Posted in cats, dogs, pets

Protecting your pet

It’s a sinking feeling that no one wants to go through. You take your pet out for a walk, perhaps only to have a neighbor’s lawn mower startle your furry friend, who bolts away in a hurry.
Losing a much-loved pet can be agonizing. The sad thing is, even if you’re very careful about your pet’s whereabouts, it can happen to you too.
This is why we work at keeping our cats indoors at my house. There’s a big road only 50 or so feet away in the front of the house, and many wooded places to hide in the back. Still, once in a while one of them gets out and up a tree within seconds. Marbles, the calico, is out of the door like a flash when she sees a bird or chipmunk to chase. When our son was young, she managed to get away and over the hill one summery afternoon. We didn’t realize she was out of the house until after dinner, and by that time it was beginning to get dark. We searched everywhere in the house, and then determined that she must be outdoors.
All of the enticing places in the yard had turned up empty, so we began spreading out over the hill and beyond. After an hour of searching, down in the tall weeds in the middle of a field sat a very frightened cat. She apparently had been hot on the trail of something that led her out of the yard. When she came to her senses, she didn’t know how to return to the house. Just a few steps beyond her usual territory was a totally different world.
To aid in identifying your pet, start using a collar and an ID tag. Getting used to wearing a collar is time-consuming but worth the effort. You may be afraid that your pet will strangle if caught on its collar. Break-away collars protect your pet from getting hung up, and are worth the cost, even if you have to replace them from time to time.
If you have a dog, you may already be required to have a license tag on your pet at all times. Check with your dog control officer for the requirements in your community.
Engrave your phone number as well as the number of a trusted friend or family member on the tag – another way for someone to reach you if you’re out, busy searching for Fido.
Microchips, which are inserted under the skin at the nape of the neck, are advertised as the ideal way to reunite you with your pet. The drawback is that not every microchip can be read by the different scanners available, and there are some issues about microchips causing tumors in some pets.
There are some heartwarming stories about reunions with long lost pets, too, so microchips are not without merit.
As usual, discuss the options with your veterinarian to determine what is most useful for your pet and you.



a little off-center, but full of good intentions