Keeping your Dog Safe During Springtime Projects


Ahhh, springtime is here (at least for many of us)! It’s that time of the year for working in the yard and handling projects around the house.  As we come down with that contagious case small dog peeking through fenceof spring fever, let’s not forget we need to take some extra precautions to keep our pets safe and secure.

Recently, on two separate occasions while walking my own dogs, I’ve come across dogs running loose who have slipped away from their fenced yards.  The first time, I coaxed a little Jack Russell Terrier from crossing a busy road.  He was happy enough to join me and my dogs for a walk through his neighborhood as I attempted to find out which home he “escaped” from.  On the second occasion, my dogs and I ran head-on into another small dog. This dog, however, walked past us like he was late for an appointment, paying no attention to us.  I recognized the dog as belonging to a neighbor several houses down from my own.  Fortunately, we were only a few houses away, and I was able to quickly notify the dog’s guardian.  For both of these dogs, I was able to successfully and quickly locate their guardians.  And each time, I received the same response.  Both people were surprised that their dog was not in their back yard, and they both said “Oh no, we just had some work done in our back yard and the workers must have left the fence gate open”.

It’s recommended that you check for yourself that your fence door is closed after the workers have left, but with many people’s busy lives, it can be easy to forget.

Below are  5 tips to help make sure that fence door stays closed and your pet stays home.

  • Keep your pet indoors while you have workers at your house.  Regardless of how pet friendly the workers may seem, your pet may still become spooked and try to escape.  Plus, workers frequently going back and forth through the gate, provides a greater opportunity for your pet to escape.
  • Consider installing a simple gate spring so that your fence door automatically closes after being opened.  You can find a gate spring in most hardware stores for under $15.    That said, fence gates can still be propped open, even with a gate spring.  Remind workers that you have cherished pets and kindly ask them to close the fence door behind them when completing their project.
  • Keep your dog busy while the workers are at your house.  Consider giving your dog his favorite bone with some peanut butter inside, or use a food cube or another interactive toy with a food reward.  Once the novelty of the workers wears off on your dog, he will go back to what is really important – treats!
  • Recognize the workers who take the appropriate precautions with your pet.  These days, many of us find local services through websites like Service Magic or Angie’s List.  Many of these service companies rely heavily on positive customer recommendations and feedback.  Let your repair person know that if they complete the job to your satisfaction which includes securely closing the fence door – that you’ll post a positive recommendation about them.
  • Put on Identification.  If your dog is going to be outside then make sure they have their collar and identification tags on (and are microchipped) – so just incase they do escape from their yard they are more likely to be quickly reunited with you.

Enjoy those spring projects!

Photo:  Courtesy of Adan Garcia via Flickr (CC by 2.0)


WagBrag’s co-founder, Russ Boles, has a deep history in animal rescue and welfare. For the past 12 years, Russ has served in various roles with Atlanta-based animal advocacy organizations focused on rescue, training and education. In addition, Russ led a local rescue volunteer team into New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina, assisting in efforts to rescue and care for stranded animals. This experience changed his life, and animal rescue and advocacy will always be a part of everything he does.