Parents of both two-legged and four-legged children alike have likely experienced the sheer panic when that moment arrives when we can’t find them. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, the feeling of utter terror is beyond compare.
According statistics from the ASPCA, only 26% of dogs and just 5% of cats are returned to their owners if they come in as strays to these types of local shelters. Because of these deplorable numbers, it’s better for us as pet owners to be on the offense when it comes to the unlikely event that our dogs and cats could go missing, or even worse, get stolen, from our loving homes.
In this light, here are four tips on keeping pets safer and better protected from becoming lost or stolen:
#1 – Lose The Name
When it comes to the basic identification of our animals, there’s the obvious methods that first come to mind, microchipping, ID tags, even tattoos are often applied to animals for this purpose. But when it comes to those little metal tags attached to their collars, here’s a strange piece of advice when it comes to the first thing that usually appears on them – the pet’s name. That’s the last thing you should consider engraving on these tags and here’s why.
Let’s say your pet does go missing and a stranger finds them wandering around. Luckily they have all your contact information listed on their ID tag along with your pet’s name. Maybe this good samaritan had every intention of returning your animal to you, but since they know the animal’s name, maybe they got attached to your pet before making that important phone call. After all, your critter is not only cute, well-mannered and properly trained, it happily comes when their name is called. The only information that’s really necessary on an ID tag is your’s and not your pet’s.
#2 – Be Friendly
Hopefully you live in a tight knit community where everyone knows everyone else and all watch out for each other. This also comes to mind for our pets and you should always make nice with the rest of the animal lovers in your neighborhood. In most suburban areas, walking the dog is a daily ritual and we can connect with other members living in our region and become familiar with them, their dogs and even cats. This will increase the likelihood of reconnecting with your loved one in the event they are lost or stolen since people in your surrounding area are aware of the location of you and your animal.
#3 – Social Speaking
This almost goes without saying since most pet lovers already participate in this popular practice, but be sure to post plenty of pictures with you and your pet on social media sites. Similar to the face-to- face concept of connecting with your neighbors, this will also reinforce the ownership of your animal on the internet.
It’s almost like advertising this connection with your pet and this type of familiarity could come in handy if you need to post a distress message about a missing or abducted animal online. While we’ll still hang flyers with a recent picture of our pet in our neighborhood, the overwhelming reach of the world-wide- web may bring faster results when posting an APB about your pet.
#4 – Be Proactive
If your dog spends time outdoors, especially in a fenced area like a backyard, continuously check for possible escape routes, loose boards, the beginnings of a possible tunnel, anything that seems out of the ordinary that could lead to a potential breakout. While you are ensuring the gate is securely latched each and every time you use it, make sure you communicate this practice to other users of this entrance, not only friends and family members, service providers, pool maintenance personnel and landscape contractors need to know this valuable information.
Keeping windows and doors closed and properly secured is just one way of keeping our pets safely confined, especially during our absence. With just a little bit of forethought and some planning, we can help to ensure we have a long and happy life together with our four-legged, furry best friends.
Written by Amber Kingsley
Bewaggle is a brand new KIND of pet sitting company, unique in the entire nation! Bringing a new level of professionalism, training, and security to the pet sitting industry, we offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are licensed, bonded and insured, background checked, professionally trained and supervised. And each sitter is backed up by a team of qualified professionals. All our sitters are trained in Pet First Aid, Pet CPR, Professional Standards, Emergency Response and much more.
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