Preventing the loss of your dog or cat

Anyone who has had the experience of losing a pet will tell you that the experience is just devastating. Here are some quick tips to help avoid such a terrible event.

Make sure that all animals are spayed and neutered. Unneutered animals are much more likely to become lost.

Always keep a collar and ID tag on every animal. Most animals who disappear while wearing identification are returned home promptly. Most animals who disappear without identification are never returned.

Ask your veterinarian or local animal shelter about  microchip identification. A microchip is a small glass capsule, about the size of a grain of rice, which is injected under the skin. It is read by a special scanner that is used by many shelters and animal control facilities. A microchip is not a substitute for an ID tag – your neighbors, after all, don’t have one of those special scanners! But if an animal becomes lost and loses their collar and tag, the chip can still help get him or her home.

Keep dogs indoors when you’re not home. If you have a fenced yard, walk around the fence regularly to make sure it’s secure – with no holes under or through it, and with nothing next to the fence on which the dog might climb to jump over. When you’re with a dog outside of the yard, be sure s/he is securely on a leash. Finally, be sure to train the dog to come when called.

Keep cats indoors. If you want to construct an outdoor play area for a cat, make sure the area is completely enclosed on all sides and overhead. When you take the cat away from home, make sure s/he is securely contained in a box or carrier.