When the Family Pet Is More Than Just a Pet

Some people fall into the category of, “my pet is just an animal, not a family member”. Everyone else falls into the category of, “my pet is a family member”.  Those people are the ones who stay up all night worrying about Fido having an upset stomach or cry until the cat, Peaches, comes home from one of her long nights out in the neighborhood. They have the vet on speed dial just like they have a pediatrician at the ready for their children. These types of people will do anything to protect and care for their fur-babies. Since losing a pet is one of the biggest concerns of any owner, we are reviewing options that many owners use to keep Fido or Peaches from running off and getting lost.

The Collar Upgrade

When it comes to dogs and outdoor cats, responsible owners use a collar for the license and novelty tag. Pet owners who don’t want their animals to go wandering off often employ collars that give a small shock to the animal to let them know they are going to far away. Some of these same devices will also include a tracking capability so if you are on a hike and the pup goes too far, you can still find him. The Garmin Alpha 100 TT15 Combo is an example of that type of collar and is typically used on dogs that are natural hunters to train for hunting trips.

When it comes to cats, a shock collar isn’t often used but there are collars to help correct behavior that utilize beeps and vibrations. So if Peaches keeps climbing the fence to torture the Shih Tzu next door, a collar to make her uncomfortable with mild vibrations might just be the perfect aid in keeping her on your property.


Microchipping has become a common technique to ensure your animal is not lost. However, there are still a lot of people who are not utilizing this tool for a variety of reasons. We highly recommend it because if one of them gets hurt while roaming the neighborhood, some kind soul may take them to a vet and that vet will scan them for a chip. Without that chip, you might not get Fido or Peaches back. This is why it’s such a popular tool used by those who see their animals as family rather than “just a pet”.

Monitor Them All Day

So, you have decided that a high-tech collar is not something you want to use. The idea of microchipping makes you shudder. So what else will someone do to make sure their animal isn’t lost? With cats, it’s fairly simple. You simply keep them indoors all the time. Not all cats are fond of that but if you raise them as indoor kittens from birth, it makes it easier. What about dogs? Dogs cannot be indoors all the time! They need space to run and exercise their legs. They need the freedom to bark and yip on occasion. They need to play. One thing you can do is allow them outdoors in a fenced-in yard and you go with them. With you present, they are less likely to try and escape the yard, you can ensure that they are running as hard as they want, and you get some bonding/exercise time as well.

Pets are important, no matter if you view them as family members or not. We highly encourage folks to consider some of these options just so you don’t have to go through the pain of a loss. These are easy to implement and not very expensive.

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