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What to do if your pet goes missing

10th May 2017

Dear easipetcare friends,

Happy National Pet Week! Not only is this week (7th-14th May) National Pet Week (and one of our favourite dates on the pet calendar!) but this year May is also our special microchipping month! With National Microchipping Month just around the corner I want to make sure all of of your precious pets are safe and protected! I know how upsetting it is when a pet goes missing  so I want to make sure that all you pawesome pawrents are well equipped to make sure this doesn’t ever happen to your beloved pet. Which is why I want to share with you some tip-top tips on what to do if your pet goes missing. Sainsbury’s Bank have put together a fabulous guide to help reduce the risk of your precious fur-friend getting lost or stolen so get ready for this ultimate pet reuniting guide!

Why do pets go missing?

Unfortunately, the stress of a lost pet is something many pet owners have experienced. One in three pets go missing in their lifetime, and there is often a simple explanation.


Depending on its temperament and personality, a dog could run off on its own accord, given the chance – chasing wildlife or a scent, for example – especially if it’s not used to recall. So-called ‘dognappings’ are also becoming increasingly common. The risk of your dog going missing is generally higher:

  •   If it’s left in an unsecured garden
  •   When other people are looking after it
  •   If you let it off its lead in a new area


Many more cats go missing than dogs, as cats are far more likely to roam the streets alone – negotiating traffic and exploring new areas. If you have an indoor only cat, make sure doors and windows are closed and secured when leaving the house. If your cat does go missing, it’s worth bearing in mind that it could be hiding nearby, rather than lost. Indoor cats that are let out or escape may get nervous and seek shelter on your property or the surrounding area. The same goes for outdoor cats that find themselves in a new environment.

  • Start a search by circling your neighbourhood, calling your cat’s name.
  • Look under any bushes / shrubs in your own and nearby gardens.
  • Stop to listen at garages and sheds where your cat could be hiding, or locked in.
  • If you’ve recently moved from within the area, your cat may have found its way back to your old house.


Small furries, such as guinea pigs and rabbits, could escape if your property is not secure; for example, if there are gaps in your fence, or you’ve left your doors, windows or gates open.

How to be prepared!


Make sure your pet always leaves the house wearing a collar ID, with your name and address on it. Did you know that for dogs it’s a legal requirement when outside? Any pet wearing an ID tag is more likely to be returned to you if it goes missing – so don’t take the risk!


Get a ‘missing pet kit’ together, so you are prepared and have all the relevant information handy if your pet does go missing. This might contain:

  • Your pet’s description, age and weight
  • Photos of your pet
  • Important people to contact, including your vet and your microchip company
  • A list of local animal shelters
  • A list of any relatives or friends you and your pet have visited while on walks; it’s not unheard of for animals to show up at a home they have been to previously


From Spring 2016, all dogs over 8 weeks in England , Wales and Scotland are required by law to be microchipped . A microchip implant contains information relating to your pet, as well as your contact details. If a microchipped pet is lost, a vet, animal warden or animal shelter will be able to scan its chip and contact the owner. Though not a legal requirement, it’s worth considering whether your cat (or other pet) should be microchipped!

Throughout May 2017 we are offering all new and existing pets £5 microchips! Visit your local easipetcare practice to take advantage of our May Special Microchipping Offer!


Preventative measures


What you can do to minimise the risk of your pet going missing:

  • Make sure both gate and fence are high enough for bigger dogs
  • Check for gaps under and between the fence for smaller dogs, house cats and small furries
  • Erect sturdy fencing and check that your gate is secure to keep dogs from escaping
  • Bear in mind that most cats can usually scale even a high fence or gate
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed and secured


‘Dognapping’ is when criminals steal dogs, most often to sell them on the black market, and unfortunately this is on the rise. Dogs tend to be stolen because of their sale value or their fighting and guarding ability.

What should I look out for?

  • Suspicious markings left on your property
  • A stranger asking you lots of questions about your pet
  • A stranger leaning over your garden fence / wall to see your pet

What else can I do?

Be vigilant and cautious. Someone showing an interest in your dog may well be perfectly innocent, but be careful about revealing too many details, like where you live, your pet’s name, and whether or not they’ve been neutered.

Avoid leaving your dog unattended in a yard or garden for long periods of time.

What to do if your pet goes missing


If possible, put together posters and leaflets containing relevant information.

1. The missing pet’s name.
2. A brief description of the missing pet – breed, or type, size, any distinctive markings.
3. A photo of the missing pet.
4. Your contact details.

Also consider offering a reward, and including the details on the flyer/poster.

More tips on what to do if your pet goes missing can be found in Sansbury’s ultimate guide here.

So now you’re all prepared and ready to take action in case of an emergency 😉

Until next time…

With best wishes,

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