Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

How to Find Lost Pets

by | Jun 29, 2023 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 4 comments

July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. I post this each year, in advance of the holiday, because more pets disappear over the July 4th holiday than any other time. They get so scared about the noise. But pets get lost all the time. Both Karma-Kat and Shadow appeared as lost babies. Please bookmark this site for tips on how to find lost pets. Now, chances are neither Karma or Shadow get lost on their own, but many adult dogs and cats get scared, especially over fireworks, run away from fear, and end up lost.

how to find lost petsBackyard BBQ with neighbors, family, and kids are fun–until someone leaves the gate open and a pet goes AWOL. One in five pets goes missing after being scared by loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. Whether it’s summer fun, or winter vacation, we often want to include our pets in the adventure. Nothing stops the fun faster than lost pets, so it’s vital to create a pet-safe plan. Read on for more tips to prevent pets going AWOL and how to find a lost pet.

WHY LOST PETS RUN AND HIDE

Fireworks offer great fun for us—and not so much for the pets. In fact, you can go to this blog for a tips post about dealing with fireworks fears in pets. But what happens if your scaredy cat or dog has already taken off, and gotten lost? A rash of lost pets almost always follows fireworks fun. A safe enclosure and proper fence (learn more here) can help prevent tragedy.

lost pet

Panic leaves no room for thinking. A terrified dog may run for miles, while a cat may hide nearby under the back porch–but remain frozen, unable to cry for help. Pets that may be friendly around you and the house may become so scared, they refuse to come to strangers–or respond to you, because they’re so darned scared.

How can you find lost pets if your dog or cat does the doorway dash or escape the backyard fence? Even experienced pets may not have a clue how to find their way home, and puppies and kittens are at even greater risk of being injured by cars or picked up by well-meaning people who find them. According to the ASPCA, nearly one in five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks. Petco Love Lost wants to do something about that.

lost pet

IDENTIFY YOUR PETS!

Identification is vital for happy reunions. Thankfully, today there are many options for providing identification for your pets. Besides microchips (Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat have microchips), you can also invest in tracking collars to keep tabs on your pets. That technology had a big role in my pet-centric thriller series, to track down lost animals.

Microchips contain detailed information about your pet in a tiny rice-size surgical glass capsule. It’s placed beneath the pet’s skin similar to a vaccination. Most pets don’t even notice. Once the dog or cat details are registered to that specific microchip, pet parents can access the information. That’s invaluable should your pet get lost or stolen, because shelters, veterinarians and rescue organizations can “scan” for the chip to reunite you. Some of the best-known microchip sources include HomeAgainAKC Reunite and Avid.

lost cat

HOW TO FIND LOST PETS

VISIT THE SHELTER. People often take strays to the local shelter. Don’t call and ask about a missing Great Pyrenees puppy. Baby dogs often look different from adults of the breed, and the shelter staff may not always know recognize your verbal description. You should visit several times to see if somebody has turned him in, and don’t take the staff’s word for it–insist on eyeballing the dogs. Your white fluffy baby may have rolled in the mud and now look brown, and you’re in the best position to recognize your furry wonder.

ID YOUR PET. July 1st is ID YOUR PET DAY but this is important all year long. It’s ideal to have your pet wear some type of identification. Up to seventy percent of animals that arrive at shelters have no identification, and as a result a great percentage are euthanized. A metal or plastic tag with your contact information attached to the dog or cat’s collar offers the simplest method of identification. A rabies tag serial number with clinic contact information also helps. People can call the clinic, where they look up the serial number to identify the pet and his owner. Tattoos and microchips are also common and effective forms of pet identification. Register pets with every database you can find, like the Petco Love Lost resource.

BE SPECIFIC. Avoid describing pets as a Labradoodle or “whatever” cross when the combination can vary. Will other folks know what a “silver shaded tabby cat” looks like? (HINT: that’s my Karma-Kat…) Offer specifics: curly chocolate color fur, one ear up and one down, 45 pound neutered male, floppy (or erect) ears, docked tail — answers to “Spiffy” and dances and spins when you say “wanna cookie?”

lost pet cryingTELL THE WORLD

VISIT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Alert your neighbors to be on the lookout for a lost pet. Kindly pet lovers may take in a friendly stray and watch for “lost” ads in the newspaper before taking them to the shelter. Go door to door, and ask permission to check out buildings, under porches where frightened dogs or cats might hide or become trapped in an infrequently used garage. Holidays, when neighbors leave town, may mean the pet becomes trapped and not noticed for days or weeks.

