Know the Stats: Lost Pet Prevention Month


You may already know… July is Lost Pet Prevention Month. Yes, we have discussed the importance of microchips several times here, here, and here.

But, we think it’s important for you to know the statistics.

When we take risks into consideration, as humans, we weigh out if the risk is ‘worth it.’ You may not believe the risk is worth the money and/or worth your time.

How do you come to that decision? And, how much of a risk are you willing to take when it comes to your dog and cat? 

Most families look at their dog (or their cat) as a valued part of their family. What would happen if your furry family member were to get lost? How would you react? 

What if your dog or cat becomes part of the lost pet statistic? 

We want you to know the stats so you’re able to prepare for your dog or cat to get lost. Sometimes it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ 

You’ll be surprised how many dogs and cats are lost each year. 

Let’s learn!

Know the Stats

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, you likely know as the ASPCA, conducts research about lost pets.

What do you think they found as they surveyed 1,000 households with pets? They asked if they had lost a pet in the past five years.

Of the 1,000 households, 15% had lost a dog in the past five years… only 85 percent of those dogs were found.

Only 74% of cats who were lost had been found.

When you first read these statistics, you might be thinking “well, 85% of the dogs were found and 74% of the cats were found.” You might think that’s not really a risk. But, what if your cat or your dog happened to be one of the pets not found?

We don’t know about you, but that’s certainly not a risk we’re willing to take.

What if She Makes it to the Shelter?

The next question that might pop up in your head is ‘if she lands at the humane society, then I’ll definitely find her.’ That’s not necessarily true, either. And, you can’t count on her landing there.

The American Humane Association has estimated approximately 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the United States every single year. That’s a lot!

One in three pets get lost in their lifetime.

Yes, we know we emphasize microchips here at PetKey. But, there’s a reason for that. A study that was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Association conducted a research study involving 53 animal shelters. The number of dogs and cats who were returned home due to their microchip is overwhelming.

Only 22 percent of dogs who enter a humane society return to their families. But, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent. That’s a 238% increase! Yes, we’ll take it. That gives us a better chance at being reunited with our dog or cat should he ever get lost.

And, the number could be even higher than 52 percent. Only 58% of the pets with microchips had been registered in the database with their information.

Other than Microchip & ID

Your dog has the microchip and ID tags on her collar. What else can you do? If your dog gets lost, these two things alone significantly increase the likelihood of her being returned to you. But, is there a way to go a step farther?

The answer to this question… yes. There is a way you can take another step forward. That’s with a GPS tracking system. These are fairly common with hunters and rescue dogs since they often wander on their own.

The GPS tracker allows your dog to be off-leash (or kitty) … and you’ll know exactly where she is at all times. These devices won’t help your dog be returned to you so that’s where the microchip and ID tag comes in handy.

Stay Calm

It’s easy to get upset and frustrated when our dog or cat is missing. Getting upset doesn’t help anything. What it does do is ‘fog your brain.’ You need to think clearly when your pet is lost so you’re able to find him. Staying positive and doing everything you can is the way to go.

And, before she gets lost, make sure you’re prepared. Better safe than sorry.