Dog safety tips

COLLAR AND TAGS ALWAYS keep collar with 2 tags on your dog. After you give your dog(s) a bath, place collar and tags back onto your dog. Dogs get out everyday and some people are not aware of how microchipping works, so for your dogs, please KEEP collar and tags on them at all times. One tag should have your information and one tag should have rescue organization info on it. People tend to change their numbers, but rescues don’t, so to ensure your dogs safe return should he/she get out, have the 2 tags on at all times. If your adopted dog gets out of your home or yard DO NOT DELAY, the minute you see your dog(s) is missing Immediately contact the rescue organization so they can send email blast out to rescue groups to start search for dog(s), then go out and call for your dog(s), let your neighbors know to keep eye out, put up fliers in all surrounding areas (at least 10 mile radius of all directions from last location seen), put up fliers in vet offices, emergency vets, pet stores, post on lost pets on petfinder.com.

Get a grip

A word about leashes

Please DO NOT use the “extend-a-leash”. Those are the leashes that allow your dogs to run ahead of you and then when needed you pull or retract the leash back. It is supposed to be a simple device. This type of leash has proven to be dangerous and therefore we ask that our adopters not use them.

Over time people have found that when they needed to retract the leash it simply did not work properly. This caused great harm to their dog because they could not get them in time, putting their pet in the line of danger.

Just recently a pet owner was walking their dogs down the street, both on an extend-a-leash, when a car backfired, scaring one of the dogs. When their dog tried to bolt the owner attempted to retract the leash, but to no avail. The leash tore and busted apart and the dog ran into the street, and sadly, was struck by a car.

So I implore you to please ONLY use a harness (small breed dogs) and a very sturdy leash for your dog. If you have two dogs you may find that using a double leash will make it easier for you when walking them together. For larger breed dogs, use collar and sturdy leash (no harness for large breeds as they can get out of them easily).

Always be sure to check the clasp on leashes because over time, with the opening and closing of the clasps to hook onto the dog’s harness or collar, you will eventually see a gap in the closure, an indication that it no longer catches tightly. When you can no longer hear the clasp close or you see even a tiny gap starting, it is time to replace it. This is important because when you walk your dog you may suddenly see them walking ahead of you, their leash in your hand but they won’t be connected to it.

Harness vs. collar

A Harness gives you better overall control over the safety and protection of your dog (small breeds). Collars have been known to pull against the animal’s trachea, especially if your dog strains against the leash, acting something akin to a noose, basically choking the dog. Therefore we ONLY recommend using a harness for your dog.

With a harness the dog cannot easily escape if startled, such as by a loud noise (trust me I have seen small breed dogs wiggle out of collars and run into traffic). So, best to never even take the risk. Play it safe and just use a harness. A harness will afford you greater control and help keep your dog safe.

With larger breed dogs, okay to use collar and leash, just be sure collar cannot easily slip over the head. We see alot of dog owners walking their medium and large breed dogs with collar having a large gap, meaning dog can easily slip out of the collar if startled.

Around the home

Bathing at home

Of course you’ll want to keep your pet clean and well groomed. Here are some things to keep in mind. Bathe your dog in natural products, such as those for sensitive skin or hypoallergenic. One never knows what skin allergies a dog has, or may contract, so best to err on the side of caution and use hypoallergenic products like oatmeal based dog shampoos.

BATHING IN THE KITCHEN SINK:

If you have a small dog and opt to bathe them in the kitchen sink BE SURE to place a rubber mat over each side of the basin, or use a baby bath placed in the sink. Pet owners and vets have recently advised us that this is ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT for small dogs. It seems that as the water drains it can generate enough suction to grab the little one’s paw and pull it through the small holes in the sink. Depending on strength of the suction this can be a horrific injury to your pet (meaning surgery and possible amputation of a toe). This very thing happened to a small dog belonging to my friend’s boss and I promised that I would make people aware of this potential danger.

