Losing a Pet Is Terrifying – Follow These Tips To Help Get Them Home Safe!

Losing a pet is one of the most upsetting and frustrating things that can happen to a family. If you think that your pet has run off (and you’ve thoroughly searched your home while shaking a food dish or squeaking his or her favorite toy), the very first thing to keep in mind is Keep Calm. Dogs and cats run off — it happens — and there are ways you can increase your chances of finding your pet if that does happen.

5. Make sure your pet is ID’dPuppy_sxc-1145720_90221289_20130610

This is something you want to do before you lose your pet, but putting an identification tag on your dog or cat’s collar is the best way to find him or her. A good ID tag will include your name and address, a current phone number where you can be reached, and any important additional information (such as “Needs Daily Meds” or “Reward if Found”). You can also get a “pet microchip” for your dog or cat, which will hold essentially the same information as a tag, but since it’s an implant it can’t fall off or be removed.

4. Search the neighborhood

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Most pets won’t get very far, especially if you notice early on that they are missing. Sometimes the best way to find your dog or cat is to walk, ride a bike, or slowly drive around the neighborhood. If you have a picture of your pet, bring it with you. Ask your neighbors or anyone around whether they have seen him or her, check under porches and cars, look around shrubs and bushes, and search by where your pet may find another dog or cat.

3. Pick up the phone

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If you can’t find your dog or cat in the immediate vicinity, it’s time to make some calls. Be sure to call any animal control agencies or shelters around your area, and any rescue groups or animal hospitals nearby. Your pet may already be in custody, so prepare a brief but detailed description of him or her.

2. Post flyers around townposter

So you’ve searched the neighborhood, called your local animal refuges, and you still haven’t found your pet. It’s time to make a missing pet flyer.

You’ll want to make your flyers simple, consistent, and full of information. If you are offering a reward, definitely advertise that. You’ll want to include things like age, breed, color, weight, and any other features that will be specific to your pet. Include your name, phone number (and maybe a second number just in case), and a recent photo.

Bring flyers to those shelters you just called, put some up around your neighborhood, drop them off at pet shops and grocery stores, post them at parks and on telephone poles — pretty much anywhere that you think your pet might turn up. It may also be a good idea to post the flyer on social networks as well, which can be an effective way to reach your family and friends quickly.

1. Never give up!

Even if you’ve tried everything, you should never give up hope. Keep checking up on the places you’ve called, expand your search area, put up more flyers, do whatever it takes. And hey, after all that work your missing pooch or kitty might just turn up at the front door.

All pet owners do what they can to protect their fur babies, and we should celebrate that loving bond every day! But don’t just follow these steps for your pets, click below to take the Lost Pet Pledge and pass it along to every pet parent you know!

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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