Preventing lost pets

Photo by Jesse Schwarcz

If you’re fortunate not to have ever experienced the torture of a missing pet, there are things you can do to keep your pet safe and be prepared.

Tag or microchip them. ID tags are important for all pets regardless of if they go outside. The ID tag should have the pet’s name, your name, and a current phone number. Add even more safety by microchipping your pet. The microchip is a small chip embedded under the skin and contains your pets information, your information, and even your vet. If you choose to microchip your pet, keep the records up-to-date.

There is a rabies and microchip clinic scheduled for January 14 from 10-Noon at Bear Brook Kennel in Brewer. Not able to stop into their clinic? Ask you veterinarian about the benefits of microchipping your dog or cat and find out when and where to do it.

Hate the jingle of tags? Consider purchasing for your dog or cat a collar that has their information sewn right into it. Classic Hound, a Portland-based dog-centric company, offers a product called the “Take Me Home” ID Collar which has an engraved buckle on it that contains the pet’s vital info (pet’s name, owner’s name, phone number and address). Other companies can be found online that offer custom collars that contain the pet’s information on them.

Train them. January is national dog training month and it’s the perfect time to renew your connection with your dog while also training some behaviors that will keep her safe. The most basic commands, coupled with a trusting relationship with your dog, will help her respond readily and prevent accidents. For information on choosing a dog trainer, visit the Association for Professional Dog Trainers at http://apdt.com/petowners.

Keep your pet up-to-date on vaccinations. If your pet does get out, she may be exposed to things that can be dangerous to her health. By keeping her up-to-date with vaccinations, you’ll be protecting her at home and elsewhere.

Keep recent photos of your pet on hand. Whether they are taken by you, or a professional photographer, having recent photos of your pet (full body photos and portraits) in a readily accessible place will help if you ever need to get their image out quickly.