July is Lost Pet Prevention Month
July is known as Lost Pet Prevention Month because July 5 is typically the busiest day of the year for animal shelters. That’s because many people celebrate Independence Day in July by lighting off fireworks. Dogs and cats don’t understand fireworks and all they hear are deafening booms and flashes of light combined with the smell of smoke. Some pets become so frightened by fireworks that they run away and end up at animal shelters...or worse.
So how can you prevent your pet from getting lost? And if your pet is lost, how can you maximize your chances of finding your lost pet and getting them back? We’ve got some lost pet prevention tips to get you started.
Keep your pet contained
If you’ve got a dog who never leaves the yard or a house cat that doesn’t venture outside, it may be silly to think you’d have to keep your pet contained. However, when the fireworks start, even the best trained pets may flee in panic. Unless you’re in a securely fenced area, you should always keep your dog on a leash by your side. If people are entering or leaving your home while fireworks are going off, it may be best to keep your dog or cat contained to one room of your home or even in a crate or kennel so they don’t accidentally slip out the door.
When you get your pet microchipped, a needle is used to insert the microchip under your pet’s skin where it stays permanently. The microchip is registered with your information. Veterinarians and animal shelters scan pets for microchips and then have access to the contact information of the pet’s owner. Pets that are microchipped have a much higher chance of being returned to their owner.
It is always a good idea to make sure your pet has updated identification tags that contain their name and your phone number. You may even put your address on the ID tag. If your pet is lost, the person who finds them can look at the tag and contact you.
Nowadays, you can actually track your lost pet using GPS! Companies like tile make GPS tracking devices that clip right to your pet’s collar.
I’ve lost my pet, now what?
If you’ve lost your pet, you need to take immediate action to ensure the best odds of finding them. Here’s what you should do…
1. Report it to the police
When you report your lost pet to the police, officers know to keep a lookout for them. Often, when someone finds a lost animal, they will report it to the police. If police have your contact information they can help facilitate the return of your pet to you.
2. Contact area animal shelters
Contact your local animal shelters and notify them of your lost pet. Give them your contact information and ask them to contact you if any pet comes in matching your pet’s description.
3. Drive around looking for them
It may seem silly to drive around calling your pet’s name out the window, but a scared pet may be listening for your voice. Drive to places your pet may be familiar with or that you think may make them feel more comfortable. Ask your friends and family to help search the neighborhood.
4. Put up signs
Put up signs and flyers around your neighborhood with your pet’s name, photo and any important information such as medical conditions. Remind people not to chase your pet and to instead contact you if they see it.
5. Make a lost pet post on social media
Find an online lost pet group or other group and post information about your pet on social media. The more people that are aware that your pet is missing, the more people that can keep an eye out and help you in your search.