ADVERTISE. Make posters or fliers to leave with neighbors or at the shelter that include several photos documenting a close-up of the face, full-body shots from both sides and the back, and any distinguishing marks. Lots of folks have a Labrador or Golden Retriever or calico cat but yours may be the only one with three pink freckles in a triangular pattern on a white tummy. Check with local newspapers about posting “lost pet” notices–often they do this for free. Use social media. Facebook friends and twitter followers organized to spread the word about a lost furry wonder to help reunite lost pets.

TRACKING SERVICES

TRACK HIM DOWN. Search and rescue dogs trained for years to find missing people lost in disasters, or that have wandered off due to illness or simply becoming confused. Today, specially trained dogs also are available to track down missing pets. One example is Dogs Finding Dogs, but you may find similar organizations in your neck of the woods. One time when Karma-Kat got out (EEEEEK!) and he wouldn’t come to us, we put his best friend on a leash, and Magical-Dawg used his excellent tracking skills to find his cat-buddy.

Cats also can track missing pets. And lost cat behavior differs from lost dog behavior. Refer to this excellent resource to become familiar with lost cat behavior, provided by expert Kat Albrecht (yes, that’s her name!). She also has cats that track missing cats. Felines’ ability to climb, and to access tinier spaces that much bigger tracking dogs make them an ideal choice in some situations. In fact, I used the concept of tracking cats in my latest thriller HIT AND RUN, based on this information.

Because a pet’s scent can fade over time, it’s important to contact a tracking organization for help as soon as possible. They’ll ask you to provide the pet’s favorite toy, a blanket or brush that smells like him for the tracking dog to scent and know what he’s looking for.

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Frank

    I’m glad your blog is back. It’s a hi-lite of my weekend.

    Reply
  2. marjogo75

    I just finished a book by Suzannah Charleson “Where the lost dogs go”. She lives in Dallas. She wrote about lost dogs and how to find them. She has been involved in search and rescue with her dogs.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Oh that’s great, will look for it. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Check the Chip Day: Learn All About Pet MicrochipsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] According to the American Humane Association, over 10 million dogs and cats go missing in U.S. every year. About…
  2. Happy Healthy Cat Month: 10 Ways to Promote Kitty PurrsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Offer I.D. In addition to a collar and identification tag, owners should ask their veterinarian about microchipping their feline friend.…
  3. Cat Wants Outside: Stop Door Dashing Cat EscapesAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] This topic always gets lots of attention. Note: This information and more is available in the ComPETablity: Cats book,…
  4. Fear of Fireworks & Thunder? How to Calm Pet Noise FearsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Up to 20 percent of dogs fear noises, and pets scared of thunder also fear fireworks. The typical reaction…
  5. Dog Hunting Behavior & How to Control Canine Prey DriveAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Chasing squirrels or bunnies offers great entertainment for your dog. But dogs may turn their skills to herding (chasing!)…
  6. Dog Fence: Creating Good Neighbors to Keep Dogs SafeAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Do you have a dog fence? When Magical-Dawg was alive, he’d take off after “critters” every so often, racing…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories:

Recent Posts

Top 5 Dog Exercises to Keep Fido Fit and Strong for Life

It’s time to get physical! Love it or hate it, exercise is just as important for your dog as it is for you. I walk on my desk treadmill every day to keep my joints loose and muscles toned. The Pet Health Network notes that obesity can lead to future health issues like arthritis, heart and breathing issues, and can even take two years off your dog’s life!

I love sharing pet health tips from other pet professionals. But always check with your veterinarian about your own dog’s specific issues, to make sure they stay happy and healthy. Here are my top five fitness tips for dogs.

Dog Taste Buds: What Flavor Do Dogs Love?

Do dogs have taste buds? Yes! But do dogs care about taste? Again, they clearly have flavor preferences. Of course, we know some of the odd and nasty weird stuff dogs eat—I really do need to record an Ask Amy about why dogs drink out of the toilet—but do they actually taste such things? How dogs taste remains a mystery in many ways.

