\\\ Missing Pets
\\\ Updated September 2021
Why Does My Pet Go Missing?
Best Ways To Secure Your Pet
What To Do When Your Pet Goes Missing
Best Tips To Speed Up Your Pets Return
\\\ Why Pets Go Missing
Why Do Pets Go Missing?
Thousands of pets go missing each year, straying off of their own accord or worse, 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 suddenly bolting and running off when in large parks, 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.
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 for many reasons.
There can be sometimes behavioural issues that sometimes are to blame, a pet acting out of character.
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.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s summer or winter, disappearance can happen at any time, and often without the owner knowing the reason.
If your pet goes missing its crucial to act swiftly to see if you can find it.
\\\ Keep pets secure
Keeping Your Dog Secure
Trying to make your home and garden more secure is really important in the battle against pet theft or your dog going missing without any trace.
Garden fencing – Winter may have damaged fencing and this needs to be repaired before allowing dogs out to roam more freely in better weather. If your garden is large, it’s a good idea to check all fencing, and ensure there are no weak areas where a dog could escape, including the height of fencing.
Garden gates – Front access gates need to be kept firmly closed with secure locks, bolts top and bottom. Other gates with a heavy-duty padlock and gate alarm.
Driveway alarms – Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any intruders, these can also be used in rear gardens and yards
Unattended pets – just don’t do it. If your pet is in the garden, keep a watchful eye.
ID Tag – This is required by law and should be worn on a dog collar at all times, even when your pet is in the garden, in case they escape and can be returned by the finder.
Microchipped – Get your dog microchipped, as required by law, and keep details up to date. If your pet goes missing from your garden, you stand a good chance they may have strayed off and can be found through the microchip being read at a local vet’s surgery or by a dog warden.
Tracking devices – GPS pet activity tracking devices can be incredibly useful for those pets that like to roam freely. More sophisticated and reliable than ever, easy to use and lightweight for the pet to wear. Can include cats and even more exotic pets particularly if they are frequent destination travellers abroad.
Other measures when dog walking include –
- Keeping dogs in sight at all times on walks.
- Train your dog to be very responsive to your commands. Don’t let them off leads if they are.
- Buy good fitting dog collars that can’t be easily pulled over the head (likewise, not too tight, they could throttle your pet). This is particularly difficult with puppies as owners tend to buy larger to allow for growth which can be looser.
- Don’t leave your dog tied up when popping into shops or in the car unattended.
- Get your pet spayed or neutered to stop pet urges to run off to find a mate.
- Check carefully when employing a new dog walker, check their background, references, and see and retain a copy of their DBS check.
- Subscribe to a GPS pet activity tracker service.
- Posting no pictures of your home with your dog on social media sites.
\\\ Best tips
New Surroundings Bring New Pet Problems
Tips for pets on staycations – holidays – weekend breaks – 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.
- If on walks, make sure they do not disturb the local wildlife habitat whether near home or in new locations.
- 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.
HOLIDAY ADVICE – 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.
\\\ Finding your pet
Best Tips To Find Your Missing Cats And Dogs
- Access the latest and best picture of your pet, have ready to provide to pet lost agencies with the type of breed, colour, specific markings, age.
- Contact the microchip company if your cat or dog is microchipped and log it’s disappearance making sure your contact details are 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. Cats do like to roam freely and can find retreats in all kinds of outbuildings.
- 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
- Many owners now report their pet loss with their local police force. Some areas of the UK operated forces with dedicated pet theft teams.
REPORT YOUR LOST DOG NOW
IT’S A FREE HELP SERVICE
\\\ Pet Activity Tracking
GPS pet activity tracking devices
Using GPS pet activity 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
You can also share the dog walking experience with a friend or partner who may be at home whilst you are out dog walking. This can add an additional layer of security to walking activities.
GPS pet activity trackers can also be programmed by adding ‘a fence’, a boundary, so that when the tracker on the dog collar is caught by GPS, going outside of that boundary, you are immediate made aware through your phone and can take action.
GPS activity trackers are essential items for those pets that like to freely roam, now modestly priced and with increased reliability.
Cats roam as they are known as feral animals, and can be harder to prevent their disappearing. Cats can wear the lighter weight GPS pet activity trackers on their collars. However, if cats 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.
READ PET CHECK’S LONGER PET THEFT FEATURE
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