Dog Safety is one of those things that we don’t think about until after something happens. Some examples are when your dog:

  • bolts from the car
  • escapes through the front door
  • or, has been gone for days, and you have no idea where to star

We want to share our “lessons learned” to help new adopters easily incorporate some (or all!) of these items into your bag of tricks!

Precautions at Home

  • Check your fence/gate.  Be sure there are no gaps, and that the gate secures easily when closed.
  • Watch your exits.  Your new dog may be scanning all exits, even without you knowing it.  Be sure to take extra precautions when entering/exiting doors.  A baby gate works wonders. Also, teach your dog “place” so they know to sit in a location when there is activity at the doors.

Collar & Tags

  • When you bring your rescue dog home, they should have an existing tag on from the rescue.  Do not remove this tag, until you have purchased and attached the new tag. In the case of a lost dog, having contact info and identifying collar is key. Any changes in collars need to be done in a very secure setting, and tags need to be put on immediately.  Bling that new collar and keep your dog identifiable.
  • Double collar / double leash for the first few months or until you are confident in your dog’s recall.

Training

If you feel that your dog may have an issue with recall, prioritize this at the top of your training list. We know there are a lot of things to teach a newly adopted dog, and booking time with your trainer early on is a huge key to success.  “Recall” is one of those skills you will be very very thankful for!

Car Travel 

Car travel has risks, and as humans, we strap ourselves in, check on our children and study safety reports on our new car. Take a minute and ensure this attention to detail extends to your pets as well.  Car accidents do happen, and we want to prepare for what if. Please read this article on the topic.

  • Safety Clip for Car Travel
    With each DIBS adoption, a dog is sent home with a clip for use in the car.  Foster parents will clip it on the dog and ensure the new parents know how to use it.  A great number of lost dogs, especially newly adopted dogs, are lost during transport from point to point.  Using this car clip will ensure your dog is secure in the car.  This means they can’t jump out of a car at their first opportunity, but they also can’t roam around within the car, which is very appreciated when you have a dog that wants to be too close, anytime, anywhere.  If travelling with your cat, please keep them crated.
  • Safety Harness for Car Travel
    This is so much more than the tether that DIBS sends home with you. This is a full restraint that will keep your pup safe in the case of an accident.  Check out this list for reviews of crash test studies.

Trackers

Many people invest in trackers once they experience an escape – either your pup or a dog that you know.  It’s easy to think, “Nah, my dog loves me. She will come when I call her!”  But, once a dog is in flight mode, they often completely unrecognize those that they love most.  It’s hard to imagine, but panic overrules logic in these moments.  Like anything, there are great trackers and good trackers, and we want to do a little breakdown to offer some detail.  Below we list a few recommended by our community, but do your research and determine what is best for you!

Our Recommendation

    • cellular tracker
    • tracks worldwide
    • lightweight
    • waterproof
    • rechargeable
    • upfront cost + monthly or annual fee

DIBS has partnered with Tractive and chosen this tracker as our go-to recommendation due to its great range and battery life, affordable cost and public network. Read this article, to learn more about Tractive.

Note: If you purchase via the link on the DIBS website (bottom left of every page), 12% of the proceeds go towards DIBS!

Other Trackers For When Your Pet Is Lost

  • Apple AirTag
    • New and people are checking it out for dog safety
    • Apple is recommending people not use this to track lost pets. Read more here
  • PawScout
    • Bluetooth-based
    • affordable
    • limited tracking area (100-300 feet)
    • relies on other PawScout users to share location info (remember geocaching?)
  • Findster
    • uses their own technology (including an app)
    • upfront purchase with no annual/monthly fee
    • a set of 2 devices (one for you and one for your pet) that will track up to 3km away
  • Garmin
    • radio technology
    • a transmitter and receiver
    • a bit old school

Microchips are not trackers, but rather help identify a found pet.  If your pet is found and brought to a local vet or shelter, they will be able to contact the owner. (Reminder to owners: if you move, update your microchip info!).  There is no signal to help find a lost pet, but it does help reunite found pets.  We do ask that all adopters microchip their dogs at their first vet visit.

Want to know how to “catch” a lost dog? Watch this video so you know when these skills are needed!  You can also read these DIBS articles about what to do when your dog gets lost.