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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Protect Your Pet From Loss & Theft

Each year, about 10 million pets are lost in the United States alone. According to the Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families, fewer than 23% of reported lost pets are ever reunited with their family.

Keeping your pet safe and secure is their first line of defense against getting lost or stolen. Should they ever get lost, their chances of being returned greatly increase if they’re wearing a collar with ID tags and/or have a microchip with your up-to-date contact information.

Gear To Keep Your Pet Safe
When you take your dog for on-leash walks, consider switching from a standard flat collar. Collars are easy for dogs to back out of if spooked, especially for breeds with a thick neck and a small, narrow head.

A comfy harness is an ideal choice for most dogs. Harnesses distribute pressure across your dog’s chest, and if fitted correctly, are difficult to impossible to escape.

When your dog is indoors or out in the backyard, they can wear a collar with attached ID tags to help them get home if they escape. You may want to purchase multiple sets of ID tags if your dog has multiple collars, harnesses, and other walking gear.

Your pet’s ID tag should include your phone number and address so you can be contacted right away. There is no need to include your pet’s name, as this can actually make it easier for a thief to call them over.

Prevent Pet Loss And Theft On Your Property
If you have a backyard, a physical barrier is best for preventing escape and theft. Even if your dog is trained to stay in your yard, people can enter your property and steal your dog if you do not have a fence.

For dogs that scale fences, a coyote roller can help. You can also use shrubbery or a small inner fence to make it impossible for your dog to get the running head-start they need to jump over.

While having a dog may deter would-be thieves, an expensive-looking purebred dog can attract pet flippers. They may use food to lure your dog and to prevent them from alerting you.

Prevent Pet Loss And Theft Away From Home
Even if your dog is fully recall trained, they’re at risk for getting lost or stolen on off-leash adventures.

Consider using a leash or a long line in wide open areas so they can exercise without leaving your sight. If you regularly enjoy off-leash dog hikes, you can use a GPS dog collar that connects to your phone to track your dog down if they should wander off.

Your pet’s microchip acts as permanent, undeniable proof they belong to you. However, not all brands are picked up by all scanners, and it’s possible for the chip to shift under the skin. Ask your veterinarian to scan your pet’s chip during regular checkups to ensure it has not shifted and that it’s up-to-date with your latest contact information.