PETS – Lost Prevention and Training

flying dogs - Photo © Stacy Andrew

flying dogs - Photo © Stacy Andrew

Many of our clients have animal trainers and pet-care staff they hire for their beloved animal companions. In our wonderfully reclusive and animal friendly canyon where we live (both wild and tame), we’ve had to rescue lost animals to keep them from harm too often. Some of our neighbors are unconscionably neglectful, repeatedly losing their pets. An owners neglect can cost an animal life so easily, a twinge of anger towards an owner in these instances is appropriate. It’s truly not that difficult to be a responsible pet owner. Once domesticated, lost animals don’t have the same instincts they could rely upon in the wild to defend themselves, often winding up dead; killed by coyotes, lynx, or the occasional bobcat (also living in our canyons people forget about)

sedgwick collars from Up Country - see their wonderful selections and holiday gift ideas

Sedgwick collars from Up Country - see their wonderful selections and great holiday gifts for cats and dogs

Please don’t neglect a pet. Whether you own, or provide care for them, show them that extra loving care they give back unconditionally. Check daily when petting your animal to see they have current ID with their name and your contact info at all times. We tend to believe that tagged pets prevents them from getting lost. Tragically, this is not the case as many owners can heartbreakingly verify. According to reported statistics 60% of dogs purchased from pet stores are lost, never to be recovered. Many pet stores use microchips to embed identification into their animals, touting it as the most advanced tracking system of guaranteeing the owners investment. While it may be a good sales pitch, things don’t always appear as they seem. Owners are given paperwork to fill out and register with the microchip company who tracks the animals if lost. A scanner device scans the microchip, then displays a unique alphanumeric code with the information owners provide, usually for a one time fee.

pet identification microchip
pet identification microchip

Yet, owners commonly forget to follow up and actually send in the registration, so the animal remains without information leading back to the owner. Another disadvantage of microchips, despite the fact that they never need to have batteries replaced (and philosophically speaking, I strongly oppose microchip tracking, regardless of any technological merit they may provide), veterinarians don’t necessarily have the scanning device required to use on them. Often people turn in lost animals to vets thinking this might prevent them from being euthanized if nobody claims them. They presume animal doctors will find them a home. Not true. Veterinarians turn unclaimed animals to pounds that are overrun with unclaimed pets, who are euthanized.

Our TIP today: if you like microchip identification, ensure your pet is properly registered. Be aware that there are misconceptions about how the microchips work with competing technology that limits effectiveness of these devices owners rely upon. Lack of ID is the most common cause of death among animals, a tragedy that cannot be emphasized enough. Nothing beats an old fashioned collar tag, like those from Up Country that are eco friendly, even if you do microchip your dog. It’s important to remember that the more we rely on technology, the easier it is to lose track of responsibilities to protect our animals.

laugh with your cat

laugh with your cat

Do not leave your animal alone or let them dart out an open door which takes but a minute of being distracted. They are usually stolen when left alone, especially purebred dogs where there is a large black market rapidly growing. To learn how to easily teach your dog to sit and roll over, dog lover Andrea Arden created her version of doing it. See her SIT and ROLL OVER videos.

Send us your favorite pet stories, we’d love to hear about them!

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