If you bathe your pet in the bathtub I would suggest you place a mat on the floor and bring your dog out of tub before letting the water out, to avoid having a paw sucked into the drain. ALWAYS be sure to stay by your dog when they are in the tub, especially the small breeds, cannot allow water to get to high or too hot.

At the front door

Always use caution when opening your front door, especially during the Holidays. This is a time when most little dogs get away. It’s just in their nature to run and play and they can dart out so quickly that you don’t even see them in time. Then, when dogs get scared, they run and run and run. And little ones, “whew” once they are out it is so very hard to find them again.

Suggestion: Put a doggy gate or dog pen by front door, which would allow you to open and close door for your and for guests to assure your dog won’t get out, this is especially the case with the smaller breeds as they can sneak out so quickly and nobody would even see them. This is a good idea for all sizes and breeds of dogs as well because many dogs will dart and take off running, so for overall safety, best to use doggy gate or dog pen by front door.

Home appliances

ALWAYS CHECK WASHER/DRYER AND DISHWASHER BEFORE YOU TURN THEM ON TO BE SURE YOUR DOG HAS NOT JUMPED INSIDE!

With small breed dogs especially, always be sure to check your laundry basket before tossing something into the wash. You MUST be sure that your little one is not sleeping under the clothes that are in the basket or hamper. The same goes for the dryer, look inside the dryer before you put items in it to be sure your dog has not jumped in before you turn it on. Also be sure to check inside your refrigerator and dishwasher before closing them up.

Wires and cords

Though not something we generally think about, all the loose wires and cords around your home pose a potentially lethal threat to your pet– if chewed on they can electrocute your dog! If you have loose cords and wires around the home it is best to pull them up from the floor and tape them to the back of something that is higher up, or you can purchase plastic cord protectors from almost any home improvement or office supply store. This way your dog cannot chew through cords or wires that could ultimately electrocute them (to death!). Sadly, this happened to my friend’s older dog. He thought his dog’s chewing days were long over and he had purchased an oscillating fan. He was unaware that his dog had been chewing the cord on the back of the fan and he lost his dog due to electrocution. So I promised I would make people aware of this very important information. If you see that you have old and frayed wires, you should have wiring replaced, both for you, as well overall safety of your dog.

Toxic Foods and plants

Many seemingly innocuous foods and plants can be harmful, even toxic, to animals. Please be sure to check out the ASPCA website for this very important information (www.aspca.net). There are so many human foods, fruits and vegetables that are toxic to dogs, so please check out their website. To give you an example: onions are deadly, so is chocolate, strawberries, raisins, and grapes.

Also, most recently we found out about how toxic potpourri is, so never have this where your dog may be able to get at it. Additionally, there are many toxic household and garden plants, so be sure to check this out on the ASPCA website as well.

Environmental hazards

Antifreeze

ANTIFREEZE: Antifreeze or Coolant is a death sentence to animals. Animals will drink it because the main ingredient (ethylene-glycol) is sweet tasting, but it is so dangerous and it is a horrific way for an animal to die. Ethylene-glycol is an extremely poisonous substance to animals and humans alike. So please NEVER EVER have this out in your yard or home and if you keep it in the garage, be SURE it is kept tightly sealed and out of reach from your pet.

Rat poison

RAT POISONBAIT: These are generally in a black, odd shaped, hard plastic casing, with poisonous bait inside for the rats to eat then scurry off somewhere to die. DO NOT EVER have these around your yard, home or garage because what is inside is highly poisonous. So if a rat, or small squirrel was to eat the bait and your dog subsequently attacked that rat or squirrel, then they now have not only eaten an animal that possibly has rabies, but one filled with deadly poison as well. So stay away from these for sure!

Plastic bags

Plastic bags are insidiously a part of our society. Be it grocery bags, protective packaging, or dry cleaner bags. Please dispose of these in a safe place such as a trash bin or storage container that closes very tightly. A dog, just as a child, can suffocate if they play in these bags.

