When Your Pet Goes Missing While Traveling, How Do You Find Them Quickly? Of course, an ID tag can help. And with a few tips, you can make your pet’s ID tag even more helpful.
Challenges of lost pets while traveling
Every time a pet goes missing, it’s scary. But when it happens while traveling, it’s an absolute nightmare.
You don’t have the benefit of friendly neighbors who can watch out for dog walks. They are not affiliated with the local social media sites. And there’s little hope that your furry family member will find their way back to your hotel or campsite on their own.
Hope you microchipped your pets. And have tags on their collars. But tagging your phone number doesn’t help much when traveling through a cell phone dead zone.
However, if you update your default pet ID tag, you increase the likelihood that they will be reunited. Let us show you how.
READ MORE ⇒ Prevent your pet from getting lost while traveling
A better ID tag when your pet is lost
The key to a better pet ID tag is the use of technology. Instead of just putting your name and phone number on your pet’s tag, add a URL to a personal webpage.
Anyone who finds your pet has access to the important information they need to take care of your pet temporarily and bring them to your home. Helpful details to include on a website include:
- Your current location (campsite, hotel, etc.)
- a backup contact in case you are unavailable
- Information about the health of your pet
- Behavioral problems such as fear of people or other dogs
- diet restrictions.
You can even add information about the last place someone saw your dog. Or share details of a reward you are offering for their return. And the website can be easily accessed using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Set Up Your Pet ID – The Website
If you already have a blog to share your travels, you’ve come to the right place! Just create a new page (make it private so it doesn’t show up in search results). Add the details and click Publish.
When we were traveling full time, I set up a page for each of our then travel partners, Ty and Buster. This is what Ty’s page looked like:
Create a website for a lost pet
If you don’t already have a website (or have a friend who blogs) where you can add a Lost Dog page, here are some places you can create one for free:
If you want more detailed instructions on how to set up a free website on Blogger, WordPress, or Wix, read What Happens When Your Dog Is Lost in a Cell Phone Dead Zone.
All of these free websites are easy to set up. And if you enjoy it, it might lead you to create an online record of your travels.
READ MORE ⇒ What if your dog got lost in a cell phone dead zone?
Once you set up your lost pet page, you will have a long URL that will take you straight to this page. For example, the URL for this blog post is: https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/thats-how-we-roll-id-tags-for-traveling-pets
Obviously this is too long to fit on an id tag so you need a url shortener like a little to give you a shortened, unique URL that works the same as the long one. Here’s what the shortened URL for this blog post looks like: http://bit.ly/1Vnf9Xk – much more handy for attaching an ID tag!
Make the pet ID tag
Buying an ID tag and having it engraved at the pet store is quick and easy. But if you’re looking for a little more choice of designs — or want to design your own pet ID tag — shopping online offers more options. I use DogTagArt.com to customize Ty and Buster’s dog tags with their new “Lost Dog” URLs on the back. This is what Ty looked like:
Maintain the pet tag info
Now remember to update the information during your trip. After all, a Good Samaritan can’t give you back your dog if your website shows the campsite you left two weeks ago.
Share instructions on how to update your website with a trusted friend or family member. A quick call to your emergency backup allows you to search for your pet while someone else updates the information on the site for you.
Email an alternate pet ID tag
When I first wrote this article a few years ago, we got some great suggestions in the comments from fellow pet travelers.
Call Elisa B. She suggested another way to make your pet’s ID tag smart – add an email address in addition to or instead of a web URL. Then set up an auto reply to anyone who emails you.
The autoresponder should include your contact information, a backup contact, and your veterinarian contact. Add the suggestion that your pet’s finder contact local law enforcement for help using the microchip to reunite you.
Remember to set up a unique email address for your pet’s brand. Otherwise, every personal email you receive will be answered with a note about your pet.
And remember to update the auto-reply when you travel. Again, when you find yourself in a cell phone dead zone or with no internet, you want someone to know where to find your campsite.
Search online for instructions on setting up an auto reply in your preferred email service. Here are guidelines for some of the most popular email services:
Update your pet ID tag now
Don’t wait to update your pet’s ID tag. Dogs and cats can go missing at any time. Even when you’re not on vacation, your pet can get lost in the care of a pet sitter or family member.
Give them every chance to return home! Make it easy for the army of animal lovers on the lookout for missing pets (I do; I suspect you do too) to reunite you your lost pet.
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