Climate change, inequality, poverty and more have made our world scary and dangerous. And for our furry friends, it can be even more frightening for them. A pet can face many dangers when going outside, so a pet getting loose and running away from the comfort of their home is a big fear for many pet owners. Being aware of these dangers can cause anxiety for many pet owners and have them apply different safety methods on their pets and in their homes to avoid their fears from coming true.
Charrison Lucas, a pet owner of two orange and white domestic shorthaired cats, says her biggest fear is her two pets leaving the house. As her cats’ litter was found abandoned by their mother in the street, the fear of them getting lost or left behind is a more significant fear compared to her other anxieties.
“They were already microchipped, which is amazing,” Lucas says. “Because if they did run out of the house, I can track them on my phone.”
She explains that adopting them from the Morinville Veterinary Clinic benefited her as they were already microchipped, neutered, and vaccinated, relieving one of her fears of being unable to find them if they go astray.
Like Lucas, Kaitlyn Lizée faces the same fear for her pets, specifically her puppy. She explains that when she first got her dog, the fear of him getting hurt was a big worry for her.
“There have been a couple times where [my dog] got loose, and he hadn’t been properly trained,” Lizée says. “So, I was scared he was going to get hit by a car or run away.”
Despite getting her dog vaccinated and having the proper surgeries to keep him safe, Lizée still worries about him running away because of his love to run around constantly outside in her backyard.
“He’s really fast and will dodge you…so he thinks it’s all a game. When in your head, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, I just don’t want you to get hit by a car’ or anything.”
As Lucas says she keeps her door closed and latched to decrease the chances of her two cats getting loose, Lizée has put similar safety measures to keep her puppy from running into danger and getting injured.
“We have a leash for him at all times. Because he’s still not very used to people with him being a Covid dog, and we have a lot of kids in my condo…it makes the dog bark and anxious. We make sure to keep him on a leash when he’s in the backyard now.”
For Lizée’s cats, she has little to no fears of them getting lost like she has for her dog. With both of her cats being afraid of the outdoors, she is relieved of the fear of them getting loose and mainly has worries for her dog. Like Lizée, Lucas’s pets have now gotten used to their new home, and the fear of them getting lost has been significantly eased since she adopted them.
“They kind of just do their own thing. They’re very lazy now, so I don’t have to worry about them as much. They just sleep all day.”
Despite both pet owners’ anxieties and fears, they say it is worth it as they have gained new friends – or family members – in their household. Their pets have helped them through the tough times and created a happy space for their owners to come home to.
“Having my cats just kind of kept me balanced,” Lucas says. “They gave me a reason to be happy. They’re always there for me when I [get] home. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
The city of Edmonton has recently issued a review and renewal on the Animal Licensing and Control Bylaw to make sure it is up to date regarding the rules to which animals can be kept as pets and how pet owners can keep them safe and take care of them as well.