In the Kitchen, Yard and Garage

Bread (twistie ties and plastic pieces)

Both of these objects can cut the intestinal tract, surgery and even death due to this. Twistie ties that you place at end of bread can entangle itself in the intestinal tract and the plastic piece that you put at end of bread, when swallowed will slowly move through the intestinal tract and the sharp edges can cut as it passes through, which would cause leakage, infection, surgery, possible death. VERY IMPORTANT to keep these objects away from anywhere your dog(s) could possible get ahold of them.

 

SHARP OBJECTS/OVEN/STOVE/BBQ

Remove any sharp objects like gardening tools, saws, drills, BBQ forks, knives, basically anything sharp. Such items should be kept in a secure area, up off the floor or ground and out of reach. If you have a large breed dog and keep them in the kitchen area while you are at work or out for awhile, it is very important that you remove all knives from the countertops and assure that they would not be able to accidently turn on the stove or oven.

It is also a good idea to baby proof all cabinets. Dogs, just like the curious little kids they are, get into all sorts of things when they get bored. Since most cleaning products contain toxic ingredients, nearly everyone has something poisonous in their cabinets.

About balconies

If you have a balcony please be sure that your dog is not out there unattended. If you happen to live in an apartment with a balcony, always be sure that there is nothing against the railing or wall that would allow your dog to jump up and over the side. Also, be careful with potted plants as dogs can get up on those to jump over walls as well, and they don’t always know there is nothing on the other side. Dogs just see a wall and may hear or smell something on the other side they want to get at, not knowing that there is a huge drop to the ground below. Although most cats survive such falls, very few dogs ever do (A drop like that is not recommended for cats either, balconies can be dangerous for them too).

Also, if you have wrought iron type railing around your balcony, then you need to obtain some type of thick wire mesh to place all the way around, leaving no gaps. Make sure the mesh is flush with the balcony floor and that it is at least 4ft in height. This will help ensure that your dog cannot poke it’s head between the railing, trying to see or get at something and then fall off the balcony. It would be best to put metal mesh into place right away when you have a balcony.

In the yard

Fences and gates

Whether you’re at your house or that of people you are visiting, always walk the perimeters of any yard where your dog will be playing, assuring there are no spaces under gates or fences through which your dog, out of curiosity, could crawl under or in between and take off. Also, check side gates to be sure there are no gaps under them and if there are, then lay your dog on its side to see if they can fit under it. More importantly, if there is no cement under the side gates, then you should purchase pavers to remedy this. Just measure the width of the opening under the gate and advise the clerk at your local Home & Garden store that you need pavers to keep your dog from digging out from under the side gates. Be sure to also check the edges of the side gates to be sure the gaps are narrow enough that your dog cannot get out.

If your home, or the home you are visiting, has wrought iron gates, be certain that the gaps between each railing are small enough to prevent your dog from squeezing through. (Wrought iron gates are the most frequent reason why so many thin or small to medium sized dogs go missing).

Keep it locked

ALWAYS KEEP A LOCK ON GATE AND KEEP IT LOCKED. Most dogs go missing because gardeners leave gates open, gas company employees leave gates open, kids come by and unlatch gates for the fun of it and the worst scenario of all are the dog thefts. If a dog thief takes your dog you may never get them back! Stolen dogs are usually sold to the highest bidders, and they usually do not end up in good places. This is so important so I did not want to miss putting it in here. Just having locks on your gates to make it appear like they are locked will not deter a dog thief. These unscrupulous people already know that pet owners do this.

While watching CNN one night I saw an interview with a dog thief who shared all the secrets of stealing dogs and even he was amazed at how many people just lay a lock on their gate, but never actually have them locked. This made it so easy for him to just steal peoples’ pets and run.

PLEASE ALWAYS BE SURE YOUR GATES ARE LOCKED, not only to protect your pet, but as well to protect your family.

