Know this… a portion of this post includes mention of PetHub, creator of Lost Pet Prevention Month. I am a member on this company’s Board of Directors, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”!
Did you know that July 4th and the days surrounding it are the busiest days of the year for animal shelters taking in lost pets? Why is that? It’s because the fireworks and festivities that pet parents enjoy so much can sometimes be a little traumatic for the four-legged members of the family. Many dogs and cats, startled and spooked by the noise of fireworks or the commotion of backyard parties, make their escape and become lost.
Sadly, of lost pets that end up in shelters, fewer than 2% of cats and only 15-20% of dogs find their way back home. Scary, isn’t it? Because of the number of pets that get lost this time of year, PetHub has designated the month of July as “Lost Pet Prevention Month” and has created a fur-bulous resource with useful information for pet parents.
The key to getting a lost pet home safely and quickly is prevention. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pet safe this Fourth of July.
4 Important Ways to Prevent Lost Pets
1. Plan ahead. If your pet is usually bothered by loud noises like thunderstorms, then you can expect the same reaction to fireworks. Even if you haven’t noticed any signs of noise anxiety, you should still plan out your day with your pet in mind. Decide ahead of time where your pets will be during any pool parties or backyard barbecues, make definite plans to avoid giving them opportunities to take off, and try to control or eliminate anything that might cause them anxiety. If you leave the house for a big fireworks display, make sure that your pets are safely inside while you’re gone and that any doors, windows, or pet doors are secured and escape-proof.
2. Check ID tags. When pets go missing, external ID tags are the most reliable way to get them home quickly–especially digital ID tags (see more on this below). Make sure that your pets’ tags are easily readable and that the information on them is up to date.
3. Make sure your pets’ microchips are up to date. If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your vet to have your pets microchipped. Even if your pets already have microchips, it’s still important to have your vet check them every year to make sure that the information is still current and that they haven’t migrated to a different part of the pet’s body, making scanning difficult.
You can go one step further and add a digital ID tag. My dog, Chilly, wears one from PetHub. The thing I love about this tag is that it comes with a free online profile where I can list as many contact names and numbers as I want as well as anything else (vet, pet sitter info) that is important. After all, if my dog goes missing, I want the good samaritan who finds him to have access to all kinds of information so that I can get him home fast! PetHub’s tags have a scannable QR code as well as a phone number and a web address that can be used to access a pet’s profile.
4. Keep dogs and cats indoors. During the days before and following the Fourth of July, it’s a good idea to keep pets indoors. After all, even if you haven’t planned to light off any fireworks, you never know when an impromptu display might occur down the street! If you do allow your pets outside, they should be in a securely fenced in yard or on a leash. When you go out for walks, you should keep dogs leashed at all times, even those who are usually controlled by voice command. Loud, unexpected noises could cause even well-trained dogs to forget their training and bolt.
Keep these tips for preventing lost pets in mind, and the Fourth of July can be a fun, safe experience for the whole family!
Additional summer pet safety tips, particularly those about lost pet prevention can be found at www.lostpetprevention.com.
I’m a passionate brand advocate and Board member for PetHub digital pet ID tags. Why? Because I believe they get lost pets home faster than any other means of ID. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen