by Cindy Anderson, DVM
July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. Losing a pet is just like losing any loved one, and it is an experience that no one should ever have to go though. A pet gets lost every 2 seconds in the United States. This is most concerning as only 1 in every 10 cases of lost pets will ever be reunited with family.
Pets can go missing for many reasons. They may escape from an enclosed backyard, inadvertently get let out by kids during playtime, or break off from a leash when away from home.
The best way to help a lost pet is to prevent it from going missing in the first place. Placing ID tags on a well-fitting collar is a great place to start. You should only be able to fit one or two fingers underneath the collar to ensure it is not too tight. Make sure to check the hardware on the collar regularly.
Micro-chipping also is an effective way to keep track of your furry friends. These tiny devices are implanted using a needle and remain inside the pet for life. If your pet is found and brought to any veterinarian, shelter or rescue, they can easily scan your pet for a microchip and it will match up with your contact information, so please keep things up to date.
Obedience training also is a huge key to keeping your pets safe and at home. Training for their return when called can save them from being injured by a car, another dog or many other countless dangers. Having your dogs spayed or neutered also will help keep them from wandering off and getting lost. When male dogs are not neutered, they will have a higher tendency to seek out females because of natural sexual behavior. Spaying females also is beneficial as fewer male dogs will attempt to mate with them and possibly scare them off with aggressive behavior.
I, Dr. Cindy, and the staff of Lakelands Trail Veterinary Clinic, are able to make ID tags for your pets and also offer micro-chipping. Call us at 517-655-5551 for any of your needs.
Cindy Anderson, DVM, is a graduate of MSU Veterinary College (1992) and has practiced veterinary medicine for over 28 years.