The American poet Robert Frost once said that “good fences make good neighbors”. That has never been more true than when dealing with pets in a residential community. If you’re like most pet owners, your pets are like your children and you take great offense when someone complains about them, or even worse, tries to hurt them. If you have neighbors it’s important that you consider them when it comes to taking care of your pet. A few considerate actions can ensure good relations between you and the folks next door, as well as you and your pet.
Tips To Protect Your Neighbors And Your Pets
- Fences – No matter what kind of pet you have, if it spends anytime outdoors at all, a good fence is truly going to be your best bet. Fences help to keep your pet contained to your property and neighbor’s pets out. Make sure it’s tall enough to keep your pet from jumping out. Also, if you’ve got a digger like a dog or even a rabbit, be sure to line the inside of your fence with decorative rock’s or bricks – something to keep them from tunneling under easily. Walk the length of your fence occasionally to check for half dug holes or weak points.
- Lunge Lines – If you can’t build a fence and have an outside dog, your next best option is going to be a lunge line. These attach to your pets collar and allow them to roam freely within a set radius. Remember though, this does not substitute for a walk! Lunge lines get a bad reputation because some people tend to hook a dog up to one and then forget about them. Your pet will need just as much attention and play time out of their “zone” as any other pet. Be sure that the radius is large enough for your pets size and free of obstacles for them to get tangled on. Just like with a fence, make sure they have access to shade at all parts of the day and plenty of food and water.
- Good Leash – Good leashes make sure you’re in control when taking your pet for a walk. A good leash is strong enough to contain your pet, especially if they are trying to chase another animal. It will also allow you to easily prevent your pet from crossing into yards that it doesn’t belong in. Remember – cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other pets can be leash trained too!
- Minimize Barking – Probably the number one complaint about neighbors pets has to do with a barking dog. Sometimes owners can grow desensitized to their pets barking. This can be very worrying for a good relationship within your residential community. If your dog is outside all the time make sure they have everything they need to keep comfortable and have stimulus such as chew toys to keep them occupied. Dogs will often bark when they are uncomfortable or bored. If it’s still a problem see about investing in dog silencer. These are high-tech little machines that detect barking and release a tone similar to a dog whistle that discourages the behavior. They can usually be found for under $100 – cheaper than most community noise ordinance tickets…
- Vacation Planning – If you can’t take your pet with you on vacation, make sure that you have a pet nanny or someone to check on and spend time with your pet daily. Lonely pets can make a lot of ruckus.
- Cat owners, tame that killer instinct! – We addressed this in one of our previous blogs – it’s very important to make sure that your cat is not wandering into neighbors yards and hunting birds or other wildlife that your neighbors may enjoy. When you’re cat is outside playing try to be out there with it. See other tips here.
If someone in your community approaches you about your pets behavior, do your best to be understanding and accommodating. Remember, these tips are for your neighbors peace of mind, but also for your pets safety and your wallet. Frustrated neighbors may use pellet guns, throw things, or call the police. Even if your neighbor is fine with your pet, they may not be as diligent as you about keeping poisons and hazardous materials out of reach on back porches or in open garages. At the end of the day, you are the one entirely responsible for your pets behavior and how it effects others!