Our pets are our companions, always by our side. The strong bond between owners and pets is based on love and trust; so, when a pet goes missing, it’s a very traumatic experience for all concerned.
Cats and dogs are curious by nature, and sometimes despite our best efforts, they may get themselves into situations where they become lost, or even, stolen. Here are our helpful tips to help keep your pets by your side, where they belong.
The first step in preventing your pet from going missing is to make sure your home is secure. This means checking that all doors and windows are locked, and that there are no gaps or holes through which your pet can escape.
If your cat has the run of the neighbourhood, it’s best to at least keep them indoors at night, when they are more likely to end up in traffic accidents or fights with other animals.
Dogs and cats love exploring the garden, but it’s important to check that they can’t escape through holes in fences or walls. While your pet may be unable to open the gate or the garage door, keep in mind that someone passing by could steal your pet, or someone walking through a gate may accidentally leave it open.
When you take your dog out for a walk, always make sure they’re on a lead. They may be well trained, but you never know when a distraction - like another animal - may make them run off.
If you’re transporting your pet and they’re not used to being out of the house, put them in an enclosed mesh pet carrier, so they don’t panic and try to run away.
In the UK, more pets go missing during summer. This is mainly because of changes in routine, owners going on holiday and everyone spending more time outdoors. Keep this in mind and take extra care during the summer months.
Microchip your pets - it’s already the law in the UK for dogs to be microchipped and soon this rule will apply to cats too. Once chipped, ensure you keep your details up to date, so you can easily be reunited with your pet if they ever do go missing.
Also, make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag. This will make it easier for someone to contact you if they find your pet.
If your pet disappears, it's important to act quickly. Report your pet as lost with your pet’s microchip company and ensure your contact details are up to date. Check your property for any hidden spots where they could be hiding or exploring. Ask your neighbours to do the same. Search the neighbourhood and ask around.
Contact your local animal shelter and let them know that your pet is missing. Put up posters locally and share information about your missing pet on social media. Contact organisations like DogLost or CatAware. The quicker you act, the more likely you are to be reunited with your pet.