July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month, a time to focus on keeping our furry friends safe and sound. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), an estimated 10 million pets go missing each year in the United States. Of those, only about 1 in 10 are ever reunited with their owners.
There are a number of things that pet owners can do to help prevent their pets from getting lost.
Here are a few tips:
- Get your pet microchipped. A microchip is a small, electronic device that is implanted under your pet’s skin. It contains a unique identification number that can be scanned by animal shelters and veterinarians. If your pet is lost, a scanner can be used to identify them and reunite them with you.
- Put a collar and ID tags on your pet. The collar should be fitted snugly so that it cannot be easily removed, and the ID tags should include your pet’s name, your contact information, and any other relevant information, such as your pet’s microchip number.
- Keep your pet on a leash when you are outside. This is especially important in areas where there are a lot of people and traffic. A leash will help to keep your pet safe and prevent them from running away.
- Close gates and doors when you are not home. Even if you are just going out for a few minutes, it is important to make sure that all gates and doors are closed so that your pet cannot escape.
- Supervise your pet closely. When you are playing with your pet or taking them for a walk, be sure to supervise them closely. This will help to prevent them from getting into trouble or running away.
- Teach your pet basic commands. Commands like “come” and “stay” can be very helpful in preventing your pet from getting lost. If your pet knows these commands, you will be more likely to be able to get them back if they do happen to run away.
- Be extra careful around loud noises. Loud noises can startle pets and make them run away. If you are going to be around loud noises, such as fireworks or construction, be sure to keep your pet close by and under control.
- Register your pet with a national lost pet registry. There are a number of national lost pet registries that can help you to get your pet back if they are lost. These registries will keep your pet’s information on file and make it available to animal shelters and veterinarians nationwide.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your pet safe and prevent them from getting lost. If your pet does happen to get lost, be sure to report them to your local animal shelter and post a flyer with their picture in your neighborhood. You can also check the websites of national lost pet registries to see if your pet has been found.