An Ounce of Prevention
ALL newly adopted dogs, fosters, transports and pet guests should be treated as a flight risk, regardless of age or temperament. Adopting/ fostering a new dog is a time of transition. A period of decompression is vital to allow your dog to get to know you and feel comfortable in their new environment.
Prior to your new dog arriving please prepare yourself with the necessary tools to keep them safe.
For all new arrivals, we recommend that you use two forms of restraint, a Martingale collar and a secure harness together work best. A martingale slip-proof collar should be properly fitted in order to be effective. Keeping a newly adopted/ flight risk/ skittish dog on a harness alone is not fail proof! Dogs escape and wiggle out of their harnesses all the time, even ones that are snuggly fitted. This is why I stress that martingale collars in conjunction with properly fitted harnesses are vital to keeping them safe!
Purchase an ID collar, prior to picking up your new dog. This tag should be engraved with your name, address, and phone number (preferably your cell number so you can always be reached) ID tags that slip onto the collar rather than attaching via a metal ring are best (they cannot be pulled off via rough play and it will avoid the mistake of attachment of the leash to the improper ring). An embroidered martingale collar is also a great ID collar.
Use a strong, traditional leash (4"-6"). Insert your hand through the loop of the leash so that you may then grasp the leash itself and hold it securely. This will offer more control and help prevent the dog from pulling the lead out of your hand. A dropped leash is one of the top contributing factors of a dog getting loose and going missing.
Double leash new arrivals and skittish dogs... one clip attached to the collar and one attached to the harness. One simple extra step can save you and your dog from heartbreak.
Buddha Dog Rescue & Recovery does not recommend the use of any type of retractable leash, ever. It does not offer safe control, they often malfunction and break. If the worst were to happen and the leash is dropped, it can startle the dog and cause him to run and feel as though they are being pursued by the handle attached.
Crate, the appropriate size, so that the dog can stand comfortably. A crate provides a safe haven for your newly adopted pet. Make the crate a positive experience, never use it as punishment.
A microchip is an essential part of your dog's ID "system." If your dog becomes lost and loses their collar and tag, the chip can still help get them home when scanned. Remember, a microchip does NOT function as a GPS device. A lost dog must be found and scanned in order for identifying information to be read.
Be sure to check that your dog's microchip has been registered with the chip manufacturer and keep your information up to date. Ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter/rescue group about microchip identification and have them scan your dog’s microchip at their yearly physical to make sure information is accurate and that the chip has not migrated.
Keep fence gates securely locked. You can add extra security by sliding pin into gate latch or wrapping a bungee cord around post. Added precaution put a sign up for landscapers, workers and guests to close and lock gates.
Do not let newly rescued dogs outside without a leash even in a fenced in yard. Always accompany a new dog outside and never leave them alone!
Remove or move objects that will aid in allowing your dog to jump up and over fencing. A table, a wood pile, dog house, snow drifts, these are all things that a dog can use to launch up and over fencing.
If your dog is digging under the fence, you will need to either bury fencing in the ground (18 to 24 inches deep) to deter him/her from digging, or attach fencing to the bottom of your fence and lay it on the ground at least 12 inches into the yard. Both methods work, but you must fix the entire perimeter of the yard or the dog will probably find the compromised spots.
In a split second dogs will escape through an open or slightly ajar door. Prevent the "door dash" by placing a baby gate in the doorway or hallway leading to doors. If you are unloading groceries, having guests coming and going, put your dog in a crate or another room to alleviate possible escape.
Windows and screened in areas. If you think a dog won't hesitate to jump out an open or screened window, even a second story window...think again. Do not leave new arrivals alone in rooms with open windows or screened in porches. A frightened, skittish dog will easily escape and a screen will not stop them.
It is an exciting time when you bring a new pet home, you want to show them off to the world. For at least three weeks do NOT bring them to dog parks, hiking, shopping to stores, etc. Allow them a time of decompression before introducing them to new environments.
Make sure your vet, groomer, and kennel understand your newly adopted dog and their desire to escape and run. Look for a business that has a securely fenced area for walking dogs. If this isn’t possible, be sure to share your set-up with your leash, collar and harness with the staff.
Make sure they use a slip lead on your dog if it is going outside. Most businesses take their own precautions but you can never be too safe. Always ask what safeguards they have in place. Don’t be shy...the safety of your pet depends on it!
Traveling by car with your new dog, he/she should be contained by a harness leash or in a crate at all times. If you stop for a pee break along the way, do not open the crate door until a leash is attached through the wire of the crate. Nothing is worse/more dangerous than a loose frightened dog in an unfamiliar area.
Do not assume that your dog will behave or respond to you in the same way that they do at home if you are visiting a new location. They may be anxious and an abundance of caution should be used. When in doubt keep him/her leashed at all times.
Keep recent updated photos of your dog. Clear full body photos, close up and face shots. If the worse should happen and you need to make a lost dog poster you will have a photo ready. Your photos should be a clear depiction of your dog.