Use a leash on most pets (even those that are usually free range such as outdoor cats) whenever you are out in public or away from your regular home area. This is because the area is unfamiliar and your pet will not know how to navigate back to you. Make sure to check your leash or cable run for runs, frays, or other types of damage. Pets will often chew on them in an attempt to free themselves from the tether. Replace them if you find any kind of damage.
It's important to choose the right kind of leash too. A common choice for pet owners is the retractable leash. They aren't the best choice though. Retractable leashes are easily dropped when pets bolt unexpectedly and can easily break. They also create more noise when dropped as they retract and drag along the ground which can further frighten your pet. The best types of leashes tend to be made of nylon and are able to be held tightly and close to you. Plus this is what most dog trainers recommend to encourage your pet to stay close to you.
Many people see pets as members of their family. For some the idea of placing any kind of physical restriction on them is unsettling and deplorable. That lack of physical restrictions is one of the most common reasons they go missing however and it is the responsible thing to do in most cases. There are some pets that are best managed as open range but the idea in that case would be to have a regular time that you expect your pet to be back at one point or another. Some of the most common restrictions are fences and walls.
Like leashes you need to check your fence or wall for any damage. Also with larger pets that like to dig its important to inspect your fence line for little escape attempts. Your pet may be very flexible and often can squeeze through a smaller hole than you may think. The best fence of course is the one your pet can't get past easily. Make sure to consider if your pet is a climber as chain link fences and three post fences are easily climbable. There are ways that you can keep your pet from circumventing your fence. We'd like to thank "Notes From a Dog Walker" for giving us all these incredible hints. Check out the whole post here.
To keep your pet from being able to "patrol" your fence line for weaknesses plant shrubbery along your fence line. Make it harder to climb by inserting vertical slats into your chain link fence. If you have a digger try placing a grating or l-footer along your fence line. You also could sink some cement into the edge of your fence line if you have a stubborn digger. For jumpers try placing rollers (yes they exist) or lean in fence "add-ons" to the top of your fence. Visit the blog post at the link above for the complete list of tips and tricks.
The best way to keep your pet from going missing is proper training. Of course trying to train your pet to not run away is a part of what we are talking about but there is much more. Get your pet used to your local area by taking them on frequent walks and make it a point to have a regular route back home. That way if your pet recognizes where they are, they will know how to get back. Walks also have another added benefit. Pets that are afraid of people will often continue to run even when they feel they are lost. So it is important if possible to allow them to become comfortable being in public. Finally walks allow your pet to become familiar with what they should do if they are spooked. They should be looking to your for comfort. Walking with them inevitably will have a situation where your pet will get spooked and if you take the time to comfort them again and again, they will learn that they can go to you for comfort and will run to you instead of running blindly away.