Imagine you get home from work to find the builders/pool guy/gardeners left the gate to the back garden open and little Freddy the Cavoodle has taken himself off for a walk and not returned. Worse still, you live on a busy main road.
Or, you agreed to look after Buffy the British Shorthair while her owners are overseas in Europe for 6 weeks and she has wriggled under a little gap in the back fence and disappeared. You thought she would come back in the morning but there is still no sign. Nightmare scenario? Something similar happens to thousands of pet owners a year!
If you have already walked all around the area calling out their name while rattling a can of food all to no avail – what next?
Cats will commonly hide in places where they feel safe, or their curiosity can lead to them getting trapped in places such as the neighbour’s shed or garage. It can be worth putting up posters in the local area asking people to check under the bonnet of their car, in their shed etc. Knocking on the doors in your street to ask people directly can be worthwhile.
Lost dogs are perhaps more likely to approach or be caught by people, but if fearful or anxious can avoid humans.
For all pets it is essential that they are microchipped and that they are wearing a collar with a tag containing your contact details. Make sure these are updated if you move house or change your phone number. For cats the collar should be the breakaway type to prevent them choking if the collar gets caught on a branch or fencepost.
For nervous pets it is worth leaving food out to see if the pet returns of its own accord.
The very first thing you should do however is to call your local vets – for members of the public this is the first place they will think to bring a lost pet that they have found and all vets can read the microchip details.
As in all things, prevention is best – ensure that garden fences are secure and in good repair, keeping cats indoors is safest, especially if the cat is not used to the area.
Summary – Tips
- Call the Vet Hospitals in your area
- Speak to your neighbours & ask them to check sheds & garages
- Stick posters up around your local area
- Check your pet’s microchip details are up-to-date with your local council
- Leave food & water outside for when they return
Written by Dr Naomi Morgan, Mosman Vet
Posted on 7 September 2017
Last updated on 11 December 2019
Tagged with: microchipping