Let’s face it – losing your pet is one of the biggest nightmares for every pet owner. Although the thought of losing your pet may frighten you more than anything else, the fact remains that it is something you need to prepare for. Here are some tips for you to use when you need to find your lost pet.
What to do when you can’t find your pet
If you can’t find your pet where your pet is supposed to be, there are a number of steps you should take to find them in time. Remember, being quick is key, and you should try not to lose when you start the process of looking for your pet.
Check your home thoroughly
Sometimes, pets find a way of hiding out inside the home. This can mean they’ll find comfortable spots to sleep in, for example, that you would never think to look in. This is why the first step is to look through every nook and cranny of your home. If you still can’t find them, try calling them by their name, or shaking their food tray. More often than not, if your pet is at home, they’ll come running towards you at once.
Look through the neighbourhood
If your pet still isn’t located, you’re going to have to look outside the home. It is best to carry a recent picture of your pet, and go out either on foot or in your car and look around – carefully check under cars, bushes, and even in your neighbour’s lawns. It is also a good idea to ask your neighbours if they have seen your pet or if they noticed him or she leaves your home and also request them to look out for the animal in case they have seen it.
Contact shelters and hospitals
If you live in a place where there are shelters and hospitals nearby, the next step for you should be to call them up and inquire if any animal that looks like your pet has been brought in. Don’t waste time on this step – some shelters euthanize animals as soon as 72 hours after they are brought in. A good idea is to visit the shelter yourself and check for your pet.
Use social media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are valuable resources using which you can reach a large number of people. There are several groups on these sites where you can look for your lost pet. How it works is this – if someone finds an unattended animal, they usually foster it, while they post pictures online. If you think that animal is your pet you can contact them with the required information and get them back.
Make flyers with rewards
The next thing for you to do is to make flyers. We live in a technological age, but still, nothing makes people pay attention better than flyers. Use an image of your pet that is clear, and makes your pet look distinctive and easy to recognize. You can also put up a reward, which will act as a motivation for people to find the pet.
In addition, it’s a good idea to make the reward slightly larger in sum than the amount someone would get by selling the animal to pet stores or other people. This will motivate anyone who might even be interested in selling to contact you instead. To avoid scams, don’t mention any one particular identification on your pet, that you can use to sort out the people who come to you.
In addition the list of steps given above, there are other things you can do to get your pet to come back home. Look around for the pet at night, for one. Dogs, for example, get scared when they are lost and usually hide during the day. The night time is a good time as he or she may be out and about looking for you.
For cats, one quick tip is to leave the cat’s litter box outside the door and wait. Chances are, if your cat drifted outside on their own, they will want to come back to the comfort of their litter box when they need to relieve themselves.
Don’t lose hope
Usually, these things take time. You need to wait and let people reach out to you, and not lose your motivation. Once you’ve done all these things, there is nothing else you can do but wait, and most times, these methods will work.
How to prevent losing your pet
Although sometimes it may be unavoidable, there are certain preventative measures you can take to avoid losing your pet or to be able to get them back safely if you do.
Avoiding running away
Sometimes, pets tend to run away from home, either because they get scared and there is a route to leave, or if they are curious and get lost on the way back home. To prevent this, you can take certain measures for indoor pets.
- Always keep the doors and windows closed.
- If you have fences, make sure they are locked.
- Do not keep pets in unattended cars alone.
- Keep your dogs on leashes when you take them out for walks.
- Keep pets preoccupied and happy at home.
One of the best ways of making sure your pet can make his or her way back to you if they get lost is through collar tags. These are tags that you place on your pets’ collar and contain information about your address and your home number. It is often recommended that the tag is placed in a way that a stranger doesn’t have to reach too close to your pet to find it.
This is because some strangers may be afraid to look for tags under a pet’s chin. Make sure that the tag contains at least two functional telephone numbers that can be used to contact you in the case that your pet gets lost.
Another way to find lost pets is to get them microchipped. These are implants that are placed under your pet’s skin. When these chips send out signals, you can use them to locate your pet. You then can use a scanner to look for your pet and provide the updated contact information so you can be called about your missing pet.
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What to do when you find your pet
When you find your pet after it being lost for some time, you will need to consider some things about his or her recovery. The first thing you need to do is to check them to see if they have been harmed in any way. Whether you see any physical harm or not, you should definitely take them to a vet so they can be properly examined.
After that, all your pet will need is a lot of care, love, and attention. Most probably, the past few days or hours were a frightening experience for them, and so they will need all the attention they can get from you as they recover. Remember, most pets are returned within a day or two of them being lost, and most times they’ll make their way back to you eventually.