4 ways to prevent pets from getting lost
Summer is all about fun in the sun—especially when your pet is there with you. But there’s another side to the season.
A lot of pets get separated from their owners during summertime events. A slipped collar, open window or unexpected squirrel chase is sometimes all it takes.
Fortunately, the steps you take now to prepare for that possibility can affect how quickly you can be reunited with your pet. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Prepare your home
Don’t let your summer backyard party turn into a fur-ightful debacle.
Before guests arrive, make sure all gates and windows are secured. Consider posting reminders to your guests that there are pets inside, and they need to be mindful about closing doors and gates. This is doubly important when fireworks may be going off in the neighborhood, and frightened pets may act out of character.
2. Ensure proper ID
If your pet does get out, proper ID is their best ticket home. As part of your summer prep, be sure to:
- Always keep identification tags current and easy to read.
- Offer a reward on the tag.
- Include any medication information.
- Get your pet microchipped.
3. Offer a quiet retreat from holiday fireworks
A lot of pets are very afraid of fireworks. Dogs and cats have very sensitive hearing and may not understand that the sound they hear is very far off in the distance. As a result, hundreds of pets every year get out or injure themselves trying to get away from the thundering booms.
The best protection against fireworks fear is a quiet, safe retreat indoors for your pet. Offer a comfortable space, either in a crate or small room, with familiar smelling blankets and toys to retreat and relax. It often helps to close the windows and play calming music or white noise to drown out the sound. Also, if you can, stay with anxious pets to offer comfort until the fireworks end.
If fireworks are very stressful for your pet, consider veterinarian-prescribed sedation, and be sure to have medication on hand before noisy holidays.
4. If your pet gets out, act quickly!
There’s no time to waste when you realize your pet goes missing. Quick action makes a safe, injury-free return home more likely. Here’s your game plan:
- Post lost pet listings on social media with your location, recent pictures and a description of your pet.
- Create flyers with your pet's picture and reward info.
- Check with all area shelters and veterinary practices, not just the closest.
- Report your pet as lost to the microchip registry.
Talk to neighbors, get the word out at local businesses and, above all else, keep looking! Lost pets, especially microchipped ones, can be found days or even weeks later. The wider and more complete the net you cast is, the better.
When it comes to lost pet prevention, a little preparation goes a long way. Hopefully, you’ll never have to search for a missing pet, but if the unexpected happens, every step you take now can help to bring your four-legged friend home quickly.