July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, and we at NHV do not want our pet parents to experience the stress and sadness of losing a pet, so we have a few tips to help prevent pet loss. Nobody expects to lose a pet, but unfortunately, it happens much more frequently than people realize. It is reported that 1 in every 3 pets will be lost at some point during their lifetime, but only 10% of those without proper identification or microchips will be reunited with their families. Make sure you do not lose a furry member of your family by following the below pet loss prevention tips.
Please do not leave your pet tied up in a public area where they are at risk of being stolen.
Ensure that they are secured at all times. If they roam in the yard, make sure that there is a proper fence that is high enough and does not have any escape holes. If you have a small dog breed, rabbit, or any other small pet that you let roam free outdoors for any period of time, keep an eye out for predators. It is beyond your control when a large bird, coyote, or even someone else’s pet can come along. When out walking or playing, keep your pet on a leash. Please do not leave your pet tied up in a public area where they are at risk of being stolen.
Be alert and know your pet’s whereabouts. No matter how much your pet loves you, they may try anything to see what’s on the outside and escape out the door while you are bringing in the groceries or bolt out of the yard when someone opens the gate.
Be aware of upcoming events. Loud noises such as thunder and fireworks can scare pets. Even smaller noises that seem harmless can be frightening to a pet (think motorcycles, construction equipment, vehicles backfiring, sirens, loud parties). Even if your pet was not bothered by a noise in the past, there is a chance it may bother them in the future.
Ensure that your pet can be properly identified at all times. A collar and up-to-date tags works but can be easily removed, so you may wish to consider something a bit more permanent, like microchips or tattoos. You can also get GPS trackers for your pets that pinpoint your pets’ location, so you know the moment they leave your property – allowing you to act quickly before they get into too much trouble.
Have a recent picture of your pet. If your pet goes missing, a recent photo will be helpful in your search.
Unsure what to do if your pet goes missing?
Contact your local pound and animal rescue shelters to alert them and provide a description and contact information.
Put up posters in the area including a recent photo and description along with contact information if found.
Use the power of social media! Share a picture of your pet, the area that it was lost, and get your friends to share it out.
What to do if you find a lost or stray pet
Never assume that an unidentifiable animal that you come across is a stray. This could be someone’s pet and may have lost its collar or escaped. By keeping an animal that you assume is a stray, you may be withholding them from being reunited with their family.
Do not approach an animal that is aggressive or defensive. Instead, contact your local animal control or rescue and notify them.
If a friendly animal approaches you with no apparent owners, check for tags or identification. If ID is found, contact the owners. If no identification is found, you can take them to a local shelter to see if they have been reported missing or if they have any other identification methods. Once it has been determined that this animal does not belong to anyone, you may choose to make it an addition to your family.
These are just a few tips to help prevent the loss of your pet, as summer can often be a busy time of year with many outdoor events and excitement. If you are aware of an upcoming event that may cause your pet anxiety or stress (thunderstorm, fireworks, construction), you may wish to consider giving them NHV Matricalm for cats or Lesstress for dogs a few days in advance to help calm their nerves and lessen their likelihood of running away.