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How do I make my home safe for dogs on a Vacay?

A canine escape artist can ruin a Vacay — for you, your Guests, and all the dogs in your home. With careful planning and proper attention, bolting won’t happen. Here are some practical tips and actions you can take to prevent dogs from escaping.

Before the Vacay, create a safe space.

  • Talk to your Guest. 
    • Find out if there are any triggers for nervous behavior or flight impulses. Reference our Meet-n-Greet and Vacay Forms and note your Guest’s emergency and veterinary contact information.
  • If you have a fence, check it. 
    • Patch your fence with plastic safety fencing if there are small gaps or holes, and secure all locks and latches.
      • Pro Tip: Have your Guest walk the perimeter of your yard in case they see any potential trouble areas specific to their pup.
    • Move large items and bins away from your fence to keep pups from using them as jumping platforms.
    • If your fence is low, prevent jumping by by putting pups on a 30 or 50 ft. training lead to give them space.
      • Pro Tip: Consider installing coyote rollers to prevent pups from jumping fences.
    • Some pups dig! Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence or partially bury rocks in problem areas. 
    • If your fence isn't secure or your yard is not enclosed, keep all pups on leash!
  • Secure main entrances and exits.
    • Pups are escape artists! Prepare and use dog or baby gates to distance them from main doors. 

During the Vacay, keep your eyes on the dog.

  • Make safe entrances and exits.
    • If it’s not ideal to use a gate when people are entering and exiting frequently, keep Guest pups on leash, at a safe distance, or in another room temporarily.
    • Make sure visitors know not to open a door with a Guest dog nearby, unless the pup is secure or a safe distance away.
      • Pro Tip: Pups can bolt when you're distracted! Have your Guest text or call you 15 minutes prior to arrival so you can secure Guest pups properly upon drop-off and pick-up.
      • Pro Tip: Expecting a delivery? Leave a note or ask the carrier to call instead of knocking.
  • Supervise outdoor play.
    • Never leave a pup outside unsupervised! You may know your own dog very well, but Guest dogs can be unpredictable. If a Guest pup is anxious or prone to digging or jumping, supervise the dog’s outside time and keep him or her leashed - even if you think your fence is secure. 
    • Never take a pup off leash in an unfenced area! Dogs will be dogs, and they’ll escape when you least expect it.

During the Vacay, use leashes and ID tags.

  • On walks, NEVER take a Guest dog off leash.
    • Dogs should remain leashed until they are safely behind closed doors, even if a Guest gives permission for their pup to go off-leash.
    • Use a standard nylon leash when walking a Guest pup. Retractable leashes offer much less control, especially when walking multiple pups. 
      • Pro Tip: As a precaution, you can double-leash strong or anxious pups with a slip lead.
  • NEVER walk a dog without an ID tag.
    • Many pups try to escape shortly after their owners leave. Make sure their collar has an I.D. tag!
    • Have extra I.D. tags on hand in case the owner didn't bring one. (Check out the DogVacay tags).
      • Pro Tip: A temporary solution until you can get a proper tag: Write contact information in permanent marker on masking tape and loop it around the dog’s collar.
      • Pro Tip: Buy event wristbands! You can write your contact information on a band, and loop it around the dog’s collar.
  • Make sure the dog's collar and/or harness fit securely.
    • If you’re worried a pup's collar or harness isn’t enough, be open with your Guest and get approval to use a more heavy-duty or well-fitted option. They'll appreciate your focus on safety.
      • Pro Tip: Market yourself while you walk, and check out DogVacay’s heavy duty leashes, collars and “I’m on Vacay” leash cover.

Call DogVacay in case of emergency!

  • Save our number in your phone! Call us at (855) 364-8222 if a Guest pup is sick, gets injured, or becomes lost. 
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