Why Dogs Run Away

Why Dogs Run Away

Over 70 million stray animals are living in the United States, and dogs make up 14% of this figure. Almost 10 million stray dogs are running around in the U.S. and most shelters can’t accommodate more than 4,000.

Most dogs accidentally run away from home and end up becoming strays. Stray or street dogs are pets/animals that are lost, have strayed from home or are allowed to roam freely by their owners, some have never been owned.

Stray dogs may be purebreds, mixed-breed dogs, or unbred and can be a major problem in the society where they stay due to overpopulation. I’ve always been a big fan of dogs, seeing stray dogs breaks my heart. These “unwanted” dogs are left on the streets to feed for themselves and end up contracting diseases, cold and sometimes die due to the harsh conditions, environmental hazards, violence or poising.

There isn’t a month that goes by without hearing a report or two about missing dogs in a particular neighborhood. There are hundreds of posters and banners by the streets or on Facebook with images of the dogs and sad messages, some even over rewards. This is usually a devastating time for pet owners. Some dogs are found as soon as the banners are posted, while others are never found. So, why do dogs run away from home?

Why do dogs run away from home?

Why Dogs Run Away

Over 80% of stray dogs die because they lack basic survival skills. The reason why dogs run away still baffles me, even if you are a bad pet owner. They have loyalty in their genes. But I’ve been able to come up with 5 good reasons why dogs run away. These reasons best explain why dogs run away:

  1. Abuse & Neglect

Sadly, some dogs run away because of abuse and neglect from owners. People also get rid of their dogs because they always attack guests or the mailman, they soil the carpet, chew $100 running shoes, destroy couches, and litter the home. They neglect and abuse the dog receive a day may be too much to bear, this makes moving out seem like his best option for survival.

There is a reason why there are so many unwanted dogs out on the streets. Most times, it is because the owners of these dogs don’t value them. Other times, it’s because they find these dogs hard to train or control.

There is a reason why there are so many unwanted dogs out on the streets. Most times, it is because the owners of these dogs don’t value them. Other times, it’s because they find these dogs hard to train or control.

  1. To Find Mate

Unneutered males and unspayed females dogs sometimes wander to find food or mate and loose there way back home. dogs can travel very long distances to find a mate when they are in heat, in which case he will follow his nose to find her. Male dogs can smell a female dog in heat for long distances. If its too far from home, the dog would lose its ways and end up becoming strays.

  1. Distractions, Boredom & Fear

Dogs that belong to good pet owners are not likely to run away. The main reason why your dog ran away was that he was scared off by a loud noise or weird moving object.

Some dogs become strays because they are under-stimulated in their home and prefer the comfort of outdoor. Just like humans, canines hates sitting in the living room all day. When they go out, they sometimes get over-excited or distracted by new smells, loud noises, animals or objects, so they investigate or chase the smell until they lose their way back.

  1. Natural Disasters 

During natural disasters, catastrophic events or accidents, it is very likely that the dog involved will run away. In events like fires, hurricane, tornado or flood, dogs can run away looking for a good hiding place for protection and ends up getting lost.

Places like Kansas where tornados hit from time to time are popular with missing dogs. Dogs can sense these catastrophic phenomena early and seek good places for protection. But in the wake of the disaster, they lose their way back.

How to Prevent your Dog from Running Away

Research has shown that many strays are lost pets who were not provided with identification or properly kept indoors. Knowing dogs, they will always find a way to get what they want. They can travel up to 34 blocks looking for a mate. However, there are measures that you can put in place to control his actions or find him at least when he gets lost. These are the best ways to prevent your dog from running away.

  1. Use a Pet fence

One of the best ways to prevent your dog from running away is by purchasing a dog fence. This is a small device that you can easily use to keep a close eye on your dog without being there. A pet fence is also known as the fenceless boundary is a machine with electronic control, designed to keep dogs within a predefined boundary.

A fenceless barrier does not need a physical barrier to operate. It is a simple collar that delivers a mild electric shock once the dog steps out of the predefined boundary and the warning alarm is ignored.

  1. Use Microchip

Although a microchip can’t prevent your dog from running away like the dog fence, it can sure help you find him when he misses his way back.

Microchips are usually very small tracking devices, about the size of a grain of rice. It is a permanent means of electronic identification with a unique ID that can help you find your dog if he ever goes missing. It is implanted between at the back of your pet’s neck and easily detected with a microchip scanner.

  1. Get him a GPS collar

Knowing your dog’s location is one of the best ways to find a missing dog. A GPS dog tracking collar has a built-in GPS receiver in the collar, this device will make you find your dog if he ever runs away.

  1. Get a rabies tag

Rabies tags are also great ways to find stray dogs. They are used to verify rabies vaccination. Every dog must possess a valid rabies vaccination tags along with their pet identification tags.

Whenever your dog runs away, your friends or neighbors can easily identify him using his license or rabies tag. Strangers and passersby can also use his rabies tag to know the name & address of the owner or even take him to the nearest police station.

What to do when your dog run away

If your dog goes missing for let’s say 2-5 days, stay calm and report it to the nearest police station. If you should also hang some posters around so neighbors or passersby can help you identify him or pick him up if they ever do.

If you’re lucky, you may see Fido running around looking for his way back. When you catch him, don’t punish or yell at him. If you ever take your frustration or anger on the dog. If you do, if he ever runs away again, he will be scared of coming back home due to fear of punishment. Instead, praise, embrace and offer him treats. It would cheer him up and make sure he never runs too far from home again.

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