How To Safely Prevent Pets From Escaping Your Home
Most of us think of home as a safe place, the place we can’t wait to get to at the end of a long day. Unfortunately, many pets seem to think of home as the place they can’t wait to sneak out of. While natural curiosity is a good thing, our furry friends shouldn’t bolt into the unknown every time we open a door or window. Keep reading to learn how to safely prevent pets from escaping your home.
Make Home Entrances Less Enticing
The first step to preventing escapes is to desensitize your pets to the excitement of escape. Since escapes often happen through open home entrances like front and back doors, you should make these areas more secure (keep doors closed and locked) and less enticing to pets. Remove any tantalizing furniture where pets may want to get cozy and keep exciting toys out of the area. Don’t play with them in these areas and limit communication with them when you’re in these areas. With nothing to do or see, your pets will stick to other areas of your home, and you’ll decrease the likelihood of a sudden escape.
Introduce the “Stay” Command
To prevent pets from dashing between your legs for an escape when you must open the door, you can train them to stay in a safe spot nearby—perhaps easier with a dog than a cat! Guide your pet to an appropriate nearby spot, such as a comfy bench in the hallway for a cat or a soft mat in the hallway floor for a dog. Reward them with food or treats. Pair the guidance and treats with a command, such as “Stay” or “Place.” Keep them in the safe spot for increasing amounts of time. When you need to open the door, send them to their safe spot and keep them there until you close the door. Then it’s treat time!
Provide Entertaining Toys
One of the reasons pets want to go out into the world is because they think it’s more exciting than home. You can decrease the likelihood of an escape if you provide entertaining toys that they want to stay at home to play with. Cycle through the toys so your pets consistently feel that there’s something new and exciting in the house instead of outside.
Replace Old Doors and Windows That Allow for Escape
While you’re making all these human efforts to keep your pets safely inside, your home itself may be failing you. If your pet knows how to pop through an old door or window, they may continue to do so despite your attempts. One of our must-know tips for pet-proofing your windows is that you may have to replace old ones if they’re letting your pets escape. The same is true for old doors. While this may feel like a costly investment, the investment is worth your pet’s safety and your peace of mind.
Safely preventing pets from escaping your home comes down to a combination of training, supplies, and changes to your home. Even with these prevention efforts in place, you should always have a plan for locating your escaped pet, such as a microchip, tracking device for the collar, or updated picture for a flyer.