The main precautions we can take to prevent our pets from going missing include keeping them indoors, keeping gates locked and avoiding leaving our companion animals tied (even momentarily) to gates or in public spaces without supervision. It’s advisable to always keep dogs on leash during walks and avoid the practice of letting them go out for walks on their own no matter how well they might know the neighbourhood, as they are at risk of theft and accidents. Additionally, these tools help keep our pets safe or find them when they go missing.

Harness A harness (seen in this picture) wraps comfortably around a dog’s chest, and can be used along with the leash. It prevents your dog from backing up and slipping his head out of the collar, and is particularly useful during vet visits (or on walks, if he is timid around other dogs), where he is likely to do this out of fear. Harnesses are also ideal for boisterous dogs as they have the added advantage of reducing pressure on the neck.

Microchip This is a chip embedded through an injection under the skin in a cat or dog and contains contact information of the owner. If someone finds your pet, they will need a microchip scanner (usually available at veterinary clinics) to search for the chip and get your contact info.

Digital Tag This recently launched digital tag called “Pettagu” is affixed to your pet’s collar and allows you to update your contact information online (you can create a profile for your pet and even include vaccination records for ease of reference), so anyone who finds your missing dog can access your number and this information by scanning the tag with his smartphone (using the QR code). You are instantly notified of the location of the pet when they scan the tag with their smartphone. If the finder doesn’t have a smartphone, they can access your contact information online by entering the unique alphanumeric code that is printed on the tag. To protect your privacy, you can keep your contact info hidden online and make it visible only if the pet goes missing. The tags can be purchased at www.pettagu.com.

Tag with name and number Even if you have microchipped your pet or used a digital tag, this simple metal tag engraved with the dog’s name and your number (attached to the collar) are a must for every pet as it is useful and direct, especially when the finder is not net-savvy. It’s ideal to leave the tagged collar on (even when the pet is at home), as they could go missing when we least expect it.

Animals looking for homes through Pet Pals are available for adoption free of cost