Pets are part of the family and becoming separated from them is stressful. Here is what to do in the unfortunate event that your pet goes missing.
What to do if your pet goes missing
Be sure to stay calm and follow these seven simple steps:
1) Search the local area
If your pet has gone missing recently, try calling out to it in the immediate vicinity for at least 30 minutes. Some pets respond by calling their names, whistling or shaking a bag of treats.
2) Check your pets favourite spots
Check your pets favourite places to explore in the local area. For example, if there is a pond where your dog likes to swim or a tree where your cat likes to take a midday nap in the sunshine.
3) Report to the microchip databases
Contact the national microchip databases and report your pet as missing. You need to contact Petlog, PETtrac and Anibase. When reporting your dog missing, ensure that your contact details are up to date.
4) Contact local pet-related businesses and services
Contact local veterinary practices, animal shelters, the local council, dog warden and the police. Provide them with the following details:
- Microchip number
- Neutering status
- Physical description
5) Put up missing posters
Create a concise missing pet poster. Keep the text short and informative. Include a physical description of your pet, a recent photograph and contact information.
6) Give out flyers
Prepare flyers to distribute with your pet's picture and your contact details. Be sure you give flyers to dog walkers. They tend to cover large areas while exercising their pooches. This makes them more likely to spot your missing pet. You can also put the flyers through the doors of local homes and businesses.
7) Never offer a financial reward
Do not offer financial reward for the return of your pet as that puts a value on the pet. Honest people feel rewarded in the safe return of your beloved pet.
Prevention is better than cure
There are measures you can take to increase the chances of finding your pet.
Microchip your pet
Animal shelters or vets can trace a pet back to the owner if they have a microchip. They can contact the national microchip database to get your contact details. It is a legal requirement for all dogs to have a microchip but it is also useful for cats. PawSquad vets are able to microchip your pet at home.
Get a personalised pet collar
A personalised pet collar allows anyone who finds your pet to be able to contact you immediately. Your telephone number will be enough.
Download our lost pet guide
Our guide contains everything you need in case of an emergency.
- Missing poster template
- Printable emergency template
- Search tips