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An ID tag and a microchip are musts
ID tags and microchips are affordable and simple and can make a difference in whether you'll ever see your pet again. This won't guard against pet theft, but if your pet goes missing and you report it, the pet is much more likely to return home when the thief slips up and loses or dumps the animal.
Keep your pet's info up to date
Inaccurate and expired information won't help you to get your pet back, so make sure your pet's personal information is up to date. This means making sure your pet is registered with your town's health department if required, that his tags and microchip information are current and that you have a recent photo of your pet that's easily accessible if your pet does go missing. "The problem of lost dogs can be greatly reduced if pet owners take precautions, such as implanting a microchip and keeping their tags updated," affirms Dori Scofield, vice president of Guardians of Rescue, a non-profit animal rescue organization.
Only leave your dog with someone you trust
Not everyone in the pet industry is trustworthy, so if you hire a dog walker or pet sitter, make sure you get to know this person before handing off your pet. Check out their references, ask questions and don't be afraid to hire someone else if you're uncomfortable for any reason. Your gut reaction is often the right one, so if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
Stay focused on the task at hand
When walking your dog, be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your animal. This isn't the time to get lost in a phone conversation or daydream. This is especially important in high-traffic areas such as festivals and parades, city dog parks and town centers.
Your cat may not be too happy with you for keeping her indoors, but it's for her own good! "If you have an indoor cat who likes to get some sun, screen in a porch or make a comfy window spot. Stray cats have been stolen not to sell for cash, but can be used as bait for dog fighting or other equally as horrific pursuits," explains Emily Gear.
Spay and neuter your pets
Take Bob Barker's advice and spay and neuter. Fixed animals are less likely to wander off and it will prevent unwanted animals from being brought into the world. It's a win-win any way you look at it!
More on pet safety
Halloween pet safety tips
6 Reasons to buckle up your pooch while driving
10 Ways to keep your dog safe while camping