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Easy Ways to Prevent Your Pet from Ever Going Missing
March 23, 2022
Is there anything more nerve wracking than losing a pet? It can happen in the blink of an eye but is easily avoidable. Here are some tips.
Secure Your Home
By this we mean make sure that your doors, windows, gates, and fences are secure. Make sure your fences are tall and sturdy enough to keep your dog from jumping. And if your dog is a digger, be mindful of how far down into the ground your fence posts go.
Do some routine maintenance too. Keep in mind old locks can easily become jiggled open, and wooden fences can deteriorate and become holey and rot out in places, creating openings for your little Houdini.
And keep an eye on the integrity of your windows, as both cats and dogs can easily weasel their ways out of holey windows, as well as screenless windows.
Everyone’s heard of microchips, but what are they really? It’s a tiny radio-frequency identifier, no bigger than a grain of rice, that can be inserted via syringe quickly and easily under your pet’s skin, usually between their shoulder blades. Veterinarians and rescue groups can insert them. If you don’t have one and need one, look for local vaccine and microchip clinics.
After your dog is microchipped, register it, and always keep the information associated with it up to date. Often this is done by contacting the microchip company.
Adopt a pet and not sure if they have a microchip? Shelters and vets will usually scan them for you for free. Many such places, and even some police departments, have scanners that—if the pet’s chipped and the chip is registered—will bring up an ID number and your contact information. If you have a microchip number, you can go to https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ and see if it’s registered and which company it’s from.
P.S. Bivvy Wellness Care supports microchips! You can add this preventative and routine care to your dog insurance and start using it day 1.* And Pet ID from AskVet allows your pet’s finder to contact you, and see info like your pet’s allergies, without taking them to a microchip reader. You can sign up with AskVet using code BIVVY for two-months of free access. AskVet’s Pet ID works for the lifetime of your pet, even if you cancel your AskVet membership.
A collar with an ID tag is a good start, but in order for it to do its job of reuniting your pet with you if they get lost, it needs to be on at all times and must have a current address and/or phone number. If your pet runs away when their collar off, or if the ID tag falls off or isn’t up to date, you may be SOL. A collar with an updated ID tag does mean if your pet gets lost, the finder can return them to you without the extra step of taking them to be scanned for a microchip. But both a collar with ID and a microchip is best. Make sure the collar fits and won’t slide off.
Microchipped pets are reunited with their people 33% more often than those that aren’t. HomeAgain, one of the better-known microchip manufacturers, has reunited two million pets with their people.
Make a Plan
Don’t be caught unaware if your pet does get lost. Know their personality. If they’re shy, they’re probably hiding somewhere. Search your neighborhood several times a day. Ask your neighbors and the mail carrier if they’ve seen your pet. Indoor cats will probably be hiding, on average, up to three houses away. Indoor-outdoor cats may travel up to several blocks away. Look under decks and bushes, inside garages, and inside and underneath sheds. Ask your neighbors if you can search their property.
If you move or are traveling with your pet, familiarize them with the new place to reduce the likelihood of them feeling like they need to set out in search of home. Show them around and put things with their and your scents around.
Consider leashes on pets whenever out—out in the world, or even on your property if it’s unfenced. Train them with a good recall. But even then, they can easily become spooked.
Another great way to plan ahead? Snag affordable pet insurance for your family pet before anything goes awry. You’ll feel more prepared should an accident or illness occur. Plus, Bivvy pet insurance reviews are stellar.
Spay and Neuter
Unaltered male and female animals will have hormones that give them the urge to seek out a mate. They also secrete pheromones that will attract nearby pets. So by fixing your pets, you’re making them less likely to wander and doing a service to your neighbors.
*Bivvy Wellness Care isn’t available in all states.