hectic environment. In light of that, I'm going to share how I prevent the tragedy of my dog getting lost while traveling! These are my top 5 tips for keeping safe while traveling, and while they're small dog specific, you can apply most of them across the board.
5. Know Thy Dog
Before you even consider taking a trip with your dog, honestly access their personality and whether or not they're a good candidate for travel. If your dog is highly anxious or quite reactive, fearful or shuts down in new environments, ect, it may be best to leave them home. You don't want to add more risk to the situation with a dog that's liable to become fearful and bolt in an unfamiliar setting.
4. Don't Rely Totally On One Method of Control
What I mean by this is always having both physical and verbal control over your dog.Take the time to really train your dog to respond to and be focused on you in all settings, but don't rely solely on verbal control while traveling. Securely leash your dog unless the setting is safe, appropriate, and meshes with the dog's personality and training level.
|In this setting in Phoenix one evening, Nola was 100% under verbal control. However, I wasn't taking that leash off!|
3. Up to Date and Multiple Forms of ID
This should be a no-brainer, but make sure your dog's ID tag is up to date with your current phone number. I personally don't have my address on Nola's tags, but I'm adamant that all are updated to my current phone number.
I have an ID tag on her collar, on her harness, and one on her leash. #OverAchiever
She has a lot of ID tags (like...13), and they generally say the following:
Reward and/or microchipped
|Snarky on the front, and all business on the back.|
Which brings me to my next point: microchip your pet! If she's already chipped, verify that the info is current and applicable.
2. When In Doubt, Pick Them Up
BlogPaws was a massive event, and was sometimes crazy and a bit chaotic. There were throngs of people and animals, and it would be easy for a small dog to get stepped on or tangled, panic, and slip their collar or harness if it wasn't fitted absolutely perfectly (and some dogs, like Nola, can slip most anything, even if it is sized correctly!).
If you're in a situation like that, or any other overwhelming event for a smaller pup, pick them up, pop them in a sling or carrier, or use a stroller. You may get some funny looks, especially from non-dog people, but it's worth it to keep your dog safe and secure!
|Tucked safely into her sling|
|Safe in her stroller|
1. Consider All Scenarios, But Have Fun!
It's vital to think outside the box when it comes to traveling with a dog, making sure you're covering all bases of potential catastrophe and planning accordingly, but don't let it rule your time on the road (or in the air, or on the water). Be prepared, be safe, but have fun!
What about you? How do you keep your pet from getting lost while traveling?
- Dachshund Mommy