Category Archives: Caring for your Dog

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Many are still puzzled about what Hydrobaths really are and how they can help in taking better care of dogs. Some may even see it as a piece of indulgent equipment, since bathing dogs can easily be done with a water hose and a friendly soap, depending on the needs of the dog’s coat.

However, what you should know is that Hydrobathing is one good way to take best care and pamper your dogs as it works magnificently as a grooming method with so many other benefits that your pet dog can take advantage of. To help you unlock the mystery over these equipments, here are some commonly asked questions along with the needed facts.

A Hydrobath is a combination bathtub and power bather that uses a specially designed recirculation pump. This pump produces a high volume mix of water and shampoo delivered powerfully enough to penetrate the thickest coats, yet gently enough to massage the skin. All in the fraction of the time taken by normal bathing methods.

A dog requires deep cleaning of their coats for a good number of reasons. One is for parasite control. As parasites always come from the outside then start lingering in the coats in their way to climb into the insides of your pet, a thorough cleaning is highly recommended regularly, most especially if they are already inflicted with the pests.

As most doctors and veterinarians would put it, prevention is always better than cure, especially with your pets, who cannot exactly say whatever it is they are feeling, it is always the best to think ahead. Do not wait until your pets already have parasites inside them, competing with the nutrients you are feeding them with. Instead, make sure that they are clean regularly.

Hydrobathing is also an excellent tool for applying a both coat treatments for certain skin conditions and flea and tick problems. As the solution can be easily mixed and applied through the spray head, you can be guaranteed that the treatments will be efficiently absorbed by your pet, the water can easily penetrate the coat, that it effectively removes dry dead skin cells, flea eggs, and other soot and small particles imbedded in the skin, leaving your dog with an improved skin, healthier coat, and feeling fresher and even lighter afterwards.

Hydrobaths are also simply amazing for just pampering your pets. The hydro-combing action of the spray head will help a lot in stimulating the skin, in turn, providing a good massage for your pet, allowing better blood circulation, and relieving of tired muscles which are especially good for older dogs.

Hydrobaths guarantee a cleaner feel to your pets, whatever breed they may be, as there is no such thing as a thick coat with the penetrating ability of these equipments. With a clean dog, you can be sure that your pet is happier and healthier, in turn, giving you fewer worries about him or her.


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Important information on buying a genuine Hydrobath

The Hydrobath was introduced in the 1980’s in the state of Southern Australia. It is a complete unit combination bathtub and power bather that uses a specially designed recirculation pump. This pump produces a high volume mix of water and shampoo delivered powerfully enough to penetrate the thickest coats, yet gently enough to massage the skin. All in the fraction of the time taken by normal bathing methods. The high strength fibreglass Hydrobath tub is suitable for all sizes and breeds from Maltese Terriers to Great Danes and there is no mess to clean up after bath time or Dogs running away from the hose or bucket – the Hydrobath keeps both Dog and water suitably contained.
Is it a genunine Hydrobath?
The Hydrobath works by spraying a powerful, jet of warm water over your dog using a conventional shower head at the rate of 35 litres per minute. The shampoo solution is added to the water in the collection tank (sump) prior to the water being released. This mixes with the water and is sprayed at the same high pressure, to allow the whole solution to fully penetrate the dog’s coat and onto the skin where most problems occur.

There are some suppliers who claim that their product is a Hydrobath when they do not use a pump that is capable of delivering such shower pressure. Always ask about the shower pressure and if you can go and view the bath for yourself.

Did a reputable company manufacture the Hydrobath?

Check that a reputable company has manufactured the Hydrobath, below we have listed the main suppliers of genuine Hydrobaths, be wary if where you are buying the Hydrobath is not listed as this could mean it is not a genuine Hydrobath.

K9 Mobile Grooming Supplies (Manufactured and sold in UK)
Red Cape – Fido’s (Manufactured in Australia and sold in the UK)
Commura Hydrobaths – Fido’s (Manufactured in Australia)
Savel (Manufactured and sold in Australia)
The Barf Shop (Manufactured and sold in Australia)
The Melbourne Dog Centre (Manufactured and sold in Australia)
Perfect Paws (Manufactured and sold in Australia)

Is there a warranty and returns Policy?

A reputable supplier of Hydrobaths will offer a Warranty of up to 12 months and a Returns Policy, if the supplier you are buying the bath from does not offer this then it is sensible to question as to why this is the case and if a warranty and returns policy is still not offered then do not purchase the Hydrobath.

What are the payment terms?

If you are buying the Hydrobath through an auction site, such as eBay ensure that the seller will accept Paypal or Credit Cards. This means that you are protected throughout the transaction. If you transfer cash, make a bank transfer or send a cheque you are not covered for if the Hydrobath gets lost, the seller disappears or you are unhappy with the final product.

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Tips on Washing your Dog

Firstly try not bathe your dog too often because that will dry out the skin, deplete healthy oils from the coat and skin, and lead to scratching and irritation. Frequency is largely dependent on the breed and activities of the dog. Dogs who spend a lot of time outside or engage in outdoor activities that expose them to dirt, bugs and/or debris typically require more bathing, perhaps every 6 weeks or more frequently. Some groomers recommend bathing double-coated breeds only about 3 times a year and suggest that smooth-coated dogs can go a lot longer between baths than can curly-coated breeds such as poodles. Too frequent bathing can cause the coat to soften and reduce its insulating qualities.

To keep your dog clean between baths, brush vigorously and regularly – preferably daily. This is good for the coat and skin, and helps the dog look and smell good. If you are allergic to your pet, wear a mask when you brush…brush outdoors or onto a newspaper indoors to aid in clean up…and wash hands afterwards.

