I'm out of hereWhether you have a bouncing Banjo able to leap over tall walls or a digging Daisy who can funnel under fences, pet escape artists are worrisome to any owner. When your pet tries to escape on an ongoing basis, it can present a number of risks and challenges.  

Why do They do It?

When it comes to runaway dogs and cats, one of the primary questions to ask is “Why?” Many are confused by this behavior. After all, don’t our pets adore us?

Don’t worry, when your pet tries to escape, it’s likely nothing personal. There can many underlying reasons, including:

  • The pet has not been spayed/neutered. Nothing brings out the call of the wild more than the biological drive to mate. You can be sure an unaltered male or female is more prone to go a-courting when that instinct begins to emerge with maturation and estrous.
  • The pet is bored and/or lonely. Animals need to act on basic and natural behaviors that might include grooming, walking, running, and socializing. When mental and physical enrichment and social opportunities are denied, many pets will try to escape as a reaction to this deprivation. This can also result when pets are left alone for several hours each day.  
  • The pet experiences separation anxiety. Pets who struggle with behavioral challenges often attempt to escape through chewing, digging, or scratching. Many canine anxieties and fears are due to a lack of training and socialization.  
  • It’s fun! Some pets, especially dogs, just love a good run and the thrill of attention from the crime. Pets who like challenges often seek them out when they are not provided by another source.

Over the Wall: When Your Pet Tries to Escape

After reviewing some of the more common reasons a pet tries to escape, you may recognize one or more in your companion.

If you’re dealing with a pet who suffers from separation anxiety, phobias, or other challenges, your first step should be scheduling a behavioral consultation. Training and socialization can also help address issues related to anxiety and associated behaviors.

Other ways to keep your pet engaged and reduce the risk of escape include:

  • Hire a pet sitter or dog walker to interact with your companion while you’re away.
  • Make time for your pet by adjusting your schedule. Even 20 minutes of attention can go a long way, especially when it involves rigorous exercise to burn off some of that energy.
  • Purchase challenging, reward-based puzzles or games.
  • Consider doggy daycare as a great way to encourage exercise and socialization.
  • Install escape-proof perimeter fencing.
  • Attach a GPS device to your pet’s collar, and make sure he or she is microchipped.

To learn more about what to do when your pet tries to escape, please contact The Pet Experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center.