Can’t stand the thought of parting with your pet? You know the basics, so here’s how you can go the extra mile to keep your pet out of harm’s way. 

Behavioral Exercises 

Does your pet try to bolt out the front door the second it opens? If so, follow the steps in the video below to correct this nasty habit. 

Of course, you can’t always prevent your pet from slipping out the door. That’s why obedience training is so important. Both cats and dogs can learn to come when called with simple, consistent training exercises. As long as your pet continues receiving rewards with obedience, you can strengthen this good behavior. If your pet ever escapes and returns home later, do not punish them when they return. Rather than teaching your pet not to run away, they will actually learn that it was bad to come home! 

If your dog takes walks, make sure they are secure on their leash. For collars, the general rule of thumb for a secure – yet comfortable – fit is to be able to fit 2 fingers between the collar and your pet’s neck. It should feel secure, but not tight. The same goes for the neck and girth straps on harnesses. If your pet tries to wriggle free from their collar or harness the second it goes on, leash training may be needed before they can venture out on walks.  

Environments At-Risk for Theft & Loss 

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is also Pet Theft Awareness Day? Unfortunately, pet theft has been on the uptick since the pandemic. Pets most at risk of theft include purebreds, puppies, kittens, small dogs, and outdoor cats.

It’s best practice to always keep an eye on your pet, even in your own backyard. This is especially true if your pet can be seen from the road. Small breeds and friendly pets especially may be at risk of being snatched over the fence if you’re not in sight.  

If your pet likes tagging along on errand runs, only take them to places where they can stay with you at all times. Leaving pets unattended in vehicles is illegal in many states, even for quick errands. Besides the risk of theft, the enclosed environment in a vehicle can heat quickly, and if your pet is anxious, it may exacerbate overheating.  

Concerning the kitties, veterinarians say it’s best to keep our feline friends indoors. Outdoor cats run the risk of contracting deadly diseases, like Feline Leukemia, and statistically, lost cats have a much lower chance of being reunited with their families than dogs. 

Spay and Neuter 

You’ve heard that spay and neuter benefit our pets’ health, but did you know that it can also help protect your pet from getting lost or stolen? Intact pets – that is, pets that have not been spayed or neutered – are more likely to wander away from home in search of a mate. Some pet thieves steal animals for breeding and puppy mills as well. This is especially important for cats and dogs that appear to be purebreds. 


A microchip is a small chip that is about the size of a grain of rice. They are implanted under your pet’s skin between the neck and shoulder blades in a simple procedure. Each microchip has a number tied to an account with your contact information. Your information is not made public. If your pet is scanned and reported as found, the microchip’s provider will contact you to coordinate reuniting you with your pet.  

At Essentials PetCare, our microchipping services include lifetime registration to keep your bond strong for years to come. If your pet has never been microchipped, an implant at Essentials PetCare is a quick and simple procedure that only costs $30, or $15 when added to any other service. If your pet has a microchip, but you need to update your contact info, we can help for just $15.  


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