Ten million pets are lost every year and one out of every three pets will be lost during their lifetime. It can happen to even the best pet parents. If your cat or dog goes missing, they may be in a state of shock. Make sure you’re doing these nine things to help protect your pet and get them back asap.
If your pet loses their collar and ends up lost, a vet or shelter can scan for their microchip. It holds your contact information, which can quickly reunite the two of you. It’s painless to implant as its the size of a grain of rice. Your pet will never know it’s there. If you have moved or changed phone numbers, update your contact information with your microchip provider.
There’s a wide variety of leash styles for different dogs and environments. Make sure to speak to an expert to find the right fit for your pet. One important key is to buy a leash recommended for your pet’s weight. And if you are going for a walk with other dogs nearby, get a shorter leash to provide more control. Want to walk your cat? Add a harness – cats are excellent escape artists.
COLLAR WITH ID TAGS
Loose collars can fall off, tear and wear down. Check your pet’s collar regularly to make sure it is secure and comfortable. Include ID tags to make it easy for someone to identify your pet and get your contact information. Also, ensure all information stays up to date.
THE 3 D'S OF TRAINING
Trainers define the 3 D’s of Training as distance, distraction and duration. Teach your pet to “come” in a wide variety of locations and distances, including a range of different distractions. “Come” and “stay” are two basic but essential commands that will reduce the likelihood of your dog getting lost. It could even save their life. Teaching your cat to come can also be beneficial. They’ll be more likely to come out of hiding if they associate your voice with positive reinforcement.
SECURE YOUR YARD
One of the most common ways pets get lost is when they escape their yard. Pets don’t typically run away from the family, but can when they’re in panic mode or under duress. Knowing your pet’s temperament and what stresses them out will help you create a secure environment. Learn to recognize when your pet is showing signs of stress. When this happens, help your dog inside. Double check the fencing to ensure it is secure and make sure it’s high enough that they can’t jump over it. Some pets might be diggers – prevent this by lining the bottom of the fence with chicken wire or rocks. And an overhead fence can keep cats and athletic dogs from climbing out.
Your pet can easily run off when you open the car door. Some wily pets can even escape with a window that’s been opened a bit too far. f your dog gets excited when you open the door, make sure to leave the leash on. If they like to stick their head far outside out the window (and who doesn’t), keep the window closed enough so their body can’t fit through. Seat belts and harnesses are another good option. Crates and kennels keep them secure and will provide more protection in case of an accident. And never, ever leave your pet alone in the car. They can suffer from heat stroke quickly.
KEEP DOCUMENTATION READILY AVAILABLE
Put all of your pet’s documents in one easy to find location. Include items such as proof of ownership, vet documents, photos and vaccination records. Take pictures of the documents as well and keep them on your phone in case they get lost or you need to reference them quickly. Have your local shelter’s address and phone number handy and a recent photo so you can put up flyers in case something does in fact happen.
EXTRA CAUTIOUS DAYS
More pets go missing on July 4th and 5th than any other time of year. Major holidays and when the front door is constantly opening and closing are other risky times. And if your pet is scared of noisy thunderstorms, keep an eye on the weather report. Calming supplements and CBD can help take the edge off the fear and make pets less likely to bolt. Want to order CBD online? Check out Happy Pet CBD.
WHAT TO DO IF THEY GET LOST
File a lost animal report with your local animal control or police department. They may put out a “runaway” notice and broadcast information about your pet to other officers and shelters in the area. 80% of lost pets are found within 1 mile of where they went missing. Post notices with your pet’s picture and your phone number in large print that can be seen by drivers as well as pedestrians. If your community has a social media page, post a message there. Prop open all yard gates and set up food & water along with a piece of your clothing or their favorite toy to draw them back to your yard.