Summer is a perfect time to celebrate National Lost Pet Prevention Month. Did you know that the July 4th holiday season has the most missing pets reported? On a holiday when fireworks are considered essential, four-legged family members can be anxious, even terrified. Plus, backyard celebrations involve lots of opening and closing of doors, providing plenty of opportunities for little ones to scoot outside and get lost. This month serves as an essential reminder to protect our pets. Preventive measures, such as identification, microchipping, and vigilant supervision, can do a lot to reduce the number of pets that go missing and increase the chances of reuniting lost pets with their loving families.
Pets respond well to positive reinforcement or a rewards system. Instead of scolding or disciplining your pet after every escape attempt, reward them for listening, coming when called, and stopping the behavior. This takes a lot of consistency and patience, but it’s worth your time. Most pets are natural escape artists and you don’t want them to view every door opening as an invitation to hit the road.
Plan ahead for noisy events. If your pet is usually bothered by loud noises like thunderstorms, it is likely that you’ll see the same reaction toward fireworks. Pets may not typically display signs of noise anxiety, but you should still plan your day with your pet in mind. Decide ahead of time where your pets will be during backyard barbeques and pool parties to avoid giving them opportunities to escape. Try to eliminate anything that might cause them anxiety. If you leave the house for a big fireworks display, make sure that your pets are safely inside while you’re gone and that any doors, windows, or pet doors are secured and escape-proof.
Should your pet escape and get lost, tools like video doorbells and security cams can provide information on which way your pet ran off. Make use of your neighborhood Facebook page and the Nextdoor app to post about your missing pet. Contact your microchip company to report your pet lost. Let your Rescue know that your pet has gone missing too! We can provide suggestions and resources to help increase the odds of finding your lost pet.
The bottom line is an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, this National Lost Pet Prevention Month, and every month, ensure your pet is always safe and sound.
Have a Safe and Fun Summer!