Did you know that 1 out of 3 pets go missing every year? Losing your beloved pet can be heartbreaking, but with the appropriate precautions and awareness, you can minimize that.
July is a special month for pet owners that reminds us of the importance of keeping our beloved furry friends safe and preventing them from going astray.
Ensure proper identification, secure home and yard, supervise outdoor time, train and socialize pets, and use caution during celebrations to prevent pets from escaping and getting lost.
Read on to learn about the significance of National Lost Pet Prevention Month and delve into practical measures that can help safeguard our cherished companions.
History and Significance of National Lost Pet Prevention Month
PetHub started Lost Pet Prevention Month in July 2014 to encourage a deeper conversation on the many aspects of keeping pets safe at home with their family due to the high frequency of missing pets this time of year.
According to statistics from the American Humane Association, over 10 million pets go missing yearly in the United States.
Various factors contribute to these incidents, such as open doors or gates, loud noises, unfamiliar surroundings, or even accidental escapes during outdoor activities.
Additionally, during festivities like Independence Day, the risk of pets getting scared by fireworks and running away is significantly heightened.
National Lost Pet Prevention Month aims to address these concerns and create awareness about the steps to prevent such heart-wrenching situations.
Proven Tips to Prevent Pets from Getting Lost
Here are five proven tips to keep your pet safe and secure.
- Ensuring Proper Identification
Ensuring accurate verification for pets is crucial in preventing them from getting lost.
The probability of finding a missing pet increases with proper identification, such as microchipping and ID tags.
Moreover, clear identification with updated contact information allows finders to contact the owner promptly, increasing the likelihood of a safe return.
Tips to Ensure Pet Identification
- Microchip your pet and keep contact information updated.
- Use collars with visible ID tags, including your name and phone number.
- Consider adding your address to the ID tag if possible.
- Explore GPS trackers for real-time location updates.
- Keep clear photos of your pet for identification purposes.
- Maintain up-to-date veterinary records.
- Enroll in a pet recovery service for additional support.
- Regularly check and replace worn-out ID tags.
- Inform neighbors and local shelters about your pet.
- Use clear, durable tags with accurate information.
- Secure Your Home and Yard
Securing a home and yard is necessary to prevent pets from getting lost, as it creates a safe environment and reduces the risk of escape.
Almost 20% of lost dogs escaped from an open gate or door, highlighting the importance of securing homes and yards to prevent pet escapes.
Securing your home and yard with solid fences, gates, and closed windows and doors reduces the risk of pets escaping or wandering off.
You can prevent accidental escapes and keep your pets safe by securing fences, gates, and potential escape routes, such as fixing loose boards or gaps and using pet-proof screens.
Things to Consider While Securing Home and Yard
- Secure all fences and gates to prevent your pet from escaping.
- Check for any gaps in the fence and patch them up.
- Use pet-proof latches and locks on gates to ensure they stay closed.
- Remove potential escape routes, such as loose boards or gaps under fences.
- Supervising your pet while they are outside will help prevent them from wandering off.
- Consider installing a pet-friendly barrier or gate around hazardous areas.
- Remove or secure any toxic plants, chemicals, or substances that could harm your pet.
- Keep doors and windows closed or use pet-proof screens to prevent accidental escapes.
- Provide proper exercise and mental stimulation to reduce the likelihood of your pet trying to escape from boredom.
- Consider using a leash or harness to prevent them from running away.
- Supervise Outdoor Time
Supervising outdoor time is necessary to prevent pets from getting lost, as it allows for immediate intervention if they attempt to wander or escape.
According to research by the ASPCA, approximately 14% of lost dogs were lost during off-leash outdoor activities.
Watchful supervision during outdoor time is vital in keeping pets safe. By closely monitoring them, you can prevent them from getting lost or encountering dangers.
Moreover, be cautious when opening doors or gates, ensuring your pet cannot slip past you unnoticed.
Things to Consider While Taking Your Pet Outside
- Check the environment for potential hazards, such as toxic plants, sharp objects, or small spaces where your pet can get stuck.
- Secure your yard with proper fencing to prevent your pet from escaping.
- Create designated play areas within your yard where your pet can safely enjoy outdoor time.
- Provide shade and shelter to protect your pet from extreme weather conditions.
- Avoid crowded or busy areas where your pet may become overwhelmed or easily frightened.
- Keep a close eye on your pet’s interactions with other animals, ensuring they are safe and friendly.
- When venturing outside with your pet, carry necessary supplies, such as poop bags, water, and treats.
- Consider using a muzzle if your pet tends to be aggressive or unpredictable around strangers or other animals.
- Train and Socialize Your Pet
Training and socializing pets are necessary to prevent them from getting lost as it promotes good behavior, responsiveness to commands and reduces anxiety.
Well-trained pets are more likely to stay near their owners, respond to recall commands, and exhibit less fearful or reactive behavior, minimizing the risk of them running away or getting lost in unfamiliar situations.
Tips for Training and Socializing Pet
- Train your pet with positive reinforcement and teach basic commands.
- Start training early and socialize with other animals and people.
- Use positive reinforcement to reward desired behaviors.
- Teach basic commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it.
- Gradually expose your pet to new environments, people, and animals.
- Encourage social interactions with well-behaved animals.
- Desensitize your pet to fears and anxieties through gradual exposure.
- Practice recall for reliable obedience outdoors.
- Maintain consistency in training and socialization.
- Use desensitization and seek professional help if necessary.
- Use Caution during Celebrations and Fireworks
Using caution during celebrations and fireworks is necessary to prevent pets from getting lost, as loud noises and festivities can cause them to panic and escape.
According to animal control officials, the number of lost pets yearly increases by July.
During festive and holiday occasions, loud fireworks and celebrations can distress pets and cause them to flee.
Keeping your pets indoors in a safe, quiet area and providing comforting items like familiar toys, bedding, or calming pheromone diffusers to help alleviate anxiety.
Alternatively, consult your veterinarian about anxiety-reducing medications or natural remedies.
Things to Consider during Celebrations and Fireworks
- Create a safe and quiet area where your pet can feel secure and comfortable.
- Closing windows, curtains, and blinds to minimize noise and visual stimuli will be helpful.
- Provide familiar items like toys, bedding, or clothing with your scent to offer comfort.
- Consider using calming pheromone diffusers or sprays to help reduce anxiety.
- Play soft background music or use white noise machines to help mask the sound of fireworks.
- Stay with your pet to provide reassurance and comfort during loud events.
- Ensure your pet wears proper identification, including a collar with up-to-date tags, in case they escape.
- Be prepared with a recent photo of your pet if you need to create a poster to share with local shelters or online communities.
National Lost Pet Prevention Month in July encourages us to prioritize our pets’ safety by ensuring proper identification, securing our homes, supervising outdoor time, training and socializing them, and using caution during celebrations.
Let’s contribute to a safer environment for our pets, create a loving environment, and cherish every moment with our beloved companions.
Together, we can prevent the heartache of a lost pet and celebrate the joy of their presence in our lives.
Stay connected with Urban Pet Supply, a certified veterinarian and behaviorist in Urbandale, to discover invaluable tips to safeguard your beloved pets during this lost pet prevention month.