close
Advertisement

What to Do When a Pet Goes Missing

A missing pet often turns up – a little bedraggled and hungry, but no worse for wear.

Missing pet
iStock
Advertisement

The longer a pet is missing, however, the greater its risk of becoming ill or being hit by a car. Here’s what to do.

Immediate Response

  1. Comb your house and garden Do not assume that your pet will respond to your frantic calls, so check your property thoroughly, including inside wardrobes, sheds – even crawl spaces and drains. If your dog went missing while off leash, return to where you last saw it.
  2. Check the neighbourhood Leave a description and a phone number with your neighbours – and ask them to check any outbuildings.
  3. Make familiar noises As you walk around, call your pet’s name, rattle a box of treats, squeeze a squeaky toy or use an ultrasonic whistle – they work for both cats and dogs.
  4. Attract with scent Animals can find their way by smell, so place some strongly scented items – such as its bedding – outside your home.

For Longer Absences

  1. Call local animal shelters, vets, animal control agencies and emergency animal hospitals further afield. Also contact your local council – some councils have their own facilities where they take missing pets.
  2. Make a poster with a description, a photo, the date your pet went missing and where it was last seen. Place it so it can also be seen by passing cars.
  3. Place an ad in the local paper.
  4. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your contact details are up to date on the relevant microchip registry.


Advertisement

More in Pets

28 ways your pet is trying to say “I love you”

28 ways your pet is trying to say I love you

They may not be able to speak but that doesn’t mean they can’t tell you how much they care about you!
Dr Katrina Warren’s top tips for successful apartment living with pets

Dr Katrina Warren’s top tips for successful apartment living with pets

Reader’s Digest’s new regular pet columnist, Dr Katrina Warren, is an established and trusted animal expert. Her long-standing role as a presenter on hit TV show Harry’s Practice has made her a household name in Australia. Here’s what you need to know to keep your dog or cat happy in a small space.
How to choose the perfect pet for your family

How to choose the perfect pet for your family

Ready for the responsibility? Here’s all you need to know.
10 shockingly common dog dangers in your own backyard

10 shockingly common dog dangers in your own backyard

Are you sure your backyard is perfectly safe for your pooch? Fix these everyday, surprising dangers and turn your yard from a doggie hazard to haven.
Confessions of a cat whisperer: 7 mistakes cat owners make

Confessions of a cat whisperer: 7 mistakes cat owners make

Got an issue with your feline friend? There’s a good chance you’re part of the problem.
Advertisement