Lost Pet Prevention Month

This July, Precise is calling awareness to Lost Pet Prevention Month. We wanted to share some tips for keeping your furry friends safe and close to home. In case your pet ever does decide to explore their surroundings without you, here are a few ways to ensure their safe return.

#1. Identification

A secure collar and proper ID tags signal that your pet has clearly wandered away from its home and is not a stray animal. Pets can slip out of their collars and lose all of their identification this way, so be sure your pet’s collar fits snug but isn’t restrictive. Bonus points if the collar is embroidered with its name or has distinctive markings on it. Also, ID tags are a reliable way to ensure that someone who finds your pet will know where to return it. A pet’s ID tag should include its name, the owner’s name, a home address and a telephone number. Other information that is good to include on a tag is your veterinarian’s name and number, the animal’s rabies vaccination information, if your pet is microchipped and any health issues your pet may have that require medication.

#2. File Ownership Records

Just like you’d keep your family’s medical records filed away and accessible in an emergency, it’s important to have your pet’s medical records and ownership papers on-hand in a crisis. You can easily prove a pet is yours with these important documents and verify that you are, indeed, its owner. If brought in to a vet or a shelter, pet medical records and adoption papers will prove an animal’s true home is with you and will expedite the process of its return.

#3. Microchips

Having your pet microchipped at a vet’s office will be an invaluable aid in its return. Both cats and dogs can be microchipped to ensure a pet’s proper identification and is a more permanent option than an ID tag. Inserted just below the skin of your pet’s shoulder blade, the microchip can be scanned when it is brought into a vet to confirm your pet’s identity. The microchip does not track your pet’s location, but once scanned by a vet can indicate an animal’s home. The identification number of the microchip is tied to its owner’s information, and the owner can then be reached by a veterinarian. Even if you’re the one who finds a lost pet, taking it into a vet’s office to see if it is microchipped is the next best step in locating its owners.

#4. Securing their Surroundings

If your pet is naturally adventurous, securing its surroundings will make it more difficult for them to escape from home. If your dog likes to dig, make sure your fenced-in yard has fence posts that go deep into the ground and consider chicken wire outside its base. For dogs that jump over fences, add an extension to your fence that slants at a 45-degree angle to maintain security. Avoid wire fences that dogs can easily dig beside and squeeze under when choosing fencing. Also, an invisible fence is always an option for reinforcing your pet’s boundaries. For cats, screened-in porches keep them safe while also allowing them to enjoy the breeze from outside. Firmly close and lock doors, especially sliding doors or ones that a dog could push on to gain access outside.

#5. Alert Neighbors & Other Resources

Phoning your neighbors and speaking with people you meet on the sidewalk will spread the word about your lost pet. Have a picture of your pet handy to show others and be able to explain its behavior and markings to anyone you meet while out searching for your pet. It’s likely that your pet is still in the surrounding neighborhood, and if your neighbors know to be on the look-out, they can help you locate your pet sooner than if you searched for it alone. If your search ends without finding your pet, notify veterinarians in the area, local animal shelters and dog pounds to make sure they are aware of any new animals in their facilities that fit the description of your lost pet.

Precise is sharing this information to help take the anxiety out of a stressful situation. If your pet is ever lost, having these procedures in place will ensure you’re prepared in the moment and that your pet has safety measures in place for its safe return.

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