In July we acknowledge Lost Pet Prevention Month as a means to build awareness for pet owners. It is the month that kicks off with the highest number of lost pets of the year: beginning with frightened animals escaping due to firework celebrations and continuing with pets that become lost during vacations, unpredictable hurricane weather, or wandering out while their owners are away. Lost pet prevention starts with pet owners understanding their pets and then learning how to keep their pets safely in their homes or on location. According to Pet Hub, 10 million pets are lost every year, so in 2014 they began this month of education. Below are seven tips to keep your pet from becoming a statistic.
Use positive reinforcement as your training tool. Don’t punish pets when they run away, but rather praise them for listening and for coming when they are called. Spend extra time training your dog during these months in order to increase the possibility of them responding to you during stressful times.
Keep your dogs on a leash or lead during outdoor activities. Even if they are responsive off-leash pets, their need to flee during explosive fireworks cannot be predicted.
Make sure the fencing around your yard is secure. Do a walk-around and check for areas that may be loose or areas of the ground that have been dug into.
Throwing a party? Inform your guests of all of your pets and their locations. Put large signs on doors where pets might be confined. Often guests leave doors open which provides an opportunity for a frightened pet to bolt.
Learn to recognize when your pet is having anxiety and foster ways to alleviate stress when possible. Provide a safe space for them to isolate within. (Learn about dog anxiety here and how to help.)
Traveling with your pet? Keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign out on your hotel door when your pet is loose. Schedule services when you can be present so you can keep your pet contained, or remove it from the room to reduce pet stress.
Microchip your pet and keep the information up to date. A part of being a responsible guardian is assuring that you can be located when they are found. With approximately 8,000 microchipped pets being returned to their homes each year, this simple procedure might just be the cause of a happy reunion!
Check out Pet Hub's site for weekly updates on how to further prevent pet loss.