Have you ever come across those tragic missing pet posters? Ones offering rewards in hopes of a miracle appearance. Losing your pet is comparable to losing a loved one. It’s every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Statistically, 1 out of every 3 pets can end up lost or escape from home in their lifetime, according to the American Humane Association. Approximately 10 million dogs and cats end up lost every year. Unfortunately, only about 15.8% of dogs and 2% of cats that end up in shelters are reunited with their owners. It can be heartbreaking to know that the possibility of finding your Furry Friend can often be slim. In light of these statistics, July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month, Founded by PetHub and we believe it is important to highlight some simple, but beneficial ways to prevent a runaway pet emergency.
How Did My Pet-Friend Go Missing?
Generally, the first question is “How”. How does a pet go missing and how can we avoid it? In order to prevent losing your pet, the most important information you need is to know what are the most common causes pets escape. Often times, pets get lost because they aren’t aware of their surroundings, they become frightened of loud noises or worse case scenario– they’re stolen! Below are prevalent reasons why household pets end up missing:
Your pet may be attracted to new smells and distractions when it is in unfamiliar surroundings. During the transition period, take extra care to watch your pet’s behavior.
Access to Easy Escape Routes
Obviously, animals are natural explorers, so if there is a way to escape, they’ll definitely find it. Many pets escape their homes through unlocked gates and holes in fences. Some pet’s are super smart and know how to open doors. Making sure your doors are locked or secured in some way can be a great preventative measure for witty pets!
Fear of Loud Noises
As The Fourth of July approaches, it is imperative that we understand how to handle pets who have noise anxiety. This anxiety can stem from loud noises such as thunderstorms, big bangs or fireworks. It can be so shocking to your pets that they will run away to seek shelter in fear of danger! Statistics show that the Fourth of July has contributed to more lost dogs than any other day of the year!
Boredom or not enough stimuli
Dogs that are intelligent and energetic are highly inquisitive, as you know. They’re always up to something if left alone for too long, whether it’s opening doors, digging holes, or jumping over fences. Boredom and isolation appear to be the reason why many dogs start to engage in destructive activity, such as chewing. Naughty dogs may be outwardly destructive to get attention from their owners.
Innate Desire to Hunt
A number of breeds, especially hounds and pointers, are by nature more inclined to escape, making them more likely than other types of dogs to break their bonds. It may start off as a squirrel chase, but if there’s a will, there’s a way-out. To prevent your dog from running off in search of prey, make sure to properly secure them in your backyard.
Animal abduction is a serious concern for pet owners. An estimated 2 million pets are stolen every year. Pets often are stolen simply because of their breed, like purebreds and fighting dogs. Other times, it is because of interpersonal relationships like a break-up or a friend moving away.
Ways to Avoid a Lost Pet Emergency
Now that we understand the Pet Art of Escape– The best way to help decrease your pet’s risk of getting lost is preparation:
Knowing your pets’ mannerisms, recognizing escape points and being aware of their surroundings all have an impact on keeping your pet safe and sound.
Identification Tags Make a Difference
Pets that wear ID tags are significantly more likely to be returned to their owner. It’s also important to have the most up to date information regarding your pet’s origins on their ID tag. The Brevard Humane Society upholds a community program that utilizes our social media platforms to find lost pets in Brevard. We will compile name, description and contact information into a post that is sent to our social media accounts in hopes that a Local may have come across them. The community tends to come together in times of need– Especially Pet Parent’s!
Microchip and Pet Tracking
Microchipping your pets can be extremely beneficial for animal shelters to identify your pet if they get lost, loose from their collar or if their ID tag falls off. The Brevard Humane Society offers low cost microchipping and wellness appointments. We also try our best to offer microchipping for strays before they are adopted to ensure they don’t end up back on the streets. To microchip your pet, send us a Clinic Inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Keeping Your Pet Entertained
Keeping your dog stimulated will reduce the chances of them getting into trouble. Different breeds have different requirements, so the amount of exercise your pet needs will solely depend on their specific breed. For example, Mini Pinschers are highly energetic dogs. They are also big on destruction and if they don’t get enough attention- then destruction it is! You can prevent naughty pet ideas by making sure they have enough stimuli to be entertained. This can be with television, walks at the park and play time. Another great way to keep your pet’s entertained is lot’s of toys. At our Thrift Stores, we carry lightly used toys and supplies for pets.
Securing Yard Fencing
“Pet Parent 101”: ensuring that the bounds of your domain are secure and impenetrable can go a long way in making sure your pet doesn’t escape. It’s as easy as a small hole under the fence that will entice them to go for a dig. Of course, wooden fences will fare better than chain-link, but even securing the perimeter of your backyard with cement blocks can prevent unwanted digging. Also note, larger breeds can easily jump over certain types of fences. For most breeds, six feet should be sufficient, but many owners add extensions to make their fences taller. Keep an eye out for gaps in the fencing and be sure to fill in any holes.
Plan of Action to Alleviate Your Pet’s Anxiety
If your pet has anxiety towards loud noises, like fireworks or thunder, it’s imperative to know what to expect. The first step is recognizing signs of anxiety. Once you get a better idea on how your pets react to stress or anxiety, you can start building a plan of action on how to intervene if/when things go South. Just like people, many pets benefit from thunder blankets or CBD oils that are safe for pets.
Avoid Leaving Your Dog Alone Unsupervised
A huge reason why many pets go missing is when they are alone, frightened and unattended. If you have to tie up your dog outside of a store for a minute, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them or inquire with someone nearby to keep watch. If you leave for work and have to keep your dog kenneled or tied up in the backyard, look into hiring a Staycation home service like The Bed and Biscuit! This way, your pet is being entertained and cared for in a safe place.
For more information on Lost Pet Prevention, visit lostpetpreventionmonth.com Hosted by PetHub.