Pool Safety and your Dog

Always teach your dog how to swim and how to get out of the pool. It is a good idea to place a triangle shaped object on tile near the stairs and teach your dog to go to that triangle to get out. The reason for the triangle is because if a dog falls into pool, all they see is water and tile, no identifying marks, can get confusing, especially if a dog is not pool saavy. It is also a good idea to have a rope that goes across the middle of pool, should your dog fall into pool when you are not at home and become disoriented, at least with a rope across the pool dog would have something to hang onto. There is also an alarm that can be purchased that you set for a certain weight of dog and should your dog fall in, it will set off the alarm, based on weight of dog and what you set alarm at. If a dog is afraid of the water, afraid of the pool, then it is highly suggested that owner put up gate around the pool to keep them safe, just as one would do for a child.

Coyotes and doggy doors

Whether you get a house or own a house, or are visiting at someone else’s home, these are things to really watch out for and be careful of.

COYOTES: I cannot stress enough how VERY IMPORTANT it is that from DUSK to DAWN to never allow your dog to roam free in the backyard. Even if you have a doggy door for the daytime, at night, from dusk to dawn, close up that doggy door! Most recently we have even heard of dogs being grabbed during the daytime hours, so we encourage all dog owners of small and medium size dogs to NEVER allow them free access to backyard, accompany them with leash or purchase a very sturdy dog run (four sided) and have in yard for when you are out there, this allows them a bit of freedom off a leash, but at the same time keeps them protected.

Coyotes are a huge threat to dogs. It used to be we only had to worry about telling people who live in the hills to never leave their dog alone in the yard without someone there. Now however, the coyotes are coming down into homes North of Ventura Blvd and into neighborhoods all over. It is always best to do things on the cautious side. This means that from dusk to dawn never allow your dog to be outside. If you need to let your dog out at night to go potty, first turn on a backyard light, then with leash attached, walk outside with the dog in your arms. If no coyotes are present you can put your dog down (with leash in hand) to go potty. Then pick your dog up and carry them back into the house.

DID YOU KNOW THAT COYOTES CAN JUMP OVER WALLS OR FENCES EVEN AS TALL AS 12 FEET!

 

Coyotes are now being seen in areas we never saw them before and even if people say they never see any coyotes it doesn’t mean they are not there, they are smart and cunning. So PLEASE, even if you have had dogs a long time and have never encountered any predatory animals, KNOW THAT YOU ARE JUST LUCKY! In the meantime, protect your dogs and bring them in at night and keep that doggy door closed up until the morning, but again NEVER allow a small or medium breed dog to have free roam of the backyard unattended.

Fertilizing your yard

Always use NON-TOXIC fertilizer for your lawn. This is safer for you and your pets. Most name brand fertilizing products contain too many toxic agents that can make your pet very sick and even worse. For information on non-toxic fertilizers try doing a Google search or log onto www.kinder4rescue.org (the front page of her website lists some non-toxic fertilizers).

Small decorative rocks

The small decorative rocks found in many gardens and yards can be dangerous for dogs. Dogs like to play with them, bite on them, and some have even wound up choking to death on them. These small rocks can easily get lodged in the dog’s throat and if no one is watching or nobody is home at the time the consequences could be dire. So NEVER use the small decorative rocks, best to be on the safe side. Instead you can find a lot of beautiful large rocks for decorating. These are much safer and they look real nice too.

Go for a walk?

A day at the beach

A fun day at the beach with your dog can end in tragedy if simple precautions are neglected. Various scenarios have been the demise of many a beloved pet at the end of what was otherwise an enjoyable outing. Cars on beach roads like PCH have hit dogs because everyone was so excited they didn’t bother to leash their dog. Owners either didn’t keep an eye on traffic or their dog, allowing it way too much freedom to roam into traffic. Heading back to the car at the end of the day, with everyone tired, they didn’t have their dog on a leash, or the leash was on the dog but the owner, too busy packing up the car, was not holding it. Their dog then goes to the traffic side of the vehicle to play and gets hit by a passing car. So PLEASE be so very careful when going to and leaving the beach, especially along PCH where traffic is very fast and close to the parked cars. Better yet, use the available parking lots, even if it costs a couple of bucks. Your pet’s life is worth it. Following these simple guidelines will help keep your pet out of harms way:

When arriving at the beach, HAVE YOUR DOG ON A LEASH BEFORE GETTING OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE!

During your stay always keep your dog close to you (some beaches do allow for a dog to run off leash, but before doing that you MUST KNOW YOUR DOG)

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When leaving the beach, HAVE YOUR DOG ON A LEASH BEFORE HEADING TO YOUR VEHICLE.

DO NOT UNLEASH YOUR DOG UNTIL EVERYONE IS IN THE VEHICLE AND THE DOORS ARE CLOSED.

Dog parks

If you have a small to medium size dog, it is best to only allow them into the small dog area to play. Never take your small dog into the big dog area. Too many people have been throwing unfixed dogs, or aggressive dogs into this area and leaving them just for the fun of it. Many small and medium size dogs have gotten hurt, or even worse, due to this. The parks are trying to keep a better eye on things, but there just isn’t enough help out there to keep it under control. A doggy park in Van Nuys has had many tragedies happen, from aggressive dog attacks to a lady that picked up someone’s dog and walked out with it while the owner was distracted. Luckily that dog was found and lady prosecuted because she had bragged to people about what she had done. During one particular dog attack that occurred, the lady’s dog was killed. Fortunately someone got the license number of the truck that dumped the dog at park, so the guy was picked up and prosecuted.

The dog parks are doing their best to curtail these tragedies, but as a responsible dog owner you need to stay close to your dog, watch the body language of the dogs they interact with, and be ready to intervene should a situation arise where you need to break it up before it becomes serious. www.VetPetHealth.com

Also, dog parks carry many diseases because so many go potty on the grounds, some even bring sick dogs to play, or dogs that are not vaccinated and are carriers of diseases, truly best not to go to doggy park, instead if you have friends with small or medium size dogs, best to arrange playdates.

Hiking trails

ALWAYS be sure to keep dog on a leash, DO NOT let them wander off into the bushes, and keep your dog close to you. It is worth noting that in many of the mountainous dog parks there is a huge rattlesnake problem. There is also an increasing problem with coyotes, which are so smart that they use their babies and their females in heat to lure dogs into the bushes where a pack is waiting to attack. So please never allow your dog to poke around the bushes on hiking trails, and keep your dog on the trail with you and near you at all times. Small breed dogs, although on leash and next to their owner, have been grabbed by coyotes, owner being dragged until leash broke or owner could no longer hand on, such a tragedy that should not occur.

Recently it has been discovered that someone has placing poisoned dog food in the bushes. I myself am aware of two dogs that poked their noses into the bushes, ate the poisoned food so fast that owners did not even see it happen and now their dogs are no longer with. So again, please be very careful.

SOMETHING ELSE TO KEEP IN MIND: If someone tells you “oh, don’t worry, my dog is friendly”, tread cautiously. Too many dogs have gotten hurt and all because the person said their dog was friendly, when in fact it was not. A good rule of thumb to follow: If you don’t know the person and/or you don’t know the dog, then best to not introduce your dog to theirs. Play it safe, as it could be your dog’s life at stake.

Out and about

Escalators and elevators

Always pick up your dog when getting on or off of an escalator or elevator. Serious injuries with huge medical bills have occurred from accidents when dogs were not picked up and they froze on the escalators, or their leash got caught in elevator doors. Some dogs have died as the result serious injury.

Never leave dogs in cars

You should never leave your dog in your car while you run an errand, not even for a moment. Dog thefts are on the rise, and no dog, small or large, sweet or mean, is safe. Dog thieves know all the tricks and they work fast. Another reason is that even if the temperature outside is 78 degrees, temperatures inside the car can quickly rise to over 100 degrees within minutes. At this temperature a dog can rapidly go brain dead and die. Under the law this is considered animal cruelty, and can incur heavy fines and jail time. If you cannot take your dog into a place with you then leave them safely at home.

