July 5th is noted as the busiest day at shelter across the country, because of the fireworks and large celebrations associated with the Fourth of July. Summer is in full swing – summer vacations and travel also play a part potential lost pet situations.
For all these reasons and more, the summer months have the highest rate of lost pet reports. To help combat the problem PetHub started National Lost Pet Prevention Month in 2014 and is celebrated every July to help educate the public on how to keep their pet safe and what to do if you find a lost or stray pet.
- The most important things to have on hand are all your pet’s records and proof of ownership. If he is located, you’re going to have to prove that you are indeed his owner, and that he is safe and healthy enough to be released back into your care.
- Make sure your pet has a collar that is tagged with identification. This is one of the most important first step you can take to make your pet easy to identify. A useful type of ID tag is a lost pet locator, such as the one PetHub offers. This is simply a tag that attaches to your pet’s collar, and contains your pet’s name, and also a unique bar code that can be typed in on a computer or scanned by any smartphone.
- Secure your pets surroundings by making it far more difficult for them to escape in the first place. Building a screened-in porch for an indoor cat and erecting fences that animals can’t either burrow beneath or jump over, even if your property spans acres, is the best way to give your pet the chance to explore in a secure area, while knowing he’s likely to come home.
- Many pets escape when they’re in the middle of being transported, particularly if they’re going someplace unpleasant, like the vet. Dogs have been known to break their leashes and keep running, and cats will find a way out of a carrier that isn’t securely fastened at all times. Don’t give your pet even the slightest bit of opportunity to get away from you when you’re on the road.
- Make sure you have the right kind of leash for your dog. If the collar fits too loosely, he can use the leash set-up to slip it over his head and take off running. Meanwhile, using a thinly constructed retractable leash on a 120-pound dog provides the opportunity for the material to break, and your dog to run much faster than you can catch him.
- Proper training goes a long way. While no pet will observe the rules all the time, especially when frightened, teaching your pet at an early age that bad behavior such as going beyond the boundaries or removing his collar is unacceptable will cut down on the likelihood that a pet will choose to wander, even when the opportunity presents itself.
You made a great point when you mentioned that it is important to make sure your pet has a collar with the right identification tags so that it doesn’t get lost. In addition to that, I would say that it could be a good idea to have your dog microchipped by a veterinarian. A microchip would allow you to know the location of your pet and animal shelters are able to use them to figure out if the animal belongs to anyone.