Keeping Your Pet Safe
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2) Train & Restrain Your Pet
3) Spay/Neuter Your Pet
4) Disaster/Emergency Planning Resources
DO NOT RELY ON ANY ONE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION/REGISTRATION TO KEEP YOUR PET SAFE!
I prefer a securely affixed registered1 tag on a customized collar2 placed on a registered/microchipped pet3. This sounds complicated, but, really it is not.
Some new products emerging include GPS (systems that allow you to find your animal using global positioning system technology - of course, these are only reliable if the trackable component is on your pet and functional) and multifunction microchips (microchips that also provide medical information (i.e., body temperature, etc.), deliver medication/vaccinations, etc.) Therefore, I would still recommend using multiple identification methods with any new technologies.
Some are very expensive, but likely to become more affordable in the future . . .
Global Pet Finder
Dog GPS Collar
Home Again Microchip
Crystal Tag - based on ISO standards
Microchip technology -- Comparisons with the new chip on the block American Humane Association
Microchips and Your Pet by Randall Jackson
Tags, Licensing, Companion Recovery Services, Complimentary Products, etc . . .
Pet Data - Provides licensing services for several municipalities, counties, and animal welfare agencies throughout the US
AKC Companion Animal Recovery Program Accepts all pets that are identified with a microchip, tattoo, or the AKC CAR collar tag.
ePetTags - Provider of the AKC Companion Animal Recovery/Home Again Microchip Tag and other customized tag products. Also sells embroidered collars and leads.
Pet Protector System - Tag and 24-hour Recovery Service (1-800-HELP-4-PETS)
Other . . .
PetsMobility - a cell phone for your pet (not yet available) with other functionality planned (GPS, imaging, etc.) Permanent identification is a safe and effective way to help reunite pets with their owners. Besides the obvious aid they provide when someone is attempting to locate the pet's owner, permanently identified pets are less easily resold and, therefore, are less desireable to would-be pet nappers.
Microchipping is a widely used, effective, method of permanent identification. Universal scanners (scanners that can read any chip) have served to improve an already successful tool used to reunite lost pets and their families.
Worldwide, the AKC's Companion Animal Recovery Program will register any permanently identified species for a reasonable fee. Per the site, over 400,000 animals are enrolled in the program and they have returned in excess of 19,000 pets, for a 100% success rate.
TRAINING & RESTRAINING YOUR PET:
While obedience training your family dog is a must, training alone cannot guarantee that your dog will not run off. Sometimes, even a well-trained dog will be overcome by the temptation to chase a squirrel or rabbit. Besides the danger of losing your pet, this is one of the most common ways dogs are injured or killed by vehicles. Please read The Benefits of an Educated Dog at the Denver Dumb Friends League website and The Life and Death of an Untrained Dog by Robert J. Hoffman, Humane Society of Ventura County.
However, while not a guarantee, obedience training will increase your odds of being able to recall your dog and, without it, there is little chance that your dog will listen to any commands with any consistency. Additionally, a well trained dog is an indication, to those that might find him or her, that there is probably a caring and responsible owner out there somewhere looking for their dog to those who may find it.
But, restraint and protection are additionally important for all types of pets. Secure, properly installed, fencing provides relatively reliable containment for the dog owner. Physical fencing also provides a barrier to discourage other animals and people from coming in. This is not the case with an electronic barrier products. Read Diane Baumann's piece on Radio Collar Containment Systems for more information. While your dog may be contained, these products provide no deterrent to entry by other animals and humans.
Because of the many dangers that can threaten cats outdoors, cats, when not being carefully supervised, should remain indoors. Predators, vehicles, diseases, parasites and more, pose real, serious dangers to cats that are allowed to roam. I can assure you that you are not depriving them of some natural 'need' to roam. Pet cats can be quite happy and content spending the majority of their time indoors.
Additionally, be certain, especially, when you are away from home, that you maintain sufficient control over your dog or cat and that your pet is properly identified. A leash is the best way to insure you maintain this control and there are a variety of lengths and types available to fit almost any requirement. Contrary to popular belief, cats can also be leash trained. Be certain that you have secured the leash properly and remove it, immediately, when the pet is no longer under your direct control.
When traveling in a vehicle or transport, secure, rigid, carriers provide reliable protection and control. There are also a variety of other safety restraint devices available through pet supply outlets. Do NOT throw your dog in your car or the back of your pickup and go! The back of a pickup, properly outfitted with secured carriers, is fine - anything else is putting your pet at great risk.
SPAYING OR NEUTERING YOUR PET:
Spaying your female or Neutering your male animal provides health benefits, will help put an end to pet overpopulation issues, including the need to prematurely euthanize unwanted dogs and cats, and, also, significantly reduces their desire to roam.
The following sites offer further insight into ways to keep your pet safe at home & on the road:
Sherlock Bones' Keeping Your Pet Safe
American Animal Hospital Association's Pet Care Library Safety, Moving/Traveling and Care Tips
AAA: Avian Auto Adventure by Su Egen at Winged Wisdom
Traveling With Kitty By Car, By Plane and Staying in Motels is available at the Pet'escue Network
Top 10 Tips for Traveling With Your Dog by Christine Hunsicker
2007 Lost/Found Listings
2006 Lost/Found Listings
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Midwest Rescue Directory
Submit a Lost/Found Pet Listing
Finding Your Lost Pet
Keeping Your Pet Safe
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