All tied up

Never leave your dog tied up or off leash outside any coffee houses or stores, or wherever. Again, dog thefts are on the rise. I hear about this every single day and it breaks my heart. Please, never ever leave your dog tied up outside anyplace even if you are visiting even real fast. It truly only takes a minute for you to turn away and your dog to be gone. To a dog thief, your pet is just a product to be sold for profit, to the highest bidder. And the harsh reality is that your dog will rarely end up in a good place. Once a dog thief gets a hold of your dog chances are you will never get them back.

Strangers and your dog

Never let a complete stranger hold your dog, just say that your dog has been known to nip, so you’d rather not. Dog thieves work together using this angle by having one person ask to hold your dog while the other waits in a car for them to grab your dog and run.

What a world we live in but, as a rescuer, I hear all the crazy stories so at least I am able to share them with you and warn you about these tactics.

Drive-thru car washes

NEVER take your dog through one of the drive through car washes. Thus far we have only heard of very bad experiences for dogs. These drive through car washes frighten the dogs beyond belief, so please never take your dog through one of these.

Travel safety

The only way to fly

When traveling by air small breed dogs or puppies can be taken as a carry-on, which incidentally is also the safest way for them to travel on an airplane. Just call airline ahead of time to be sure of their carrier requirements. Also, always have your dog checked by your vet before going on a flight and again upon your return. Your vet may recommend a light sedative to ease your dog’s anxiety. It would be a good idea to see your vet 1 week prior to traveling.

When traveling with larger breed dogs, check out the tips on the ASPCA website and also we recommend a vet visit one week prior to any traveling to be sure your dog(s) are up to the conditions of traveling.

If you stay at a pet friendly hotel, be sure to take your dog with you whenever you can. If you have to leave them alone in the hotel room, you MUST keep them in their carrier. DO NOT allow them to run free in a hotel room because if a maid or some other hotel employee opens the door, your dog could be scared and run right out the door. And trying to find a scared dog lost in a strange city… well it’s almost impossible.

Car safety

We all know that dogs LOVE to stick their heads out the car window, but it can be dangerous to allow them to do this. Just recently, near my apartment building, a gal made a quick turn and her dog went flying out the car and into traffic. Not good! So if you want your dog to feel the breeze on their face while driving then it would be better to get a car harness so that you can put a seat belt around them and have the window down and you will know they are safe. This can be done in the front or back seat. These harnesses that attach to seat belts are made for all small, medium and large breed dogs.

If you are a passenger and holding your dog on your lap just be sure you have the dog on a leash and that you wrap it securely around your wrist, only allowing your dog enough slack to move from your lap to the window. In this way your dog gets to feel the breeze and you feel secure knowing they will be safe from falling or leaping out the window. Also, sometimes when one dog sees another in a car or walking down the street they tend to want to play (or fight), so they try to jump out the car. But as long as you have your dog harnessed into the car, or on your lap (as a passenger, not driver) with their shortened leash securely around your wrist, then you should be fine and won’t have to worry.

Also, remember to have plenty of water on hand as dogs overheat easily and you must always be prepared should the a/c in your car go out.

Toys and treats

Toys to avoid

Do not get what is called a pimple ball (it’s that ball with all these little rubber spikes sticking out of it). This ball should have been taken off of ALL shelves, but sometimes recalls are missed, therefore I want to be sure to make you aware of it. This ball does not have holes on both ends, so when a dog plays with it if they can get their tongue inside, with no airflow, their tongue can get stuck and swell. There have been reported cases of dogs playing with this toy, when no one was at home to check on them, when their tongue would get stuck inside. After a while their tongue would swell up and required surgery. Stay away from this ball!

Steer clear of any toys with little bells on or in them as the bells could be swallowed, or choked on.

Plastic toys should also be avoided as the dogs can chew and crack them into small pieces, which can be dangerous if swallowed.

Also, do not purchase any balls that are smaller then your dog’s mouth/throat as this poses a potential choking hazard.

Toys to look for

Most pet stores have very knowledgeable staff and they know the different breeds and which toys are good for your dog and which ones are not. Just be sure that any toy you purchase is non-toxic.

