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Cats and Dogs, Safety

Pet Loss Prevention

The Paw Print

Essential Pet Blog

lost dog poster

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone?

Oh where, oh where can he be?*

July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, which should come as no surprise because of it’s a time of Fourth of July festivities, camping trips, vacations, family barbecues and hiking jaunts that can put pets at risk to become separated from owners. Loss is one of the biggest risks to well-being and safety, with 1 in 3 pets going missing in their lifetime. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to minimize the possibility of a lost animal.

Collar with ID tags.

Your pet should wear a collar with ID tags at all times. Cats need to wear breakaway-type collars to ensure that branches or low shrubs cannot catch them.  Verify that your contact information – telephone number, address and email address – is current.

Up-to-date health records.

Ensure that your pet’s health records are up-to-date and in order, including copies of all vaccinations and the latest veterinary examination.  A current photograph is quite useful if your pet does become lost.


Have a microchip implanted beneath the skin by a veterinarian because it is a dependable source of information when scanned at a veterinary clinic or hospital, animal shelter or local animal control center. Thanks to today’s advanced technology, pet owners can also locate their dogs or cats with a GPS tracker.  Again, verify all contact information is up to date.

Spay and nueter.

Spay or neuter your pets.  Studies have shown that sterilized animals are less likely to roam.  And animal shelters are already too full or stray and unwanted pets.

Leash training.

Make sure your dog is comfortable on a leash and can follow simple commands such as “sit” and “stay.”  There are many distractions outdoors that may cause your pet to act erratically, and a leash keeps you in control. Never leave your dog leashed outside a store or unattended in the car, even if it’s locked or the windows are rolled down.

Keep them relaxed and calm.

Make sure your pet is relaxed at home when you are away.  Leave a light on if you are returning late, or a television or radio to help reduce anxiety.  Identify in advance where your pet goes to “hide”, and make sure that space is always accessible.

Keep your eyes on them.

It’s not a good idea to leave pets unattended in the yard as they may become anxious and disappear through a hole in the fence, dig their way out or escape through an unlatched gate.  Even electronic perimeter sensors may fail.

Know your pet.

Many dogs and cats go missing during thunderstorms or July 4th fireworks, so keep them safely indoors by creating a cozy spot in the basement or windowless bathroom.  Turning on a television, radio or loud fan helps reduce anxiety.

Pets are easily distracted and can wander off or become upset with loud noises, company or frightening weather conditions.  Losing a pet can be a terrifying experience for both pets and owners, and it’s easy to feel helpless when you worry they may not have the means to find their way home.  But a little preparation can keep you from singing the blues about where your little dog has gone.  And, if your singing is as discordant as mine, will also save the world from some dreadful sounds.


a vet and his dogABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brown holds a Doctorate Degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from the University of California at Davis, a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science and Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Physiology from the University of California.  Following discharge from the Air Force as a Captain, he owned and operated the largest veterinary hospital on Cape Cod for almost twenty years. Brown is the past President of the Yavapai Humane Society Board of Directors, Branding Committee Chairman for National Animal Supplement Council and member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  He writes and lectures frequently on the benefits of natural and organic foods and supplements for animals and lives with his wife and a Golden doodle named Charlotte.

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