July 5th is usually the busiest day of the year for animal shelters in the United States due to the holiday that precedes it. Fireworks, large gatherings, flashing lights, and general noise causes many pets to panic and run away. While pets are at an increased risk of getting lost during holidays and celebrations, the fact is that pets are at risk of getting lost every day.

One in three pets get lost in their lifetime, and less than 23% of lost pets in the United States make it home. The number of dogs and cats that end up in animal shelters each year exceeds 4 million. Pet owners know how important it is to keep their four-legged family members safe and at home, and that’s why PetHub started Lost Pet Prevention Month in 2014. Celebrated every July, Lost Pet Prevention Month aims to spread awareness of lost pets, the pressure shelters feel during overpopulation, and what steps owners can take to keep their pets safe.

At DogWatch®, it’s our mission to keep pets safe. We are pet owners ourselves, and can understand the heartache that pet owners must feel when their pet is lost. We are dedicated to creating products than can help reduce the number of lost pets and give pet parents peace of mind that their dogs (and cats) will not be one of those 10 million lost each year.

Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

Here are FIVE ways you can help keep your pet safe year-round.

1. Training

The easiest way to keep your pet safe in all situations is through proper training. Obedience training is a reliable way to train both cats and dogs to follow the safety rules of your home. Recall training for dogs is a critical skill to learn and can help keep them safe in any situation. You can get expert advice training from the American Kennel Club here. Training a cat is a more nuanced process and takes patience and consistency. Here are some tips for training your cat to come on command.

dog working on obedience training, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

2. Microchip Your Pet

The most cost-effective and easiest way to make your pet safer is to microchip them. The procedure is relatively painless that takes just a few minutes, and it gives your pet an identification tag that cannot be removed or lost and will never need replacing. However, it’s important to remember that even though microchips are registered with a national database, you will need to update the information in the event you move.

cat getting microchipped, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

3. Pet-Proof Your Home

The security of your home is crucial to both keeping animals out and keeping your pets in it. You will, of course, want to make sure that all of your doors and windows can latch correctly and that you are always cognizant of keeping them closed or locked.

Beyond that, make sure that any damaged screens are replaced promptly. Many cats use windows screens as scratching posts, and dogs can easily rip holes in full-sized screens by simply scratching to get out. Here are some pet-proof screens to consider!

Cat at screen, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

4. Register Your Pet

You should always register your pets with your town following local laws. Also, if your pet goes missing in your area, even if they aren’t wearing identification, it can help local authorities identify them. It’s also cheap, easy, and proves that your dog is vaccinated according to state laws. In many cases, much of the fee you pay goes directly to local animal shelters and supports local animal control officers.

register your pet with town, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

5. Be Prepared

The easiest way to prevent your pet from being lost is to plan. If you are having a large gathering, there is an event such as fireworks that will bring loud noises, or you will be introducing new animals or people to your home, think of your pet FIRST. Have a plan in place to keep your four-legged family member safe. Try confining them to a specific area of the house and double-checking all doors, windows, and pet doors.

Also, ANY time you bring your dog outside of an enclosed yard, make sure they are on a leash. All it takes is an overly friendly dog or a curious squirrel to cause them to bolt. Installing a hidden fence is also a fantastic option for homeowners who do not have a physical fence. Consider a reliable, safe, and effective, hidden fence from DogWatch® to provide your dog both safety and freedom.dog at baby gate, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

The DogWatch® Difference

Our hidden fences are designed to give pets the freedom to run, play and exercise outdoors, while at the same time staying safe within their yards and away from potential hazards such as roads, wooded areas, pools, gardens and more. We are committed to providing the best safety features in the industry, including our patented SafeLink® Digital FM signal and other unique features like AutoMemory® and FastReact®. The SmartFence® goes even further – it keeps owners connected to their hidden fence even when they’re not at home, with customized text messages and notifications to alert you if you need to change a battery, if there is a power outage, and more.

dogwatch customer with safe dog, Lost Cat in shelter, lost pet prevention month

But don’t just take our word for it. Everyday, we hear stories from our customers about how DogWatch® Hidden Fences have changed their lives for the better. Here are a few examples:

  • We love our DogWatch underground fencing! We live on 5 acres and have 2 husky/lab one year old pups with lots of energy and would never stay home! We emailed DogWatch® in Omaha, Nebraska and they email us back right away with all the information we needed! James, from DogWatch® arrived and installed the fence so quickly and you could not even see where the cable was put in the ground! He was so patient with training our dogs and they loved him! Each time we called with questions him and Laura took the time to help us! James came back a week later to make sure the dogs where doing good and continued to answer our questions! They followed up again a week later to make sure all was going great! I would highly recommend their service to anyone! Our dogs never leave the acreage and are so happy to be running non stop and we don’t have to drive the country roads looking for them!Michele H., DogWatch® of Omaha Customer
  • We have a Rottweiler, Pit Bull and German Shepard mix who is extremely aggressive towards other dogs. We considered fencing in our yard at a cost of $10,000. Friends referred us to Top Dog, who utilize the DogWatch Hidden Fence. We were skeptical that it would work, but Ed at Top Gog guaranteed the fence would contain the beast and he could train him. We are 100% satisfied with the results as our dog has never breached the fence nor has he challenged it since the training was completed, despite the constant temptations. The customer service was exceptional and it was a fraction of the cost of the above ground fence. Our beast actually got ahold of the collar and completely destroyed it, but Top Dog honored the warranty and replaced it for us. — The Miller Family, DogWatch® by Top Dog Fence Customer  
  • I needed a reliable indoor fence to keep my dog from going downstairs to the basement. In the past I had bought one from on line but they were not reliable and could shock the dog when they were not near the location. The fence by DogWatch® is exactly what I needed. It never shocks unless he enters the zone, it gives him fair warning if he is getting close and I can control the amount shock he receives. It is a great product and I would highly recommend this. Also, it gives us options on how we want to form the barrier which is helpful depending on the area you need to keep them out of. — Melroy S., DogWatch® of Upstate NY Customer

Read more DogWatch Hidden Fence reviews on Trustpilot

A lost pet is something no pet owner ever wants to deal with, but you should always be prepared in the event it does happen. If you stay vigilant and make sure you are taking the correct precautionary steps, you will be able to keep your pets safe and sound.