Pet parents know that a missing pet is scary and upsetting. In general, one of the biggest issues in returning a missing pet to his proper home is a lack of proper identification. Microchips and tags mean pets and their parents are reunited far more quickly. We’re in the middle of pet ID week, so it’s a good time to look more closely at pet IDs and how to make sure your pet can be brought home quickly.
While microchips are great, wearing a collar with your name and phone number is also important. If your pet is found by a neighbor or passerby, they can easily contact you and reunite you with your pet. Microchips require a special tool to read and it can be months, or years before that finally happens.
Particularly in the case of cats or smaller dogs, collars easily get caught on bushes and safely breakaway to prevent choking your pet. However, once they’ve fallen off, they don’t help your pet get back home. Have your pet microchipped is an important safety net. Shelter workers and veterinarians can scan for the chip and contact you based on that information.
Make Sure Microchip Info is Updated
If you move or change your phone number, be sure you update the information on file with the microchip company. Your pet can’t tell whoever is scanning that the info is wrong and if you’re unreachable, the microchip is essentially useless. It’s a good idea to ask your vet to scan it once a year to be sure the information is up to date.
Any Pet Can Get Lost
Some pet parents think that because their dog is always on a leash or their cat is an indoor only pet that they can’t get lost. The truth is that leashes can break, doors get left open, and other tragedies like fire or natural disasters happen. Losing a pet is always a possibility, so take a few moments this week to ensure your pet has proper ID is well worth the effort.
Start Searching for Your Lost Pet Immediately
While this may sound obvious, many pet owners assume their pet will simply turn up on their own. The truth is that the sooner you start looking the more likely it is that you’ll find your pet. Make posters with a picture of your pet and your phone number and hang them in the area your pet was last seen. Contact the animal control officer in your area and alert local shelters. Most lost pets don’t stray too far if you start looking right away.
In my house, and probably in yours, pets are family. Spend a few moments this week making sure they’re safe and can be easily returned to you in case they’re lost.