Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you’re like most pet owners, you’re probably planning on surprising your furry sweetie with a gift or two. February 14th is also National Pet Theft Awareness Day! While this isn’t nearly as romantic as the heart-filled holiday, it can be just as meaningful for pets and their owners.

At Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital, we are thrilled to help you focus on your pet’s ongoing safety and well-being! Take a peek at our tips on how you can maximize the safety of your four-legged loved one this Valentine’s Day and all year long.

Pet Theft Awareness

Pet theft awareness may not be high on your list of concerns, but it should be. Rates of pet theft continue to rise in this country, and no pet is completely free of risk.

  • Always supervise your pet while outdoors or in public areas.
  • Walk pets on a leash.
  • Never leave your pet tied up unattended.
  • Make sure your yard is secure before allowing your pet out.
  • Keep cats indoors for their safety and health.
  • Keep a properly fitting collar with up-to-date ID tags on your pet at all times. If your pet is not microchipped, consider doing so.

If your pet goes missing, your first step should be to contact shelters, veterinary hospitals, and law enforcement in your area. Distribute lost pet posters with a recent photo of your pet, and utilize social media to get the word out.

Microchipping 101

Having your pet microchipped is one of the best ways to increase your chances of being reunited should your pet go missing. A microchip adds an extra layer of security in the event your pet is lost, stolen, or unwittingly adopted by another family.

Here’s how it works:

  • The microchip is embedded between the shoulder blades or back of the neck, just under the skin, via hypodermic needle. Your pet will only feel a pinch, if anything.
  • Microchips are small, about the size of a grain of rice, and encapsulated in biocompatible glass to prevent allergic reactions.
  • Microchips have no battery or internal power source, making them completely inert.
  • When the microchip is scanned by a shelter or veterinary hospital employee, its 15 digit identification number appears on the scanner. The employee will then call the microchip company with the information, who will in turn contact you.

It’s important to remember that your pet’s microchip is only as good as the information it contains! Make sure to register the chip once it’s inserted, and to update your contact information any time it changes.

Your pet’s safety is our top priority at Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital. Please let us know how we can help, or to answer any questions about pet theft awareness or another pet topic!