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Lost Pet Prevention

July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. It is used as a friendly reminder to keep your pets safe from the scary world outside of their home. Hundreds of pets are lost every year and while some of them end up in the shelter, many are never returned to their families. This is because owners have not taken the safety measures to ensure they cannot leave their families. Everyone should know the steps that can be taken to provide safety to your pet if they were to get lost.
The biggest things that any pet owner can do is to make sure their yard in secure enough that their pet cannot escape. Many lost dogs have just wandered from their yards and been mistake for strays. If you have a yard, it should be fenced, and the fence needs to be tall enough that dog cannot jump over it. The fence also should not have any holes or weak areas where the dog can push through. Dogs are also known for digging their way out of yards. The best way to prevent this is to have a solid base, such as rocks or cement blocks, that will stop them from being able to dig out.
Teaching basic commands and keeping your pet on a leash while walking is another way to prevent your pet from getting lost. Basic commands may stop your dog from getting away from your if they are off leash. It may also save their life for example if they are trying to run into traffic. A simple “come” or “stay” command might stop them before an accident can happen. If your pet does or does not listen to commands, then they need to be on a leash. Your pet cannot run away if you have ahold of them. Shorter leashes allow for more control, while longer ones offer more freedom. Their length of leash you should use depends on then environment that you are in.
Spaying and neutering your pet in important for many different reasons. Not only does it provide population control and prevent overcrowding at shelters, but it stops many pets from wandering away from home. Neuter males have a higher tendency to get lost. Their natural sexual behavior makes them want to seek out females. Neutering takes away the instinct to leave and can prevent them from getting lost or worse. Un-spayed females increase the temptation for males, especially while in heat. There are also increased health benefits to spaying and neutering your pets.
The tips listed above are the best way to prevent your pets from getting lost, however if your pet were to get lost, it is important for them to be able to get home. Having ID tags on your pets’ collars in one way for them to get returned home. The ID tag should have your pets name and your contact information on it. The collar should not be too loose, or it may fall off. The #1 way from your pet to be returned home is to microchip them. Microchipping is a relatively new form of technology, but it has become very popular. Microchips can be read at almost all shelters and veterinary clinics. When scanned, the vet or shelter can look up the number to find the pet’s name and your contact information. The microchips are inserted just over the skin and can stay there for their whole life.
Pets quickly become part of our families, so it is important to keep them safe in whatever way that we can. No one should ever have to experience the fear of coming home and their pet not being there. These tips will help prevent your pet from getting lost and if they do get lost, then they will be able to return home safely.

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