It's a pet parent's worst nightmare when their dog or cat slips out the door unexpectedly. But, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your pet is returned home safely to you.
Prevention Is The Best Medicine (For Pet Escapes)
When busy holidays are coming up, like Halloween, Christmas, or July 4th, be sure to take a few steps to escape-proof your home. If it's a holiday like Halloween, consider putting a baby gate or other barrier between your pet and the door, especially if they're prone to bolting. Keep them calm with their favorite treats or games while the activity is going on. You could play music or run the TV in the background to distract them from the noises of children. Make sure escape routes, like windows, are closed. And finally, be sure to have your contact information up to date on their microchips and collars.
One of the best things you can do to keep your pet safe is to have them microchipped. Microchips are scannable tags placed just under the skin that contain your contact information, so that your pet may be returned to you if they are brought to a shelter or veterinary professional. Microchips are the last, and best, line of defense for you and your pet if they get lost. The Good Neighbor Vet clinic at Pets On Broadway does them for $18 every Sunday. It is a permanent way to make sure your pet is returned to you.
Collars and IDs
Putting a collar on your pet is an excellent way to have your, and your pet’s, information readily available to anyone that may rescue your lost pet. Having your pet’s name along with your address and phone number allows a rescuer to skip taking them to a vet or shelter and enables them to contact you directly. It also informs the rescuer that your pet has a loving home to return to.
Pictures and Posters
It is also wise to have a recent picture of your pet. If you want to put up posters about your lost pet, a recent picture will help identify it for anyone who may come across them. A recent picture is especially important if your pet has recently undergone a procedure of some kind, such as having an eye removed. Be sure your posters have as much details as it can for those who come across it. Even if you don't have a recent picture, having a picture that captures identifying characteristics, like certain patches of white or the color of the feet, will help rescuers in identifying your pet.
Social media is a wonderful tool for finding your lost pet. Most towns and cities have at least one Facebook group dedicated to lost and found animals. If your pet gets lost this coming Halloween, posting your recent picture on one of these local groups could help a great deal in locating your loved one. These groups are an invaluable resource for finding your lost pet.
Make It Smell Like Home
Many people believe that pets can smell their way home. If your pet slips out, you might have luck by setting their crate or bedding outside your door. You can also put clothing that smells like your or your home out there. The pet could smell it and cuddle up in this safe place, waiting for you to rescue them.