Stop what you are doing right now and make sure your dog has dog tags with correct information and your cat has a tear-away collar. The cat’s collar is to let someone know that your cat has a home. They should also be micro-chipped with up-to-date registration information.
The upcoming holiday season is hazardous to your dogs and cats. They are at an increased risk of loss. You have people coming in and out, to visit, to party, or to make deliveries. This is the number one time of year for animals to get lost.
Your favorite aunt from the Midlands may casually say, “Your cat wanted out, so I let him out.”
That’s right, your inside cat who you try to outwit and keep inside has just been escorted outside!
Make sure your guests know which animals are allowed out and through which doors. Lock the garden gate so it is not left open.
On the Day Precautions
Christmas Day and Boxing Day are festivals for family and friends. Your guests may want to greet your animals when they arrive, but it is better to keep dogs and cats in another room until the initial commotion of greetings and carrying in packages has subsided.
Maybe your dog or cat is a party animal, but many are more comfortable not being underfoot and meeting strangers. So if you have a party, consider confining the animals where they can doze instead of stealing holiday biscuits and running from crackers snapping.
And then there are the firework displays on New Year’s Eve…
Some animal rescue centres say that New Year’s Day is when they see the most lost animals. Visiting dogs that get lost, are really lost in that they are not familiar with the surroundings. When visiting with your animal, you can put masking tape on their collar with a local phone number – especially if the collar has no tag or the tag has a home phone on it rather than a mobile.
How can you lessen the possibility of an animal getting out?
Hearing fireworks, some dogs will go over, under or through a fence that ordinarily is an impassible barrier. If your dog hates explosions, walk him early before the noise begins. Put him inside in an interior room. Turn on some music. Consider giving him a calming supplement, available from your vet.
Some people swear by a new product from America called Thunder Shirts, which calm a dog by wrapping him tightly about the chest. That hugging feeling provides a comforting sensation.
Do not try to soothe him, but just act normally. If you soothe a dog when he is frightened, he thinks there is a reason to be scared. Better to carry on as if nothing is unusual.
Even when you take precautions, dogs and cats are always dreaming of what is beyond their boundaries – so don’t blame yourself if an animal goes walk-about. We can only do the best we can. But do make sure that when your lost animal is found, he has your contact information so you can be reunited.