What Do I Do If My Pet Goes Missing?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, dog,

\\\ Missing Pets

Best Tips To Speed Up Your Pets Return

Thousands of pets go missing each year, straying off of their own accord or taken from the streets.

It’s heartbreaking to owners when their beloved pet disappears for no reason at all.

There are stories of dogs jumping out of car windows when travelling along, dogs running off when in large parks and not being found by owners and wardens, escaping out of the home jumping out of windows for no apparent reason, or unhappiness when a new pet arrives in the home.

Cats disappear out of the cat flap to never return back home. Even hamsters escaping from cages whilst the owners back is turned, with the door open, whilst cleaning it out and never to be seen again!

There can be sometimes behavioural issues that are to blame, a pet acting out of character.

Moving to a new area and house can bring it’s problems, especially for cats marking out new territory and dogs simply not happy in their new environment.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, disappearance can happen at any time. 

If your pet goes missing its crucial to act swiftly to see if you can find it.

8 tips for a speedy pet return

  • Contact the microchip company if your pet is microchipped and log it’s disappearance making sure your contact details are also up to date.
  • Check cupboards, backs of kitchen appliances, under beds, in washing machine or dryer, garden sheds, any likely place the pet may try and seek shelter in and ask your neighbours to do the same.
  • Retrace the last steps of your pet, if they are known, and then contact local welfare animal organisations.
  • Report your pet missing to the local council, recording it on their website and to the local council warden. If someone finds a stray pet they can also use this local facility to record their pet find and help to reunite pet and owner.
  • Putting up local signs, along streets, with a recent picture and a contact detail can help, sometimes offering a reward an added incentive. 
  • Checking with local vets if any similar pet has recently been treated.
  • Use social media, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, to engage readers to help find your pet.
  • Contact the local Cats Protection on 03000 121212 to report your cat lost.  

Check your insurance policy as some policies allow rewards and advertising to be covered in the insurance policy.

If you’re away on holiday, visiting friends for a few days, or out for the day take extra care in watching your pet, especially when letting a dog off the lead in new surroundings is essential. 

9 tips – pets on holiday and new surroundings

  • Dogs in new surroundings like to take time to sniff out new areas. They may try to wander off so be on guard, making sure they do not disturb the local wildlife habitat. 
  • Sometimes, they will not return to your whistles and calls, preferring to explore new smells and the local wildlife activity. Make sure you keep them in your view at all times and have treats to encourage them back. If they are not responding, then put them back onto a long line dog lead. 
  • Follow all signs when dog walking, including those on beaches and cliff tops, dogs wandering on their own do not realise they can fall off cliff tops very easily.
  • If walking near livestock, keep your dog on the lead. A dog wandering off on it’s own can cause a stampede. Livestock can feel very threatened by the presence of a dog and can become aggressive. Dogs can also bolt, running off and difficult to find.
  • Farmers use electrical fences and these can provide a nasty shock to a dog, who may bolt and runoff.
  • Don’t let your dog scavenge on beaches wandering off on it’s own as there may be sharp objects lying around, may disappear out of site, nursing their injury.
  • Water is dangerous to humans and dogs, especially fast-flowing rivers and seas. Pets can easily get lost being swept out to sea in strong currents. Watch your pet at all times. 
  • Pond and lake water can hold all kinds of unwanted bacteria that will upset your pet if they drink, and they may become so ill they may not return to your calls and whistles. Stagnant water can kill dogs. They may wander off and find a secluded place to lie down.
  • For safety – do not leave your dog in a parked vehicle whilst you enjoy a walk. 

GPS tracking devices

Using GPS tracking devices have become more popular, and sophisticated, allowing you to locate your pet within 1-2 metre distance of their position when wearing a tracker on their collar. These can be essential items for those pets that like to freely roam, now modestly priced. 

Cats roam as they are known as feral animals and can be harder to prevent their disappearing. Cats can wear the lighter weight trackers too, on their collars. However, if they are happy and content with regular daily food and water, warm home, content with other pets living alongside them, and have their own designated sanctuary, which appeals to the majority of cats, then it is unlikely they will disappear of their own accord. 

Some cats can disappear for days and return, some for weeks, and some unfortunately never re-appear. 

Those cats that are house bound, may try to escape when the front or back door is opened, or open window, if discontented or just want to experience what the locality has to offer.

There are stories of cats and dogs returning to homes after a period of years or returning to previous addresses if they had recently moved. 

Explore all possibilities if your pet goes missing and if a friend’s pet goes missing, do share this post with them. Best of Luck.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, dog,

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