Maybe they ran off in fright when a loud noise startled them, or perhaps they found a hole in the fence… Whatever the situation, a missing fur baby is every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Before you panic, we’ve got some sound advice on what to do. Read on to find out why your fur baby ran off, how to effectively search for them, and most importantly, how to prevent them from going missing in future!
Let’s talk Prevention
They say ‘prevention is better than cure’… So, the best thing you can do for your fur baby is help them if they go missing by ensuring they have a form of identification on them. Microchipping your pet is always a great idea but be sure to have your details updated if you move or change phone numbers.
Alternatively, why not try our brand new Marltons Find Me Tag? It’s a waterproof tag with a microchip that you can easily attach to your pet’s collar. This way, anyone with a smart phone can scan the tag and contact you if they find your fur baby!
How does the Marltons Find Me Tag work?
The tag is designed to stand out from your pet’s collar and clearly signifies that a smart phone can conveniently retrieve the pet owner’s details by scanning it. When someone scans the tag, a personalised SMS will automatically be sent to you, enabling you to recover your fur baby.
Better yet: no software installation is required. There’s no subscription fee either! You’ll fully own the tag and all its functionality independently of anyone else.
Why do pets go missing?
There are a number of reasons. The key to preventing your pet from doing it again is figuring out why they wandered off and how to put a stop to that behaviour. Here are a few of the most common reasons why pets run off:
1. Bored Fur Baby
Your pet might not be feeling stimulated enough. Roaming the neighbourhood allows bored pets to explore and stretch those little paws. To prevent this: Keep your fur baby busy with regular exercise - take a look at our dog collars, leads and harnesses for safe and fun walks!
If your male fur baby is unneutered or not spayed, he may run off to find a mate. Alternatively, your pet may have spotted what they think of as ‘prey’, like a bird, and couldn’t resist jumping over the fence to chase them. To prevent this: Spay and neuter your pets if you can. Or give your pets something to chase at home with our range of dog and cat toys.
3. Scaredy Cat
The most common reason pets run off, is fear. Often its loud noises that can spark a fear response in pets. So, if your fur baby is terrified by thunderstorms or fireworks, ensure you get them settled safely inside before any big bangs. Give them their own safe space that they can go to. Put on soothing music to drown out scary noises, shower your pet with extra cuddles, and be sure to dish out a few treats for good behaviour. Running low on your fur baby’s favourite? Stock up on the best cat and dog treats, right now!
Have you brought your pets on holiday with you or moved to a new house? Keep a close eye on them. There’s more of a risk your pet will run off if they’re not used to the new surroundings. To prevent this: bring something your pet associated with home to help them settle quickly - like their bed. Need a new pet bed? Take a look at our bedding for cats and dogs while you’re here!
What to do when your pet goes missing
Sometimes, even the best pet parents can have their fur baby go missing. When that happens, here’s what to do:
- Don’t panic - On ASPCA study found that 74% of lost cats and 93% of lost dogs were found!
- Get in touch with your neighbours and ask if they have seen your pet.
- Help your pet scent where home is - put pungent food (like tuna) and clothes or bedding with your scent on them outside.
- Gather friends and family and search the neighbourhood on foot, the more people the better. Call your pet’s name often and loudly - they will recognise your voice! Be systematic and go block by block.
- It’s also a good idea let the community know if your pet has a microchip or Marltons Find Me Tag – after all it could make it easier to retrieve your fur baby!
- Perhaps your pet ran off because they were afraid. Be sure to look in places your fur baby may be hiding, like bushes, under cars, sheds, garages, and verandas.
- If you do spot your fur baby, don’t chase after them as they may be frightened. Instead, sit down with a treat and call them over in a soothing voice.
- Check in daily with your local vet clinics and shelters as most people will hand in stray pets here.
- Put the word out on social media that your pet is missing - post on local pet and shelter groups too.
In need of more pet care tips? Check out our latest blog posts here.