As a pet parent, one of the scariest things you can go through is when a pet gets lost. Whether they have escaped from the backyard, or worse, have been taken by a pet thief, this is one of the most frightening experiences to have to endure. There are, however, steps you can take to help prevent a lost or stolen pet. 

How to Help Prevent Lost Pets

Today, your friends at Countryside Animal Hospital will share five handy tips to help keep your dogs and cats safe while reducing the risk of them becoming lost or stolen. Keep reading to learn more, and connect with your trusted local veterinarians in Fort Collins with any questions you may have.

Have Them Wear ID Tags

You can create ID tags for your dogs and cats easily at your favorite pet store or online. Include information such as their name and your current phone number, so that if they’re lost and then found, you can be reunited quickly. The key is to have them wear their collar and ID tags at all times in case they escape from your yard, run out the door, or come loose from their leash while out and about.

Make Sure Your Yard is Secure

If you let your dogs roam freely outside, it’s essential to perform regular checks of your fencing to ensure your yard is secure. Repair any holes that they could escape through, fill holes with dirt to prevent an under-fence escape, and make sure all gates are tightly shut and latched. Perform these checks once a week, at least, and after inclement weather, or after you’ve had home repairs to the exterior of your home.

Keep Them on a Leash

It’s fun to let your dog run free while you’re out and about, but for many dogs, this could mean they dart away while chasing a bunny or squirrel and end up getting lost. It’s best for your dog’s safety to keep them on the leash while out on walks around the neighborhood. If you do let your dog off the leash while at the park or other public places, have a backup plan in place. You might carry a container of treats or their favorite squeaky toy to help draw their attention back to you if they run off. If your dog is not well-trained to be off the leash, it’s simply not worth the risk. 

Avoid Leashing Your Dog Outside Stores  

We all love to take our furry companions with us when we run errands, but they can’t always go inside different establishments with us. It’s common, especially in towns like Fort Collins, to see dogs tied to trees, signposts, or even bike racks while the owners run inside to do some shopping or grab a bite to eat. But the truth of the matter is, you’re putting your dog’s safety and well-being at risk. Anyone can walk up and take them within a matter of minutes. They could come loose and run off right into traffic. Sometimes it’s better to leave your furry best friend at home to reduce the likelihood of them getting lost or stolen. 


Microchipping your dog or cat can help them get back home to you. The microchipping process is a noninvasive procedure that is completed in our vet office. It involves implanting a tiny computer chip into your pet’s skin just between their shoulder blades. The tiny chip is approximately the size of a small grain of rice and contains information about you and your pet, which is tied to a unique identification number. Vets, animal hospitals, humane societies, and animal shelters can scan the chip to retrieve the information. As a result, this significantly increases the likelihood of being reunited with your pet quickly.

Schedule Your Pet’s Vet Visit

If you would like to have your dog or cat microchipped, please reach out to your friendly Fort Collins veterinarians to arrange your pet’s visit. While it’s recommended to have your puppies and kittens microchipped during a spay or neuter, anytime is a good time to microchip your pet for their safety and your peace of mind.