Our pets are a part of our families and communities, so it’s obvious that we want to keep them feeling as happy, healthy, and loved as possible. We want them to eat the healthiest food, get the optimal amount of exercise, and have plenty of social and mental stimulation—and of course, we want to keep them by our sides.
There’s a lot you can do to make sure your dogs stay safe. In partnership with Nextdoor, we’ve rounded up the essential tips for keeping your beloved pets safe. After we cover the basics, we’ll tell you about the one key thing many dog owners forget when it comes to pet safety.
Make sure your home and yard are secure.
Start here! Use baby gates to help create a barrier between the front door and your pet. If possible, create a secure dog zone where you can safely place your dog when you’re going out. Walk the fence of your property, if applicable, and keep an eye out for loose boards or areas where a pet could slip between slats or dig under the fence.
Get your pet microchipped.
One of the first safety tasks for a new pet owner is to commit to getting their pet microchipped. Microchips are very small – about the size of a grain of rice – and the insertion is only a small pinch for your pet. Even if your furry friend slips out of their collar and tags, any vet can scan the microchip and find your contact information, helping to return your pet home safely.
Always walk on a leash.
A standard collar is often the choice for new pet parents, but there are also prong collars, head collars, and harnesses. In addition, you can choose to have a standard nylon or leather leash, while many pet owners prefer a retractable leash to give their pet a little more range. If you end up visiting a public dog park, make sure to check the grounds for obvious areas where your dog could escape, and keep an eye on other dogs who might be playing with yours to make sure it stays friendly.
Hire a trusted pet sitter.
If you need a dog walker for when you’re stuck at work late, or a pet sitter for when you’re out of town, it’s important to find people you can trust with your pet’s happiness and well-being. Technology can help you find someone close and reliable: Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers, and you can book right from your phone.
There’s one thing that many dog owners overlook when it comes to pet safety: their neighbors.
You might very well be aware of the tips listed above, but there’s one thing that many dog owners overlook when it comes to pet safety: their neighbors.
On average, lost pets are recovered within a two-mile radius of their home, which means mobilizing your neighbors is key to return a missing pet. And that brings us to our final tip.
Whether you need advice on the best vet in town or to ask for the best areas to walk your dog, your neighborhood is a wealth of information. It can be an excellent way to meet other pet lovers, too! Joining Nextdoor is one easy way to connect and communicate with the neighbors near you.
In fact, they’ve just launched a new Pet Directory specifically designed for pet owners. When you sign up for the free Nextdoor Pet Directory, you’ll connect with other pet lovers in your neighborhood and learn about the pets near you.
This concept is both awesome and simple. Neighbors upload photos and info about their pets to the directory. This includes quirks, identifying information, and fun facts that help your neighbors virtually meet your pet. If the unthinkable should happen and your dog slips out the door or through a crack in the fence, you’ll be able to notify your neighbors quickly using the directory.
Add your dog to the directory
Simply sign in to your Nextdoor account and click on the Pet Directory icon in the left-hand navigation.
If you don’t have an account yet, sign up here. It’s quick, it’s free, and it will bring a little extra peace of mind. What’s not to love?