What to Do When You Lose Your Pet?
It’s every pet’s owner worst nightmare, losing your pet. As a pet owner myself, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing one of my pets one day.
Daily I see messages on social media of people who lost their dog or cat. And sometimes people message me directly as well asking to share a flyer to spread awareness.
Although I don’t actually want to write this blog because the thought makes me so sad, I do think it would be good to give some ideas of what you can do when you lose your pet.
How to prevent your pet from getting lost
First things first, making sure that losing your pet is almost impossible is even more important than knowing what to do when you lost your pet.
There are many things that you can do and you can find some ideas below.
For all pets:
- Make sure your pet is microchipped with your updated information registered. You can easily do this at your local veterinary clinic.
- Make sure your pet has a collar/harness with a pet tag that has your contact details in case needed. Pet Record also provides a digital pet id tag where you can put all information you want that can be scanned by any smartphone.
- Get a GPS Tracker. Search for some good reviews online to find the tracker you think is best before buying the first one you see on the internet.
- Instruct people that visit your house to never leave the door or gate open at all times! Even though this might be common sense for you, it might not be for other people. You love your pet more than anything in the world but other people don’t feel the same. So make sure to repeat it on a regular basis to remind people of it. You can install an extra safety door that closes automatically in front or behind your gate door for example to have some extra safety or hang a sign to remind people.
- Have a security camera outside your house so you know the direction your pet went to when they got out of the house.
- Make sure neighbours know you and your pets. Not only because it’s nice to know your neighbours in general, but also because they can keep an eye out or recognise your pet if they see him/her wondering down the street.
- There are many articles online that already warn people of keeping their pets safe inside during evenings like New Year’s Eve. Star Veterinary Clinic also wrote a blog, giving advice. Don’t take any chances. Pets get scared of sounds like fireworks. So, keep them safe indoors with you at evenings like these!
For dogs specifically:
- Make sure your dog has a perfect recall. So that when he/she wanders off or gets scared of something, your dog will come back to you when you call him/her.
- Make sure your dog knows your area inside out. Use different routes during your daily walks so your dog knows how to find their home when needed.
- Keep your garden safe as much as you can. One thing you can use is the spinning paddle fence system from Oscillot so your cat can’t jump over your garden walls.
- If you live on a balcony, then make sure to install a cat net.
What to do if your pet gets lost
Even though you’ve done everything that I’ve mentioned above, there is still a chance of losing your pet. And when that happens, try not to panic.
Inform someone close to you so you don’t have to go through this alone and follow the below list of things you can do:
- Check the camera you have at your house and the GPS tracker on the collar of your pet. This should be enough to be able to find your pet already right away.
- Look in the area with as many people as you can as soon as possible. Even ask strangers on the street to keep an eye out and give a number so they can call you. But also go back at night when it’s quiet. Especially cats are sometimes too scared to show themselves during the day.
- Check CCTV footage of your neighbourhood or of the neighbourhood where you lost your pet. Sometimes not all security is as helpful as you would like. Call Dubai Police if needed so they can help you. You can also call the police right away if you think someone took your pet.
- Contact veterinary clinics as many as you can of the ones in the area where you lost your pet. Unfortunately, there is no National system that is linked so it’s best to contact them individually to check if they have received your pet and leave the microchip number and your contact details so they can call in case they find your pet or someone brings your pet to the clinic. You can also contact Dubai Municipality for the same.
- Leave a shirt or another piece of clothing that has your scent on it outside the area where you lost your pet. If you lost your cat, you can also put your cat’s litter box outside. Put this, if possible, in an area that is a bit hidden. Many dogs and cats will smell your scent from far away and will go to it in the night when it’s not so busy on the street. So make sure to check this spot first thing in the morning before everybody is awake.
- Create a poster/flyer. Keep the flyer as clear and easy to read as possible. But do have the word: “Missing” in bold letters and maybe a different colour (red) at the top so it grabs people’s attention. Make sure to include the following information:
- A clear image of your pet
- Name of your pet
- If your pet is female or male
- Your pet’s breed (if any)
- Specifics of the looks like colours
- The colour of the collar or harness
- The area where your pet got lost
- More details (id your pet friendly or not, if people should approach or not)
- The last 4 digits of the microchip
- Phone numbers people can reach you on
- Reward when your pet is found (not mandatory but would advise it)
- Don’t forget to print out the poster and give it to security in the neighbourhood your pet got lost as well as supermarkets and even people on the street.
- Spread this poster as much as you can on social media channels like:
- Doggie Adventures in Dubai
- Dog Parents in Dubai
- Your community social media pages
- UAE lost & found
- Dubai Pet lost & found
- Dogs in Dubai
- Lost Found Pets
- Dubai Dog Lovers
- Dog Lovers in UAE
- Dubai Cats & Dog Lovers
- Dogs & Cats Lovers UAE
- Dubai Cats
- Dog Owners in UAE
- Dog Owners Abu Dhabi
- For The Love Of Pets - UAE
- UAE Pet Lovers
- All About Pets Dubai
- Adoption pages
- Rescue organisations (you can find the whole overview in this blog)
- When you post on your own account, make sure the account and/or post is open so people can share it.
If you haven’t been able to find your pet after a day or two, start visiting local animal markets and websites like Dubizzle to try to find your pet there. Although we don’t want to think about it, maybe someone with bad intentions found your beloved pet and put him/her up for sale.
Finally, make sure to take care of yourself. Your pet will not benefit if you don’t eat or sleep. You can not focus if you don’t think of your basic needs first however hard that might be. That doesn’t mean that you’re giving up. You just make sure that you can keep focused on getting your furbaby back.