July is Lost Pet Prevention Month, a time to make sure your pets are tagged and safely contained in and around your home. With the business of summer and the noise of fireworks, more pets go missing in July than any other time of the year.
What is Lost Pet Prevention Month?
July is Lost Pet Prevention Month. This pet awareness month was started by PetHub as a way to draw attention to the need to prevent our pets from getting lost during this month–and year around.
This summer, as we all get outdoors more with our pets, please take a moment to check these five easy points.
Make sure your dog has a current ID tag.
A CURRENT ID tag makes all the difference in many cases. While microchips are great if your dog loses his collar, the average person driving down the road needs an ID tag to get your address information.
[Related pet holiday: ID Your Pet Day]
Be sure the tag is current and that it’s readable, even if your dog is wiggling and even if the person who is trying to read it is a little worried about getting up close to your dog.
Remember: if a stranger is handling your lost dog, your dog may or may not sit still for him…and the helper may not feel secure about getting in your dog’s face to try to decipher a scratched tag.
Take extra precautions at night with lighted collars and leashes.
In the heat of the summer, we often walk our dogs after the day has cooled and sunset has passed. On night walks, take extra precaution with your dog.
A dropped leash makes it easy for your dog to get away from you in the dark and remain unseen. Lighted dog collars keep your dog (and you!) visible during your night walks.
Have a current photo of your dog.
Make sure you have a photo both of your dog looking at the camera and a side view of your dog. Hopefully you won’t need it for a Lost Dog poster, but you’ll be ready.
Check your fence regularly.
If you have a fenced yard, it’s easy to become complacent about its security. But summer weather — from fallen limbs to flash floods — can cause fences to become insecure and easy to get under or over.
Walk the perimeter of your fence on a regular basis with an eye out for escape routes.
Know your neighbors.
If your neighbors regularly see you and your dog walking, they’ll be alerted if they suddenly see your dog alone. It’s easy to meet fellow dog-loving neighbors on your walks, and their assistance can be invaluable if you should need to track your lost dog.
We also belong to NextDoor.com, a free service that lets you sign up for your neighborhood and gives you daily alerts for your neighborhood and the adjacent neighborhood.
I see lost dog and found dog posts nearly every day in our group so I’m always keeping my eye out for unaccompanied pooches.
Facebook also has many lost and found pet groups that can be a great resource.
Finding a Lost Dog
These days, I’m somewhat of a lost dog magnet. If there’s a lost dog in the area, he or she seems to come up to me. [Related post: You’ve Found a Lost Dog–Now What?]
Just this past Friday, I was driving to the grocery store when I drove past two dogs on a stretch of unpopulated road. I stopped and checked their tags; both belonged to a home over a mile away. I loaded the dogs, a Basset Hound and a Catahoula mix, in my Jeep and off we went back to their home.
But many, many dogs aren’t nearly as lucky. Some wind up picked up by animal control and become part of the shelter system or worse.
Why is a Personally Important Topic for Me
The topic of lost pets is one that’s very dear to me. My very first dog, Henry, was lost and never recovered…
Please take just a few minutes to share these lost dog precautions–and let’s make sure that the dog memories we make this summer are good ones!