Growing up with pets is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn how to take care of other living things, how to nurture other creatures, and how to appreciate all forms of life. On top of that, owning a dog or cat could even help reduce the odds that your child will develop allergies, and pets can also work wonders in helping you reduce your stress level and improving your cardiovascular health. So, it should come as no surprise that losing a pet can be devastating. But if this happens to you, try not to lose hope. Below are a few strategies that you can employ if your pet ever goes missing so that you can hopefully be reunited before you know it.
Take Precautions Before the Worst Happens
Before diving into what you should do if you ever lose your pet, it is important to cover some things that you can do beforehand to make the process of locating your furry friend easier if he does ever lose his way. If you own a cat or a dog, you can put a collar around his neck, along with a tag that contains your contact information. In this way, if he is found, a kind person can simply call you and tell you where your pet is. Microchipping your pet is a bit controversial for some pet owners, but it can really save your pet’s life if he gets lost and ends up at an animal shelter. The scary truth is that some shelters will euthanize lost pets that are not claimed right away, but if they scan your pet for a microchip, they can contact you and tell you that your pet has been found. And, finally, you can also invest in one of the best dog GPS collar products on the market in order to effectively track your pet’s movements when he gets away from you.
Start Posting Flyers Around Town
Posting flyers around town is a good way to alert your neighbors and your community about the fact that your pet has gone missing. Make a lot of copies and make sure that a photo of your pet is clearly placed in the middle of the flyer. Post these to community bulletin boards and on poles around town. You can include a short description of your pet, such as his coat color and pattern, breed, size, and gender. And you should also put the words “Lost Pet” in large letters at the top so that people will be able to see it from afar. You want your flyers to be eye-catching and easy to read, and you need to include your contact information so that people can call you if they find your companion.
Let the Online Community Know About Your Lost Pet
In addition to posting flyers locally, you can also post about your lost pet online. Perform a search for websites that provide resources for pet parents who have lost their pets. You might be able to post to message boards, Facebook groups, and rescue websites to let even more people know that you need them to keep an eye out for your pet.
Contact Local Shelters and Rescue Groups
Go online and perform a search for all of the rescue networks, animal control companies, foster networks, and shelters in your area. Contact all of them and let them know about your lost pet. They can write down a description of your pet and contact you if an animal that fits that description is brought into their rescue or found by one of their volunteers. You can also visit the shelters yourself to see if your pet is there, and you can leave flyers there as well for people to post and take with them. Don’t forget to also check shelters’ websites to see if a photo of your pet has been posted if he was found and put up for adoption. You just never know, and it is not worth taking any chances. Be diligent about checking in with shelters regularly.
Go Out and Search Through the Neighborhood
Head outside and search for your pet by calling him by name, looking into neighbors’ yards with their permission, and asking your neighbors to check their crawlspaces, sheds, basements, garages, etc. Your pet may have made his way into a neighbor’s property and may be stuck in there, afraid to show himself when they open the door, so it is important to alert your friends and neighbors about this possibility.
Leave Food Out
Leaving food outside in your backyard or near your front door could also be a good way for your pet to find his way back home. He might pick up on the scent of the food, and that could be just what he needs to realize that he is home and safe. You can even leave out an item from inside your home, such as a pet bed, blanket, or toy, that has a familiar scent. Perhaps your pet will be able to sniff it out and make his way back home that way.
Don’t Lose Hope
Most importantly, don’t lose hope. Just keep searching, keep asking around, keep posting new flyers when the ones that you posted outside get ruined. Let people know that you are still searching and that you will not give up. You can even try offering a small reward to anyone who manages to find your pet and return him to you. You may not be able to find your pet right away, but there might come a day when you finally get that important phone call saying that your pet was found at last.
Losing a pet can be absolutely devastating for everyone in your family, but knowing what steps to take if this happens will allow you to stay calm and take immediate action. Having a plan in place with steps that you can follow will allow you to get more done in the shortest amount of time, and that may increase your odds of being reunited with your pet.