Essential pet security precautions for animal safety

Pets are much loved members of the family, and their safety and security is just as important as ours. The Kennel Club reported in 2014[1] there were more than 70,000 pets missing in the UK, with this worrying statistic in mind we have collated a few tips to help keep your pets safe and secure.

Microchips and collars

Dogs are required by law to wear collars in public, displaying clearly their owners name and address [2], in order to help recover them when he or she is lost or stolen. From April 2016 it became compulsory for owners to microchip their dogs and all details be kept up to date [3]. Microchips are often considered a more reliable form of identification, as unlike a collar, the implanted microchip cannot be easily removed. Cats are not required by law to wear a collar or be microchipped; however for their safety and security it is advisable they have a form of identification.

It is also advised owners of pets to take photos of their pets regularly, and to write down a clear description taking note of any distinguishing marks in case a pet ever goes missing.

Insurance

The safety and security of pets is priceless, however it is important to remember that pets are a huge financial investment, with owners having to pay costly veterinary bills for the treatment of illness and injury.  Pet insurance provides a safety net to help safeguard you from any emergency costs related to your pets, including cover for theft or loss.

Dog walks

When taking a dog for a walk they are safest when on a leash, however most dogs needs to be let off the lead when it is safe to do so, in order to run around and explore. Owners are advised to train their dogs to stay within view when off the lead and to respond to their owners call when summoned.

Often people will leave their dog tied up outside a shop or premises where they are not allowed inside, but this can be very dangerous and be used a great opportunity for a thief. It is best to avoid leaving your pet outside on its own or with strangers, as they are most vulnerable when they are not with their owners.

Cat flaps

Cats often come in and out of a home without their owner’s knowledge, putting them at risk of theft. It is advisable a cat is trained to come indoors when summoned by a certain sound or at a specific time. It is recommended owners keep their cats indoors throughout the night in order to safeguard them from foxes, drivers and various other dangers.

For security purposes, a cat flap should only be fitted on the side of the door away from the handle[4], or fitted to the wall instead of a door, this helps prevent burglars and intruders using the cat flap to put their hand through and reach the lock or key.

Home Security Systems and Devices

Your pets may be safe while you are watching over them but what happens when you leave the house? For those who are constantly on the move, whether you are working full time or doing the school run, it is impossible to be at home all day, however many will feel sceptical leaving their pets home alone. Installing a smart home security device, including a camera, can allow owners to keep an eye on their pets remotely. There are smart security devices on the market which include monitored smoke detectors; this could save the lives of your pets in the event of a fire.

For more tips on how to keep your home secure in order to keep your loved ones and pets’ safe, head over to security tips page https://www.keytek.co.uk/security-tips/

Missing pet?

In the unfortunate event of losing a pet, the search should be initiated by informing all local veterinary practices, animal welfare organisations and your local animal warden service. The next step would be circulating flyers displaying a photo of your pet and highlighting any distinguishable features.

Remember to inform all agencies if you find your pet, and remove all flyers and lost pet notices. The lost and found system is extremely busy and overflowing with details that other owners have a huge difficulty being reunited with their pets.

If you are at all concerned with the safety of your pet there are various organisations out there that can help and provide advice, some of these are linked below. You can also contact your pet’s registered veterinary practice as they are experts and always more than happy to help.

Useful links:

RSPCA- https://www.rspca.org.uk/home

Kennel Club- http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/

Dogs Trust- https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/

Cats Protection- http://www.cats.org.uk/

Sources-

[1] http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press-releases/2014/june/more-than-70,000-pets-missing-in-the-uk-the-equivalent-of-ten-times-the-population-of-the-city-of-london

[2] http://blog.petplan.co.uk/07/2013/advice/does-my-dog-need-to-wear-a-collar/

[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/news/compulsory-dog-microchipping-comes-into-effect

[4] http://www.vetstream.co.uk/hook/html/pdf/Factsheets/Cat/24_282809.pdf

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