Many people have voiced these precautionary measures as being helpful to their pet's safety. This list was compiled from comments by ARK members on the Facebook page with additional links and thoughts. Hopefully you find these tips helpful and should you have any questions or anything to add, please comment below.
Before Bringing Your Pet Home
Animal Proof Your Apartment
Ensure all doors close properly, make sure all screens have locks, be cautious if your apartment is ground floor or close to another building (you may want to ask your landlord for bars on the windows to prevent break-ins when you leave your windows open for your pet and are out).
Articles from Petfinder.com:
Check Locks and Keys
Make sure only YOU have a key to your place. Landlords have been known to enter unexpectedly or when you are not home in Korea. This puts your animal at risk. Replace your lock or install a key coded lock where only you know the combination.
Prepare Collar, Leash, and Pet ID
On the day you adopt, bring a collar with an ID tag and leash to pick up your new pet. A Korean speakers’ phone number on the ID tag, as well as the pet’s name, and your phone number is recommended. Tags can be purchased in some Korean pet stores, but a durable collar tag can be purchased here with shipping internationally for a total of 12USD!
When Your Pet is Finally Home
Observe While She Explores
Let them explore and watch them as they do so. Note if they are interested in trying to get into anywhere or out of the apartment. If so, you want to secure these places and you’ll need to work on building trust with this animal - showing them your home is a great place to be. Food, properly displayed attention, exercise, mental stimulation, and neutralizing or familiarizing scents for them in this case is key.
Leave Collars On
Keep the collar on your pet when you are home or out. Cats should have break-away collars with bells as they can hide in small places – these can also be purchased with a bell at Korean pet stores.
Go over your leaving routine and check if they are noisy, or destructive, or try to escape while you wait outside your door. For dogs and cats, this is also a time to work on curbing excessive barking or meowing when you are gone. Upon returning into your place, take note of what the animal did and where s/he is. Be sure to provide the animal with ample entertainment for while you are out and make sure they are tired out and well exercised when you go as this will reduce boredom when you’re gone. You will need to understand and curb their issues should they have separation anxiety:
- Dogs - (Best Friends Animal Society) PDF 123KB
- Cats - (Cat Behaviour Associates)
- Rabbits - (AnimalBehaviour.net)
Within the first day or two, take your little one to the vet and ensure his or her health. A healthy animal is a happy one. A happy one likes being with you.
Spay / Neuter
Spay and neuter ends the animal’s desire to go out and mate and reproduce. Many cats become noisy and both cats and dogs try to escape at this time. It is very dangerous for their safety if they try or can get out. Spay and neuter has many additional benefits, please take this step for your pet’s health.
Order a microchip with your vet, or an international microchip online and have your vet insert it. On the international one, you have more control of the information. Always keep this information up to date.
The leash is very important for dogs. It is not restricting, but a tool you both can work with to ensure walks are safe. Cats can also learn to walk on lead and this can be helpful should you air travel with your pet.
Your Neighbors and Neighborhood
Walk your dog often. Make sure people know your dog and you. One day if your dog is out and alone, they will know something is wrong. They will also be familiar with your dog and be able to call him/her, then call your number on the collar.
- Bring treats and give them to people interested in your dog.
- Teach neighbors your dog is friendly and his or her name, and also teach your dog that the neighbors are kind.
- Clean up your doggie poop and show you care about the neighborhood so they care about you and your dog.
Dogs also have a strong sense of smell connected with memory. The more often you walk your dog in your immediate and surrounding area, the better he or she will know how to get home and where they are.
For cats, invite guests over and get them used to new people. Or if you walk them, introduce them on walks!
Every time you walk, train for & reinforce commands. The most important command in this case is the recall, or “come,” command. "Stay" or "wait" are also helpful. DO NOT ever take your dog off lead in a residential area! Do not ever take them off lead when on or near a road. Do not take them off lead, back trail hiking until you have your commands down – they could bolt!
- Training recall for a Dog (PetFinder.com)
- Second video for training dogs (PetFinder.com)
- Cats can come when called (CatTraining.com)
- Other pets can also be trained the come command (ClickerTraining.com)
- Training rabbits (Wikihow.com)
If You Lose Your Pet
Even the most prepared pet parent may have an accident. Please use these precautions. Should your pet get out, please follow these steps to find your pet.
Written by Katelin MacNair with thanks to everyone who contributed ideas on Facebook.