One out of three pets gets lost in their lifetime, according to the American Humane Association. The risk of your pet getting lost definitely goes up every time you’re not at home or away on a holiday. While we want to keep the company of our pets all the time, there would be times that we must go to work for a few hours or take a vacation for days or weeks. There are some measures every pet owner can take that definitely helps in preventing lost pets. If you’re wondering how to best protect your cat or how to keep your dogs safe when you’re not around, these are some of the things you can do:
1. Leave your pets in a safe and secure environment.
Pets can get restless or curious when their owners are away. It’s best to remove anything that could possibly harm them out of reach, in case they get bored and get into some deeper in-house exploration. Put away household cleaning items, medication, sharp objects, electronic cables, and items made of glass. This way they can roam about freely around the house safely.
Extreme hot or extremely cold weather can cause the discomfort of your pet when you’re not at home. You may consider installing a thermostat to ensure that the temperature is always appropriate for your pets.
2. Find a reliable pet sitter.
A reliable pet sitter is the next best thing your pet dog or cat can have without you around. Let your pet meet the sitter before you’re scheduled to leave to let them get to know each other. Leave your contact details with the sitter, as well as your vet’s information. You may also encourage the sitter to stick to your pet’s regular routine, such as walking hour and play times, to establish some sense of normalcy and prevent your pet from feeling anxious.
3. Inform your trusted neighbors.
If you’re going away for only a short time, or if your pet can manage under minimum supervision, you can seek the help of neighbors you can trust to check in on your pets from time to time. If your pet knows your neighbor, you can have them help walk your dog or make sure their food and water is regularly replenished. In case there is any emergency, they should be able to reach you immediately.
4. Have pet food and supplies ready.
Whether you have a sitter or a neighbor helping out while you’re gone, make sure there is enough food and supplies before you leave. You can check pet supply stores online for pet feeding contraptions that make food and water easy to access for your pets, while keeping them fresh and uncontaminated.
5. Have your pet microchipped.
The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 52% of lost dogs with microchips are returned to their owners. The figure is a little lower for cats, but nonetheless positive, at 38%. Microchipping significantly increases the chances of recovering lost pets and gives you better peace of mind in case your dog or cat ventures out while you’re gone.
6. Buy a GPS tracker.
While microchips are an amazing way to secure pet information and make lost pets easy to identify, they only work if someone who has found your lost pet takes it to the microchip company for identification. While the odds are good for microchipped pets returning home, a GPS tracker serves a different, more tangible purpose. Pet GPS trackers let you track exactly where your pets are at any given time. Many models are available at relatively affordable prices, and you can even monitor location using your phone.
7. Have CCTV cameras, alarms, and sensors installed at home.
Technology indeed provides a variety of ways to keep our pets safe. Installing CCTVs in your home is one way to help you make sure your cats are ok or to keep your dogs safe. Nothing is scarier than burglars entering your home while you’re on a holiday or just leaving the house for a bit to attend a party. With security alarms and motion sensors installed, you can be alerted anytime something is amiss and be able to call for police assistance even when you’re not at home.
Pet sensors are also a good way to keep track of your pets’ movements. If you have a pet door for when your dog needs to relieve itself or for an exit in case there is an emergency, this technology enables you to monitor its comings and goings.
8. Keep them busy with toys.
Think about ways on how to keep your pets happily busy when you’re away. There are pet toys like jolly balls, bubble machines, or pet puzzles that you can order online. These toys help stimulate your pets even if they’re left on their own. You can also be creative and create an obstacle course, whether indoor or outdoor, for your pets. Even something as simple as a nice view outside can be a wonderful thing for pets alone at home.
9. Spay or neuter your pets.
This applies especially to cats, which are less likely to roam or leave the house if they have been neutered. Neutering and spaying also comes with good health benefits that you’ll find are well worth the cost of the procedure. If you find the procedure too expensive, search online for low-cost spay/neuter providers in your area.
10. Consider buying smart gadgets for pets.
There’s so much more on offer in the pet market today than GPS-enabled pet collars. There are now pet streaming devices that allow you to make two-way video calls with your pets wherever you may be. You may also subscribe to dog channels with programs designed specifically to arouse animal interest and keep your pets
relaxed even when you’re not around.
Preventing lost pets is serious business but sure is a top priority for every pet owner. Being separated need not be an anxiety-inducing experience for both you and your pets. Whether you’re leaving them alone at home for only a few hours or for a few weeks, you’ll have better peace of mind if you have someone you can trust to watch after them and of course, if you’re sure that they are comfortable and happily busy while you’re away.