As loving pet parents we realize that owning a beloved fur baby, comes not only with a special sense of joy, but also a sense of responsibility and that responsibility includes keeping our fur babies safe from harm, as well as the possibility of getting lost and landing up at a shelter.

The sad reality though, is that millions of animals go missing worldwide each year and land up at shelters. This is also more likely to happen during certain holidays, over the festive season and when people go away on vacation, without making special arrangements for their beloved fur babies, who are left behind. It is estimated that only between 15% and 20% of animals are reclaimed by their owners.

So, as loving pet parents, what can we do to prevent our beloved pets from going missing?

Secure Property

If you wish to ensure that your beloved fur baby is safe and happy, it is important to ensure that your property is not only pet friendly, but also secure. Adequate fencing and/or gates will help you ensure that your beloved pooch cannot easily go missing. If your pooch is a bigger breed and known for “jumping”, it would be advisable to have higher or more appropriate fencing.

Caregiver

It is advisable to have someone who can keep an eye on your beloved pooch whilst you are away from home, or when he or she is outside your home. You or your kids may keep an eye whilst playing a nice game of “tug and war”. But, it is important that pets are not left completely alone or unattended for long periods of time.

Even more so, when you are planning a vacation at a destination where you cannot take your beloved fur baby along. You should always ensure to have someone who will be able to take care of your animals whilst you are away and this should not only include feeding and fresh water, but also playtime and taking your pooch for walks.

Correct Collar or Harness

If you are a pet parent who loves taking your beloved pooch for regular walks, you should ensure to check your pup’s collar or harness and leash regularly. This will ensure that your pups is safe and happy during walks and that the collar or leash does not slip off or snap, which could result in your pup going missing.

Although the above are some basic steps, which can help you keep your beloved pet safe, there is an alternative, which could prove to be very effective in finding your beloved pooch, should he or she ever go missing.

Micro-Chip

A micro-chip is a small glass cylinder, which is about the size of a grain of rice. The chip contains a radio transmitter and a tiny electronic device, which contains a unique identity number, which can be detected and read by a scanner. The chip is usually implanted underneath the skin, between the shoulder blades and is said to last for more than twenty five years.

The chip is inserted with a large needle and the procedure only takes a few seconds. It is not a painful procedure, but much similar to when having blood drawn. Most pet parents opt to combine this procedure with another, such as when their pup is being spayed. Although it is recommended to have the procedure done by your local Veterinarian, various shelters and rescue groups also offer this service (possibly at a lower cost).

When you opt to have your pup micro-chipped, you would be required to complete the necessary paperwork, which would include your personal information, such as physical address and contact numbers etc. This information is loaded onto a database and which is what ultimately assists in reuniting many a furry friend with his or her owner.

One has to realize though, that a microchip is not used as a tracking device, thus it cannot provide you with your pet’s location. However, if a pup is handed into an animal shelter and he or she has been micro-chipped, the shelter can search the database and it is with the unique identity number, that they are able to reunite the pup with his or her owner.

As a loving pet parent, there is one important thing you would need to ensure when having your fur baby micro-chipped and that is to enquire about the frequency of the micro-chip, as there have been many instances in the past where certain scanners would not read the frequency of a micro-chip, resulting in many animals not being reunited with their owners.

However, this problem has been resolved in recent years, by the implementation of universal scanners, which are capable of detecting micro-chips which resonate at 125 kHz, 128 kHz, as well as 134.2 kHz. These are the main three frequencies used for micro-chips and most shelters and rescue organisations use universal scanners nowadays.

Over and above micro-chipping, do not forget to ensure that your beloved fur baby’s identification tags are clearly legible and always up to date.

Love, The PetsWell Team

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