Microchipping and 3 Other Actions You Can Take, So Your Pet Never Gets Lost
As a pet owner, there’s no worse feeling than walking outside to check on your pet and realizing it’s missing. By taking the necessary precautions, you’ll never have to experience that horrible realization.
Here’s how to ensure your pet never gets lost!
1. Outfit your pet with a collar and tag.
Whether Fido is lazing around in your backyard or playing with his friends at the Katy Dog Park, you always need to make sure he is wearing his collar and tag. Not only will this help to make sure your dog is returned to you if he does get out of sight, it’s also the law.
On the dog tag, you’ll want to include:
- Your name
- Your address
- Your phone number
- Proof that your dog has been vaccinated for rabies
A lot of people include their dog’s name on their collar, but this might not be the best idea. Dog theft is a growing problem, especially of rarer breeds. If a potential dog thief knows your pup’s name, it can be easier for them to get your dog to follow them.
A collar or harness with a unique color or design is also a great idea. This will make your pet significantly easier to identify if it does get lost. It’s much easier to single out a dog in a pink-and-purple striped collar with rhinestones than a plain black one!
While it seems more obvious to outfit a dog with a collar and tags, they’re important for cats too, especially if Fluffly wanders around outside on her own.
2. Embrace technology by microchipping.
Microchipping your pet is a MUST if you want to keep it safe and ensure that it never gets lost. Think of a microchip as your pet’s 9-1-1 call if it ever finds itself in a strange place, away from you.
A microchip is about the same size as a grain of rice, and it’s a quick and painless procedure to have it inserted under the animal’s skin. It’s placed in your pet’s back between its shoulder blades. The material of the microchip is harmless to your pet, and tissue will actually start growing around the chip about a day after insertion.
Once it’s inserted under your pet’s skin, your vet will scan the microchip and link it to your personal information. This process can take a few days to register with the identification system, so be extra careful to keep close tabs on your pet while your microchip registration is being processed. Once you’re in the system, all you have to do is keep your vet up-to-date with any new contact information.
The first thing that just about every shelter, vet’s office, and animal control office does when they find a lost animal is scan it for a microchip. It’s like your pet’s “get out of jail free” card; as soon as they run the microchip, they’ll call you right away, so you can bring your furry friend home.
3. Introduce your neighbors to your pet.
The vast majority of pets who get lost don’t actually go very far. The place that your pet is most likely to get turned around is right in your own neighborhood. Getting your neighbors acquainted with your pets will ensure that if they wander out of your yard and into a neighbor’s, they’ll be back on the right side of the fence in no time.
Make sure that all of your neighbors know your pet’s name, what it looks like, and any other information that might help to identify it. You might even go the extra mile and introduce your pet to all of your neighbors. If it gets lost and then found by a neighbor, your pet will already be familiar and comfortable with them.
4. Fence-in your yard.
If you don’t want your pet to get lost, one fairly obvious fix is to make it a bit more difficult for your furry friend to wander off. A great way to do this is to fence your yard.
Depending on the size of your yard, the size of your pet, and your budget, you have a few different options.
Wooden fences are an attractive option if you have a larger pet that can easily jump over other types of fences. They can be built up to six or seven feet high, depending on your property. That’s tall enough to keep even the largest animals from clearing the top.
Be mindful that there’s a certain amount of upkeep associated with wooden fences. Just like any wood paneling or furniture, you’ll need to keep up with maintenance to prevent peeling or rotting.
Chain-link fences are an easier-to-maintain alternative to wooden fences. They typically consist of a number of posts spread around the perimeter of your lawn, connected by chain links made with durable wire.
A chain link fence is significantly easier to maintain than a wooden fence. It’s also incredibly durable, so you won’t have to worry about your pet (or the elements) damaging your investment.
Electric fences are a great option if a physical fence won’t work on your property. An electric wire is installed underground. The place where the wire is installed creates the boundary of the “fence.” The electric wire transmits signals to a collar on your pet. If your pet gets too close to the border, the collar starts to beep. If the pet continues towards the border, the fence sends a mild electric shock to your pet, deterring it from getting any closer.
Keep in mind, this is a MILD electric shock. It’s not enough to do any harm to your pet. After getting “buzzed” a few times, your pet will learn the natural limits of the electric fence and won’t approach the borders anymore.
What if your pet does get lost?
If even after taking the necessary precautions, your pet gets lost, don’t panic. Stay calm, and alert Katy Animal Control (or the animal control nearest you) immediately. Let them know that your pet is missing. Then give them:
- A full description
- The last place someone saw your pet
- Any medical issues your pet has
- Any other helpful information to assist them in locating your four-legged friend
If your pet is tagged and microchipped, you should have it back in no time!
The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital
Latest posts by The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital (see all)
- Show Your Love by Keeping Your Pets Safe on Valentine’s Day - January 15, 2020
- 7 Foods Cats Can’t Eat - December 28, 2019
- 6+ Human Foods That Are Safe to Share with Cats - December 28, 2019