Losing your pet can be one of the most heartbreaking and frustrating things that can happen to pet owners. Most pets, like dogs and cats, usually don’t stray from you unless it has a pretty good reason (i.e distracted by other animals in the area, wanting to play) and most of the time they come back. Cats and dogs are curious and social creatures, especially cats! So if your pet ever gets lost, how would we know and what should we do?
Here’s 5 methods that work:
Well first of all, you could get your pet micro-chipped. A microchip is a small chip tag that is injected into the neck of your pet which contains a unique ID that shelters can scan for. It is harmless and proved extremely useful in identifying lost pets over the years.
Each microchip is extremely small which contains information on the animal’s vaccination, medical condition, etc. and is very cheap. Most pet owners opt to have it injected when their pet is going for any surgery such as splaying.
Almost all of our dogs and cats get a collar with a name tag engraved on. Well beyond just their name, it’s definitely a good idea to list a phone number and possibly an address in as well. That way the chances of a Good Samaritan contacting you immediately is raised a lot higher.
Possible Hiding Locations
It is also a good habit to jot down places your pet may like to hide (under the porch, in the garage, etc.). After spending years with your pet, it’s easy to lose track of where you pet feels comfortable with and where he may be. Should the need ever arise, your search locations can be easily narrowed down.
Most cats like to hide in corners and wander about alone. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is important to observe its habits, so you can determine when it might be lost. Due to their wandering nature, the longer a cat is left outside, the further they tend to stray from your home. Knowing whether your cat prefers to wander indoors or outdoors is also a key tip when you’re trying to locate a lost one. An indoor cat usually hides in places in your home, and stays in the same location unless forced out by fear or hunger. An outdoor cat will likely be on the move each day it is missing.
Call the local shelters and pounds
It is a pretty well known fact that most shelters and pounds do not have the capacity to hold on to animals for a very long period of time. Therefore it is important to notify them with a description and a photo of your pet. Make frequent visits and remain persistent. This is to avoid a situation where by the shelter finds your pet but unknowingly puts it down.
It is important that you put up posters to let the community know that your pet is lost so they can help be on the lookout. Many people print and put up posters around a 1 km radius of their neighborhood, but also ensure you cover areas where your pet is familiar with and other possible areas they may be.
There are many tips to making an effective posters, but generally the key points is to ensure that you do not put up information that exposes your pet to being held for ransom or exploited (i.e putting a high cash reward).
Here’s a wikihow as a guide to making a poster:
The physical search is often the toughest,and most emotional period for the owners. The most important thing is to not lose hope and believe you will be reunited with your pet. When walking around, bring toys and make sounds that your pet is used to. Dogs are especially receptive to smell and sounds. Therefore, it is good to hang on to familiar items and make sounds your pet will recognize. If you found your pet, try not to run forward to catch your pet. Remember, your pet was missing and probably hasn’t seen any familiar face for a few days. In addition to being scarred, some dogs may playfully run away. So to avoid that scenario, slowly coax your pet to your side to reunite with each other.
One common method that many dog owners use, is to place a bowl of water and its’ favourite toy at a location where it was last seen. This method works best if the dog had used it recently, as it still has a strong scent. Many dogs have been found using that method as most dogs instinctively try to find their owner and water at the last location they were together.
We hope this guide has helped you!
-The PROTAG Team