Losing a pet is one of the most upsetting and frustrating things that can happen to a family. If you think that your pet has run off (and you’ve thoroughly searched your home while shaking a food dish or squeaking his or her favorite toy), the very first thing to keep in mind is Keep Calm. Dogs and cats run off — it happens — and there are ways you can increase your chances of finding your pet if that does happen.
1. Tag ’em
Okay, so technically this is something you want to do before you lose your pet, but putting an identification tag on your dog or cat’s collar is the best way to find him or her. A good ID tag will include your name and address, a current phone number where you can be reached, and any important additional information (such as “Needs Daily Meds” or “Reward if Found”). You can also get a “pet microchip” for your dog or cat, which will hold essentially the same information as a tag, but since it’s an implant it can’t fall off or be removed.
2. Search the Neighborhood
Most pets won’t get very far, especially if you notice early on that they are missing. Sometimes the best way to find your dog or cat is to walk, ride a bike, or slowly drive around the neighborhood. If you have a picture of your pet, bring it with you. Ask your neighbors or anyone around whether they have seen him or her, check under porches and cars, look around shrubs and bushes, and search by where your pet may find another dog or cat.
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