How to search for missing pets during Covid-19

Having your pet go missing is one of the most distressing experiences for pet owners and it can be difficult to think clearly, especially in these uncertain times. Searching for pets is more difficult at the moment as we must limit the amount of time we spend outside, but there are lots of other things you can do to increase your chances of being reunited. Try not to panic and follow these steps:

Image of a dog and cat for Vets Now article on how to find missing pets during the coronavirus outbreak

1. Check their favourite places

Before doing anything else, check that your pet isn’t relaxing in a quiet corner unaware of the worry they are causing.

You could also put some of their favourite treats outside the door and watch out for them, call them by name or rattle their food biscuits to encourage them to return.

2. Report them missing

  • IF YOUR PET HAS A MICROCHIP
    Call your microchip company to report them missing and ensure your contact details are up to date.

    Please only call local vets if your pet does not have a microchip or the contact details are out of date.

    Our contact centre team, the equivalent of 999 for pets, are working tirelessly to ensure sick and injured pets get the urgent treatment they need but they can’t give you information on pets handed into specific clinics.

    Don’t worry, if your contact details are up to date, you don’t need to call us, we will call you if your pet is handed into us.

  • IF YOUR PET DOESN’T HAVE A MICROCHIP
    Call your local vets and rescue centres to check if your pet has been handed in or to give them your contact details in case they are handed in later.

    When calling your nearest Vets Now clinic press option 2 to speak to the clinic directly. Remember, we will call you if your pet is microchipped and the details are up to date.

3. Ask neighbours (from a distance)

Your neighbours may have spotted your pet if they disappeared near your home, so ask them if they have seen them. Ideally, you should do this over the phone or online, without having to leave your home. If you do need to ask them in person, remember to maintain social distancing and keep at least two metres apart.

4. Use social media

Check local community groups and lost and found pets groups to see if anyone has found your pet. Ask members to look out for your pet and attach a picture of them so they are recognisable.

5. Register them on missing pets websites

There are lots of websites which provide listings of lost and found pets across the country. Do an online search for missing pets websites in the UK and register your pet on these to alert more people.

Don’t worry, if your pet has a microchip and the contact details are up to date, you don’t need to call us, we will call you if your pet is handed into us.

Preventing pets going missing

Some things you can do to help keep your pet safe during lockdown include:

  • Making sure your contact details on your pet’s microchip are up to date.
    We will use this information to contact you if your pet is found — you don’t need to contact us.
  • Pet proofing your garden and ensure it is secure so your pet can’t escape and no one else can enter.
  • Keeping your pet inside during bad weather and fireworks so they aren’t frightened by any loud noises.
  • Keeping them inside during celebrations for NHS and care workers (Thursdays at 8pm).
    Loud clapping, fireworks and other loud noises could startle pets and cause them to run away in fear.
  • Keeping dogs on leads during walks to ensure they don’t get lost or run off.