Missing Pets Tips and How to Prevent it

6 things to do if your beloved pet goes missing

  • First and foremost search the immediate area where the pet was last seen ie) backyard, shed, bushes, under your deck etc.
  • When calling out the name of your pet, do so in a calm voice. Pets can and will feel your anxiousness and will stay away
  • Post a picture and all relevant information such as the color, sex, breed, any unique markings, area where the pet was last seen, if the pet is microchipped or wearing any collars or tags etc. to animal related internet sites such as petfbi.org and even your local towns online site is another great reference point.
  • While you are out searching for your pet, have a friend pick up the phone and make some calls. Tell them to notify your veterinary clinic, any other veterinary clinics in your area, but to also call the local shelter and animal control to provide them with the info as well.
  • Any signs you create and plan to post should be on bright neon paper to get noticed and if it is feasible, also offer a reward for your pet’s safe return.
  • Large dogs have be shown to travel up to 5kms from where they were initially lost, while smaller dogs and cats are typically found within a few blocks. It is always recommended to stop, take a deep breath and think of your animal’s attitude. Are they bouncy and outgoing? If so, start your search at the local park, school yard or even at another dog’s house down the street. Pets that tend to be nervous and shy are typically hiding close by, so check under the car, up the neighbor’s tree, under the bushes and even under your neighbor’s deck.

Tips to Make Sure This Doesn’t Ever Happen To You

To prevent the undue stress losing a pet can bring…prevention is the key

  • Make sure you pet is wearing their collar at all times with an ID tag with your current address and phone number on it. This will help for those animals that are very scared and won’t let people touch them. Hopefully they can at least get close enough to read the tag.
  • MICROCHIP your pet! This is also very important because most collars these day are what are known as “break away” collars. What this means is if your pet does get caught on something by their throat, should they tug hard enough the collar will undue and set them free. This is a safety feature so your pet will not ultimately choke to death. Plus if your animal ends up at a shelter it will be scanned for a microchip and that number ultimately will lead them back to you and identify that pet as yours. Quick reminder though, this wonderful technology is only as good as the people that keep the information current! If you move or change phone numbers you must always remember to contact the microchip company and update your profile.
  • Training can also play a big part in keeping your pet safe. Make sure your pet has a good recall and front door manners.
  • Keep an up to date photo close at hand.
  • Another biggie is neuter and spay your animals. They say an intact male cat can smell a female in heat up to 1 mile away, while for dogs that range goes up to 3 miles! While there are many health benefits to neutering or spaying your pet, it also helps to keep them from wanting to leave to find a mate.
  • Don’t delay…fix broken latches, gate closures and holes in your fence now! Before it’s too late.

Sadly even I’ve had this experience, and was it ever terrifying. It was early one morning and I let both dogs out into the backyard as usual. My big lab Stewart (also affectionately known as Stewie), came back in a short time later but our little guy, Titus, was nowhere to be found. This was highly unusual so we knew something was amiss. My husband went out the back door to scour our yard and those that neighbor us, while I went out the front and down the block. After about 30 minutes with no luck I was close to tears. Just then my husband’s phone rang. Thankfully it was a nice lady calling who had our little “Tittles” safely in her living room. Luck for us, Titus was wearing his collar and dog tag which identified him and provided her immediately with our contact information.

We think our little guy just had a quick moment of confusion when he went outside and ended up getting lost. I can’t tell you how thankful I was to have my little man back home.

Please keep all of these safety tips in mind and should you have any questions about spaying or neutering you dog or cat or wonder about getting them microchipped, please feel free to call the College Manor Veterinary Hospital at 905-853-4706 and one of our helpful staff would be happy to provide you with that information.

Written by Laura McGibbon