Only purchase throw balls that are a tad bit larger then your dog’s throat to avoid having then swallow or choking on them.

Treats to avoid

DO NOT buy anything that says “Rawhide” on the label. This product splinters after being chewed and can get lodged in their esophagus or intestinal tract. This is not an easily digestible product and can cause serious internal injury. Many dogs have had to have surgery because of these products. Because many rawhide items come from outside the U.S. they are not regulated. Unfortunately this has lead to many dogs becoming extremely ill, a few have even died. The reason for this is that non-U.S. regulated products have turned up containing such things as salmonella, arsenic, and other toxins. Some are even made of animal skin other then cow. So avoid RAWHIDE. Always read the package (front and back including all ingredients), if it says rawhide don’t buy it.

Additional info

Trainer information

We have referrals, so please contact Laurel of kinder4rescue and she’ll be happy to advise you on who would be best to use.

www.kinder4rescue.org

Housebreaking

See www.kinder4rescue.org for tips on housebreaking, as well www.aspca.org

Tips for the holidays

It is always best to have your dog secured in another room until all guests have arrived. With so many people coming in with food and presents, kids running in and out, a lot of hustle and bustle, with the front door constantly being opened this is when so many dogs go missing. If you keep them in a room until everyone has arrived then you need not worry about them running out the front door. Do the same as all of your guests are departing. This will keep your pet safe and at home.

An alternative would be to use the leash/tether + mat/bed technique. This is also used as a training tool for when guests come over. You train your dog to go lay on a bed or mat every time the doorbell rings or someone knocks. Give treats each time your dog does well and stays on mat. Dogs are so smart that it usually only takes a couple weeks to train them. So you may want to give it a try. However, I would advise using the leash/tether technique only as a safety precaution, if you want your dog in the room with you and guests come and go. To do this have your dog lay on their bed or mat, then tether their leash to something solid, so if your dog gets up to go towards the door they won’t be able to. Your dog will then sit back down. Again, this is only used for when people are coming in and out and there may be many distractions for which your dog could run, otherwise tethering is not something we approve of (use for training only, once trained you won’t have to do this anymore). Other option is putting up doggy gate or large dog pen around front door so guests can come in and out and dog won’t dart out (this is preferred method for keeping your dog from running out front or back doors as people go in and out).

NEVER tether your dog to a staircase (not even 1 step up) as dogs could hang themselves if tethering past floor level (depending on the size of the dog).

There is a story I read a few years back about a guy who lost his dog during Halloween. He had been visiting with friends where, of course, the door was constantly being opened and closed to hand out treats to the kids. Sometime during the course of the evening his dog slipped out. His story broke my heart and to this day I cannot get the image out of my head, so all I can do is advise others in hopes you won’t ever have to experience what that poor man did.

Dog walkers and pet sitters

Be sure that your pet knows the person prior to your leaving them with a sitter or dog walker. Advise the individual that they must be careful when opening the front door because the dog may try to bolt out. This is very common when a dog owner goes away for a few days and leaves someone else to watch over them. Even at kenneling places, dogs have gotten away when being walked because the dog gets nervous, and boarding facilities are notorious for using their own very flimsy leashes (for some reason most won’t use the dogs regular leash). If it is a friend watching over them, just be sure that your dog knows them before you leave. If you board your dog at a kennel, although I do not recommend this, then be sure that they use a harness and a good sturdy leash on each dog. If they show you a flimsy thing they just put around your dog’s neck, turn around and take your dog someplace else. Kennels and boarding facilities that use these flimsy “leashes” have lost many dogs, never to be found again, because of these.

Always be sure to leave a check-off list of your dogs walking and eating schedule, info on vet you use, emergency vet info and assure that in writing you advise them precautions to take with doors opening and closing, dogs in backyard, educate on the coyotes and that they are to be extra careful. Just be sure they follow your schedule exactly, just NEVER FORGET to tell them as well about the yard security, locks on gates remain locked, no little or medium size doggies allowed to roam free in backyards due to coyotes.

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