9 Ways to Help Find your Missing Pet

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It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare.  You let your furry companion out of your sight for a few minutes and now your pet is nowhere to be found.  Despite our best efforts to keep our pets safe, this scenario could happen.

So what can you do to improve your pet's chance of being found?  MetLife Pet Insurance1 put together some tips.

1. Don’t Let your Dog Leave Home Without A Microchip and ID Tag

Microchipping your pets, as well as utilizing visible ID tags on a pet’s collar, has proven to be the most effective method for the recovery and return of lost pets.

2. Start looking for your Missing Pet Quickly

The minute you find out your pet is missing is the minute you should begin your search.  Most dogs and cats tend to stay around their homes. Therefore, the sooner you begin looking for your animal companion, the greater the chance you will find them safe. 

3. Contact Local Animal Shelters and Animal Control

Contacting your local animal shelter, as well as any animal shelters in surrounding towns, can help.  Filing a lost pet report with every animal shelter located within 60 miles of your home is also a good step.  If possible, visiting the local shelters daily to see if your pet shows up at a shelter is preferred.

Additionally, contact your local animal control agency and your local police department.  Provide all of these organizations with a complete description and recent photos of your pet.

4. Canvas Your Neighborhood

Before worrying that your loved one has disappeared for good, walk or drive through all neighboring streets.  Consider knocking on doors to ask if anyone has seen your pet.  Making friends with other pet owners in your community early on can help with this should your pet go missing.

5. Post Notices About Your Missing Pet

Making lost pet posters and hanging them where legally allowed can also be very impactful.   Ask if you can post them in veterinarian offices, doctor’s offices, and pet food supply stores as well.

If you have a recent photo of your pet, include it on the flier.  Remember to include your pet’s age, sex, approximate weight, breed, and specific markings.  Additionally, include information such as “Fido is skittish. Please do not chase.”  You don’t want a well-intended citizen putting your pet at risk.

6. Take out an Ad in the Local Paper

Taking out an advertisement in the local newspapers with a picture of your missing pet can be incredibly effective.  If you choose to do this, be sure to include the last time your pet was seen and the general area where you believe your pet went missing. 

7. Turn to Social Media to Look for your Missing Pet

These days news travels fast.  You can engage more people in the search by posting information about your lost pet on your social media.  You'd be surprised how quickly social sharing can find your lost pet.

8. Use Lost Pet Websites

There are a number of lost pet websites on the internet.  These sites cross reference your pet's information with their database to look for matches. 

9. Contact Local Veterinarians

If someone finds an injured animal, they will likely take it to a veterinarian’s office.  Contact all the veterinarian offices in your area about your missing pet. If your pet has a microchip, vets can easily scan for the chip and match the animal to you.  Leave your contact information, as well as a detailed description of your furry friend, with each vet office. Remember, just because your dog is lost, doesn't mean they are gone for good.

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1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.