Preventing your pets from wandering, getting lost


Wandering is a common complaint among pet parents. The urge to wander is inherent to many animals. Cats, dogs and animals in the wild naturally wander to claim new territory, find greater comfort and even seek out mates. However, companion animals that wander can land themselves in hot water. Some may scuffle with feral animals, while others may be permanently lost or suffer severe injuries.

In 2012, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals surveyed 1,015 households that had cared for a dog or cat within the past five years. Fifteen percent of participants had lost a dog or cat in the past five years. Pet owners can employ various strategies to keep their pets safe at home.


Physical fences can provide barriers from egress, but they arenÕt foolproof. Some pets can get under or over fences, which means additional precautions may be needed. Pet owners can try burying chicken wire under the ground at the base of the fence or install a tall or smooth-faced fence that cannot be jumped or scaled.

Wireless pet containment system

Wireless systems use sensors on pet collars that are triggered when pets breach the perimeter barrier set on the fences. Certain systems use an audible correction on the collar, while others may employ a static correction that is startling but not harmful.

Spaying and neutering

Curtail wandering to find a mate by having pets spayed and neutered. This will greatly reduce the urge to roam and also may cut down on other nuisance behaviors such as urine marking or baying. Generally, vets recommend desexing animals before they are able to breed, which also reduces overpopulation.

Designate a safe room

Pets may attempt to escape when they hear loud noises or become confused. This may occur during a house party, when fireworks are going off or even during thunderstorms. During storms or celebrations, keep a skittish pet in a dark, quiet room with comforting bedding and toys.
These strategies can reduce instances of pets wandering away from home.

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