Dogs taste sense mirrors that of humans, one reason your dogs beg for yummies from the table. For young dogs, smell of the food seems to trump taste. With some dogs, dirty socks might be a flavor enhancer . . . Read on, to learn what tastes dogs love, hate, and more!

How to Promote Cat Purrs for National Cat Health Month

February is National Cat Health Month. In the past, I’ve also written about the CATalyst Council declaring September to be Happy Healthy Cat Month, dedicated to finding ways to keep kitty companions happy, healthy and purring all year long. Keeping cats healthy should be the focus all year long, don’t you think? After all, they offer all kinds of health benefits to us.

Cats love us in countless ways, and we want to return the favor. All cat “parents” want to keep their felines healthy and happy, and I’ve updated my list based on what Karma-Kat demands and I know he needs. Check out the CAT-egorical Enrichment info! In the comments, please let me know which ones you already do — or share some feline favs from your furry crew!

National Love Your Pet Day: 15 Ways How Pets Show Love

At my house, I see how pets show love every day. If you wonder, how do I make my cat love me, it’s easy! February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day, but Valentine’s Day comes in just a few days. At my house, pet love happens EVERY day. Whether you love your pet with special attention, treats and toys or lap snuggles, pet love has become a given in our pet-friendly society.

In mid-2020, we multiplied our pet-love quotient by welcoming Shadow-Pup into the house. He arrived at a time when we really had no plans for another pet and struggled with the reality of dealing with Bravo-Dawg-s cancer (sadly, he lost his battle, but his love lives on). And Karma-Kat welcomed the pup, too–but for Bravo, the added attention/distraction helped enormously as he went through scary treatment, losing a leg, dealing with pain, and more. So I’m adding another way pets show love–by showing up when you need them!

Valentine’s Day: Pet Danger Advice

I’m often interviewed by media about various cat behavior and dog training issues, and of course, Valentine’s pet dangers top the list this week. Pet hazards are common when our normal routine goes out the window, so pet parents are vigilant around the holidays. Refer to this post about Easter dangers for pets.  And don’t forget that pet safety issues for Christmas are similar to those for Valentine’s Day but it’s always good to refresh our watch list.

Spoil Your Cat: How to Show Cats You Love Them

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling cats with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the kitty love!

Pet Music Therapy? The Sound of Success!

Pet music therapy can help solve dog and cat behavior problems as well as offer physical therapeutic benefits. Our pets are attuned to sound and are incredibly sensitive to noises, including music. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, some pets with “stranger danger” issues are in for a rough ride. Pet music therapy can help. Read on for more tips.

Carbon Monoxide Danger for You and Your Pets

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. It’s a natural by-product of fuel combustion present in car exhaust and improperly vented furnaces, space heaters, water heaters, fireplaces, and tobacco smoke. It can quickly kill people as well as their pets. Children and pets have died in as little as 15 minutes inside running cars while parents shoveled snow outside the vehicle, unaware of the blocked tailpipe.

Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself…and your pets.

UPDATED AGING CAT BOOK DISCOUNTED!

I’m delighted to announce the release of the 2024 edition of COMPLETE CARE FOR YOUR AGING CAT. This book, when released, received multiple awards from the prestigious Cat Writer’s Association. I got the rights back after the first edition, published by New American Library/Penguin Books, and released an updated version first in 2010, and again in 2017. But the latest 2024 version offers the most comprehensive revisions and updated material.

Learn more–and how to get deep discounts on the Ebook, Paperback, and Hardcover editions!

6 Easy Fresh Breath Tips & How to Brush Doggy & Kitty Teeth (Without Getting Bit!)

Do you brush dog teeth? How about brushing cat teeth? The AVMA sponsors National Pet Dental Health Month every February to help prevent pet dental problems.

According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3.

But it’s never too late (or too soon) to get your pets’ pearly whites checked out by your veterinarian. Often the doctor has some great tips for keeping cat teeth clean and dog breath at bay, including how to brush doggy teeth.

Does the thought of brushing dog teeth make you cringe, roll your eyes, whimper, slink away–and feel guilty? You’re not alone. But once that puppy-sweet breath morphs into curl-your-eyebrows stench, it’s long past the time to address that stink-icity.

Visit Amy's Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships