What to Do When You Lose Your Pet

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A lost pet is one of the biggest nightmares for a cat or dog owner (and some other animals too). It can be hard to control the worry when your pet runs off or fails to return home so today we’re taking a look at this difficult time so if the worst happens, you know what to do.

Contact Details

It’s important people can connect your pet with you when it’s found. To that end, you need your contact to be in several important places:

  • On your pet

Not all cats will wear a collar, especially if they’ve not been accustomed to it from early in life, but many will, and so will dogs. If your pet has a collar then it’s visibly marked out as someone’s pet, rather than a stray, and you can also include your contact details on a metal disc on the collar.

  • In Your Pet

You’re legally obliged to get your dog microchipped, and it’s a very good idea to have your cat microchipped too. The microchip can be scanned when your lost pet makes its way to vet, and as long as you keep the database updated if you move house or change phone number, then you can be reunited!

  • At The Vet

While you can often talk to a vet online free, there is still a lot of value in being registered at your local veterinary surgery. As the centre of the local pet owning community, it’s one of the places where news about lost pets will naturally pool, and it may well be where your pet is taken when it’s been found. If you’re on their books, it’ll be easier for them to reach you as quickly as possible.

Poster Campaigns and Social Media

Putting posters up around your local neighbourhood and posting on social media can help to raise people’s awareness of your lost pet, encourage them to check garages and sheds and ensure they know what it looks like, in case it crosses their path.

Make sure you have some clear photos of your pet showing distinctive markings for posters and for social media – if you don’t have anything that would be useful, take some now!

The Search

It’s well worth your time to go out and look for your missing pet. Knock on neighbours doors, ask them to check gardens, sheds and garages: it’s not unknown for cats to explore these tempting spaces and get stuck. If your dog runs away in the park, search the area and ask people in the vicinity: regular park goers may be able to help.

It’s also worth checking your previous homes: If you’ve moved house recently, a pet cat may simply be trying to return home and find its previous territory: ask the new owners to keep an eye out and you may be reunited sooner rather than later.