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Is Your Dog Running Away? Tips for Prevention & Figuring Out Why He's Leaving

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Jun 22, 2016

No one wants to worry about their dog running away. Learn why it’s happening and what to do.

photodune-13460108-black-labrador-retriever-xs.jpgFido is feeling frisky. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to stop your otherwise happy dog from running off. First, you thought your dog needed training, so you paid for a dog trainer to come to your home, but it kept happening. Next, you invested in a brand new wooden fence. When Fido realized he couldn’t jump or climb over it, he instead dug a hole underneath and went on his merry way. Why is your dog running away? If you don't know what's making him bolt, you can't stop him from trying to escape.

There are many reasons canines get loose. Here are some of the most common reasons and what you can do to avoid them in the future.

Loud noises

Did you know that more pets run away from home on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year? Unlike other naturally occurring loud sounds, fireworks engage all of your dog’s senses. They are loud, low to the ground, smell of smoke and fire, and unlike anything your dog is used to hearing. 

Here's the problem: some dogs show no response to fireworks, while others are visibly shaken to the core. Exposure to fireworks is the only way you'll know how your dog responds.

Tips for prevention: If you know your dog doesn’t do well with fireworks and there will be some near your home, ask friends or family who live in a quieter area if they’ll dog sit for the evening. If no one is available, contact a reputable boarder to watch your dog for you.

Other loud noises that may startle your dog enough to run away from home are the backfiring of a car, gunshots, or thunder.


Did your dog find his one true love? A dog running away may be doing so because he's looking for—or has already found—a mate. He has one thing on his mind, and he's going to keep leaving your property.

Tips for prevention: The best way to suppress your dog's urges to mate is to get him neutered. If your dog ever shows signs of aggression, neutering will help with that as well. 


This might sound silly to you, but if your dog is bored, he'll run away to find freedom, fun, and other furry friends. Boredom occurs for many reasons. Your dog may be a high-energy breed that requires more activity than other dogs. Your pet may need more attention from you or family members.

Tips for prevention: This one is easy. If you don't want your dog running away, all you need to do is invest more time into expending his energy. Go out in the yard and toss a ball for him. Take him for a walk, and turn it into a run, instead. You may still need to do some light training to teach your dog not to leave your yard, but if you tire him out, he's less likely to take off.


If your dog is missing meals or lacking nutrients, he may escape to find food. He's only leaving because he's hungry, not because he doesn't want to spend time with you. Whether he rushes off to search for prey or sniffs out a neighbor's meal, a dog running away is concerning. 

Tips for prevention: Make sure to choose a nutrient-rich dog food to serve your furry friend. If you are unsure of what food to buy, contact your veterinarian for suggestions. If running away continues, and your dog isn't eating at home, it may be a sign of a medical issue.

If anything happens to your dog when he gets out, he may need medical attention. The costs will add up. Add Pet Insurance to your homeowners policy so you’ll never need to worry about an unexpected vet bill, or worse, a treatment that’s way out of budget for your best friend.

Have you ever experienced a dog running away from home? How did you get him back? More importantly, what did you do to get him to stay there? Let us know in the comments.


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