5 Tips to Prevent Losing Your Pets
Microchipping your pets is the easiest way to ensure you can be contacted if they are ever lost and are found and taken to a vet, shelter or pound.
Microchipping is a minimally invasive process of implanting a tiny microchip under your pet’s skin which remains there for their whole lives. Information about your pet, such as their name and age and your contact details are retrieved by scanning the microchip.
- Update Your Pets Microchip
If you have moved residence or gotten a new phone number, the last thing on your mind is to update your pet’s microchip information. Often lost pets brought into Sydney Dogs & Cats Home are microchipped but the contact details are out of date, and this makes it difficult to locate their owners. If you have purchased your pet from a breeder, make sure your pet’s microchip has your info and not the breeder’s; you can update this yourself or ask the breeder to do it.
Updating your pet’s microchip is easy. For NSW residents, you can update your pets’ details on the NSW Pet Registry www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au, or over the counter at your local council.
- Pet ID Tags
Attach a pet ID tag to your pet’s collar with your contact information and make sure to continually check their collars are secure and aren’t loose. Make sure the collars are comfortable for your pets and aren’t too tight around their necks, but they can’t slip out of them.
- Keep Your Pets on a Leash
When out and about with your dogs (or even cats!), make sure they are secured with a leash. Having your pets on a leash ensures you have a secure hold of them. Not only does this prevent them from getting away from you while out and about, but it will also allow you to ensure their safety if you come across reactive dogs, your pet is reactive to other animals, and to keep them safe when near traffic.
If you take your pets to a designated off-leash area, assess the situation to ensure it is safe to enter, ensure that your dog has the basic skills such as recall, sit and stay and will listen to your command when given and always keep an eye on them.
- Secure Your Backyard and Home
Ensure your backyard and home are secure to prevent pets from becoming escape artists. Make sure fences are tall enough that dogs cannot jump over, block any holes in fences and check any loose fencing panels to prevent your pets from squeezing through. Make sure the bottom of fences and gates are low enough that they can’t squeeze under and make it a habit to check your dog hasn’t done any landscaping by digging holes around the garden they can escape from.
- Make Friends with Your Neighbours
Pets are often picked up on the street they live on! By building a relationship with your neighbours, they become familiar with you and your pets. This means that if your pet gets out you can rely on your neighbour to bring them back.
What To Do If You’ve Lost Your Pet
Don’t panic! If your pet’s microchip and their details are up to date and they have a Pet ID Tag on their collar, there is a good chance they will return to you. But here are some tips to help find them!
Don’t wait! Search around your area in case they are still wandering the streets. Check areas, parks and other local places you frequent with them such as cafés or local shops that they are familiar with in case they show up there. Knock on neighbours’ doors to see if they may have seen your pet and put-up signs around the area to maximise visibility.
- Call Your Local Shelter, Pound and Vet
Chances are, if you have looked around the neighbourhood and are unable to find them, they may have been picked up by a council ranger or good samaritan and taken to a shelter, pound or vet. Call around to check if a pet has been brought in matching their description. If you are unsure who your local shelter or pound is, call your local council who will be able to tell you.
- Call Other Shelters in Your Area
Call other shelters and pounds in the area and tell them your pet is missing. They may have a lost register and can list your pets’ details, identifying factors such as breed, colour and markings and your details. If your pet comes into their facility, they already have your details to contact you.
- Post to Social Media
Posting on social media can reach more people than you think. Share to your social media accounts, reach out to local shelters and pounds social media accounts and share to as many lost pet groups on Facebook. Just remember to update them once your pet has returned home!
- Register Them as Lost on Pet Registry NSW
Petregistry.nsw.gov.au has a secure messaging function that allows members of the public to advise pet owners they have found their pet. By creating a profile, you can register your pet’s microchip number and agree to be contacted.
You can also follow these easy steps to change your pet’s status to lost:
- Notify your local council of your lost pet.
- Log into the NSW Pet Registry and change the status of your pet on the NSW Pet Registry to ‘missing’. This will prevent a person who is claiming to be your pet’s owner, for example, where it has been stolen, from transferring ownership.
- Check that your contact details are correct so that you can be contacted when your pet is found.
- Make sure you have made a note of your pet’s microchip number.
- Once your pet has been found and reunited with you, notify your local council within 72 hours so they can update their status on the NSW Companion Animals Register.