It is a dreaded thought that every pet owner has. What if I lose my pet? Unfortunately, even with the best care and preventive measures in place, a pet can still become lost.
So what should you do?
For starters, prevention is key!
The easiest and first thing you should do is purchase a collar and tag for your pet that has your phone number on it. If you change your number, don’t forget to update the tag! Your pet should wear this at all times. Cats can wear collars too, but make sure you purchase a break away collar for your cat, since they are more likely to snag themselves being the slinky little creatures they are! If the sound of tags clinking bothers you, there are small tag bags that most pet stores sell to cover the tags, protect them from fading, and will silence the clinking sound.
Have your pet micro chipped. Come and see us at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic to have your pet micro chipped, we can do this in a few short minutes without your pet needing to undergo any anesthetic or sedation.
Have your pet spayed or neutered (we recommend soon after they have turned 6 months old) to help inhibit their need to roam, also have them tattooed at the time of their surgery. A tattoo does not compare to the reliability of a micro chip for identification because they can fade or become difficult to read, however they are an excellent visual indicator that the pet does belong to someone and is not a stray (while a person cannot tell whether a pet has a micro chip unless they are scanned for one).
Teach your pets to sit and stay at open doors and wait for your permission to leave. This way you will be less likely to have a pet bolt out an open door at the first opportunity.
Regularly check window & door screens in the summer to make sure they are secure if you have your windows open. Also check the fence in your yard for possible holes or weaknesses your pet may be able to escape through.
You may have done everything right and still have a lost pet on your hands, what now?
Start looking for your missing pet as soon as you notice they are missing. The sooner you start searching, the closer to home they are likely to be. Bring along a noisy toy you know they like or some special treats. Call their name loudly and be sure to check all their favorite places and regular walking paths. If looking for a cat, a flashlight can be handy to bring along as well, often times cats will be very close by, under a deck or porch. Leave some food out on the front step to help entice them to come back as well.
Print posters with a recent photo of your pet, where you last saw them, when they went missing, and your contact information. Other information such as whether your pet was wearing a collar and has a tattoo or micro chip can also be helpful. Post these where ever you can! Call your local veterinary clinics (Chestermere Veterinary Clinic 403-272-3573), Calgary Humane Society (403-723-6025) and bylaw officer (Chestermere bylaw 403-207-7058) to report your pet missing. Use social media as well, by posting pictures on Facebook in high traffic groups from your local area, such as Chestermere Veterinary Clinic’s Facebook page. You can e-mail your poster to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can post it at the clinic.
You can also visit the website http://www.petlynx.net to report your pet missing. Any recent found reports that match yours will instantly be sent to you for review.
Don’t give up! We once recovered a cat that had been missing from the owners for 3 years! They went on to have a happy reunion!
What should you do if you find a lost pet?
If the pet is wearing a collar with a phone number, call that number first. If there is no collar, then just as above, call your local veterinary clinics, Calgary Humane Society and bylaw officer to report the pet. Bring the pet in to a veterinary clinic to be checked for a tattoo and microchip. If you are unable to hold on to the pet until the owner is found, you will need to bring the pet to the Calgary Humane Society. The Chestermere bylaw officer can also take dogs.
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Chestermere Veterinary Clinic 403-272-3573.