Summer months see a drastic increase in the number of lost pets. There are many factors that contribute to it. Whatever the reason, when a pet goes missing all we want is to have them back home with us safe and sound. Below are some tips that can be very helpful if your pet disappears:
- Start looking right away: don’t leave it off to “see if they come back on their own” the more time passes the further away they may be, especially in the case of dogs and birds, and the chance of injury increases.
- Don’t panic: make sure to check the house very carefully. When scared, animals tend to find the most unusual hiding places.
- Call your neighbours: ask them if they’ve seen your per around their property, ask them to check around their houses, sheds, garages, cars, basements or in any rooms with open windows (cats can climb up and go in through an open window).
- Do a memory scan: when was your pet last seen, where, what where the circumstance?
- Go around the neighbourhood: bring their snacks and favourite toy – shake the snacks and make noise with the toy to get their attention.
- Keep your eyes and ears open: Pay careful attention to all the nooks and crannies, give passerby’s a description of your pet, ask if they’ve come across it. Listen carefully for any cries, if they are stuck or hurt they will try to get your attention.
- Call around: shelters, local vet clinics, and the city pound, provide them with all the necessary information, ask them if you can post a flier on their premises, and check their “found” boards.
- Print fliers: post them around your neighbourhood and anywhere else you think your pet could have wandered, you would be surprised at the distances dogs can travel. Maybe he went to the pet sitter, his favourite park, or a store that usually gives them treats?
- Post on the internet: the pet community is a very active group of people who have the best interest of animals at heart. The more people have their eyes out, the bigger chances someone will spot your pet.
- Ask for help: ask friends and family to walk, bike or drive around your neighbourhood ask them to keep their eyes open.
- Help them find their home: make sure you leave your pets bedding, litter box and toys outside. They are probably scared and confused and they might be able to follow their scent back home. Do this even if you live in an apartment. If it is a bird that flew out, leave their open cage by the window or on the porch; if they have a companion place their cage by an open window as well.
- Remember: Dogs can travel very far distances (up to 10km a day), don’t limit your search to just the neighbourhood.
- Know when to search: It is best to look for cats early in the morning or in the late evening, pay special attention to areas that emit heat.
- NEVER LOSE HOPE. This is probably the most important point, keep on looking.
Upon finding your pet DON’T scold them. Make sure they know you are happy to see them back. Take action to avoid such incidents in the future (fix fences, keep windows and doors closed, buy a baby gate etc.). Schedule a vet visit to get your pet microchiped or tattooed, licence your dog with the city. Make sure to keep your address and telephone number up-to-date with the vet’s office, the microchip registry and on your pet’s tags.