Freeburg Animal Hospital Blog
Lost Pet Prevention Month
by Cecily Kellogg, Figo Guest Blogger
It’s a pet owner’s worst fear—your beloved pet has run off and has become lost. Each year , and only 10% are reunited with their owners. To help raise awareness of this problem and reduce the number of missing pets, PetHub established July as Lost Pet Prevention Month—a program designed to give pet owners the facts they need to help prevent their pets from becoming another statistic.
How do dogs get lost?
There are some common ways that dogs and owners can become separated:
Some dogs are easily spooked by loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks. A panicked animal can often slip a collar or leap a fence and take off running. By the time it stops to rest, it is completely disoriented. July 4 fireworks alone are responsible for a spike in shelter admissions of runaway pets.
Some dogs are just natural roamers. In rural areas, these animals can easily wander outside their familiar range and become lost. Some become trapped in man-made structures like storm drains or drainage canals, while others simply venture too far into unfamiliar woods and are unable to find their way home.
A dog that is ill or dehydrated can make critical errors when trying to find its way home. It may wander aimlessly or experience a fall or other injury that impairs its ability to seek water or food.
Some dogs are natural escape artists and are very adept at charming passersby. A Good Samaritan will often bring such an animal to a local shelter or vet in hopes the owner will notice the animal missing and make the proper inquiries to recover it.
Unfortunately, pet theft is a serious problem, with over 2 million pets abducted in the U.S. annually. Some breeds are adducted for use in illegal dog-fighting rings, others simply because the thief does not want to go through the process of adopting a pet legally.
For some runaway dogs, the scenario is grim. Many are struck by cars or attached by other animals, such as coyotes or snakes. An injured animal can be hard to spot and often these animals do not receive the aid they desperately need.
or medical crisis—could leave a beloved pet homeless. And in areas where due to extreme weather or natural events are common—like wildfires or hurricanes—pets can become lost in the confusion. Emergency situations—like
What can you do to prevent dog loss?
Fortunately, there are simple precautions you can take to prevent your dog from becoming lost:
While a frightened dog can slip its collar and run off, even in a crowd, the majority of lost dogs are unattended at the time they go missing. Keeping your pet in sight when outdoors can greatly reduce the risk that it will become lost.
, be sure it has a safe place to ride out these events. Learn to recognize the signs of anxiety in your pet, and try or products to provide relief.If you know your pet is skittish around loud or sudden
If your dog is accustomed to spending a lot of time in the yard, be sure its enclosure is escape-proof. Fences should be high enough to prevent your animal from either leaping or scaling them, and ground supports should be secure enough to prevent digging dogs from tunneling beneath them.
All pets should wear a collar with current contract information for their owners. This simple precaution can help a Good Samaritan easily locate you and reunite you with your pet.
We hope these tips help you and your dogs have a fun and safe July!