Remember that after being indoors during the colder months, a dog’s fur and skin can become dry. And if your dog grows an undercoat, you need to comb it out in warmer weather. If a dogs fur gets matted, the skin cannot breathe — compelling the dog to scratch and pull out fur, which can result in sores.

If you have a puppy ensure he or she is more than five weeks old before giving him his first bath.

Preparing your puppy or dog for his first bath:

Things will go more smoothly if you introduce your pet to the idea of bathing before actually giving him his first bath.

Help your dog learn to trust you through such actions as touching the paws, handling the ears and opening the mouth several times a day. Praise positive responses and consider reinforcing good behaviour with small treats.

Let the dog sniff grooming tools such as his comb, brush, clippers and toothbrush. As the dog becomes less timid and more accepting of the items, praise and if food-motivated, supplement the positive reinforcement with treats.

Let your dog get accustomed to the sound of running water. You can reinforce calm behaviour and build a positive association by using verbal praise and treats.

If you plan to use a dryer, slowly introduce the dog to the dryer. Pet dryers are recommended over human blow dryers.

If you think the dog will balk at his first bath, you might want to have someone help you the first time. You want to make your dogs first bath to be a good experience so that he will be accepting of future baths.

Before the bath:

Brush thoroughly and remove all tangles and mats, which you won’t be able to unsnarl when the fur is wet. For badly matted fur, you may have to snip mats with scissors. Proceed with caution; it is easy to nick the dog’s skin, and you do not want to do that.

If the dog has any ticks, foxtails or other embedded items, remove them carefully. Typically, you will use tweezers. For details about fleas, ticks, insect stings and skin conditions.

If there is paint, tar, pine sap or other sticky substance caught in the fur, try to soften and remove it with petroleum jelly, or soak the area with vegetable oil or mineral oil for 24 hours. Some people have also had success removing sticky and oily substances with Dawn liquid dishwashing detergent. If these techniques do not work, trim away the affected fur. Do not use a solvent, paint stripper, concentrated detergent, or fabric softener on dogs, since these substances are toxic when ingested and can also hurt the skin.

It’s a good idea to trim and file a dog’s nails before a bath, especially if the dog might claw or scratch the floor, tub or you in an attempt to get away.

You’ll get wet, so wear a smock or old comfortable clothes.

Pick a suitable location for the bath, such as a room with a closed door. This will prevent the dog from escaping and will also keep the rest of your house from getting sprayed with water. Prepare the room by removing items that could be damaged by water and any items that could injure you or the dog as you move around. You can line the floor and other surfaces with a plastic sheet, an old shower curtain, large cut-open trash bags or sheet.

Gather your supplies: shampoo, brushes (you may want to use a shampooing brush), comb, washcloth and/or sponge, towels, cotton balls, mineral oil, petroleum jelly…and detangler and moisturiser if you use them. A soft brush is helpful in cleaning around paws. You can place the items in a plastic bucket for easy carrying and access…and open bottle caps beforehand so that you do not have to wrestle with caps while holding onto your dog. You may wish to put a few small tasty treats in a plastic baggie so that you can reward your dog for good, calm behaviour.

Using a Hydrobath will make the washing process a lot easier; A Hydrobath is a combination bathtub and power bather that uses a specially designed recirculation pump. This pump produces a high volume mix of water and shampoo delivered powerfully enough to penetrate the thickest coats, yet gently enough to massage the skin. All in the fraction of the time taken by normal bathing methods.

Remove the dog’s regular collar. To help you restrain the dog during the bath, you can use a nylon collar and nylon leash. Do not use leather in the water, since the water can cause the leather to shrink and to leak dye on your dogs fur. Many groomers recommend using a bathing tether when bathing dogs in tubs. If you are bathing using a Hydrobath, they have restraining hook for you to attach the dogs lead to at either end of the bath.

If your dog tends to bite when confronted with a bath, you might want to use a muzzle.

Shampoo. Use a shampoo formulated for dogs, and one that is gentle and will not strip the natural oils of the dogs coat. Do not use human shampoo, which is not the right pH for doggie fur and skin. Read the directions, and be aware that some shampoos and soaps are not appropriate for all ages or types of dogs. Oatmeal shampoos are good for dogs with itchy skin. Many people use dog shampoos containing chlorhexidine, which has anti-bacterial qualities. Avoid shampoos with insecticides, since the chemicals can be harsh. If your dog has fleas, use a gentle shampoo containing pyrethrin, pyrethrum or citrus oil.

Use a saline or weak salt and water mix to cotton swab around your dogs eyes to clean away debris.

To protect your dog’s eyes from bath water and soap, apply some petroleum jelly or mineral oil around the eyes. In addition, put a drop of mineral oil in each eye to protect against irritation.

Put a cotton ball in each ear to keep water out. Make sure the cotton ball is large enough that it does not get caught in the ear canal.

You might want to wipe around the dogs anal area with a baby wipe or wet-nap before the bath, and/or clip long soil-prone fur beneath the tail around the anus.

Smaller dogs can also be  in a Hydrobath by using a insert table which is usually purchased as an optional extra. This will lift the Dog up slightly making it easier on your.

Place a non-skid rubber mat in the basin or tub, this is supplied with all Hydrobaths. This will prevent slipping and make the dog feel more secure.

Choose a warm, draft-free place to bathe and dry the dog.

While some people have bathed dogs with garden hoses, there are drawbacks such as the water being too cold, the outside air being too cold or windy, and the hose frightening the dog. Hydrobaths are thermostatically controlled at 40 degrees making it a nice comfortable temperature for the Dog.

During the bath:

Make sure water is warm but not hot. Then, fill the water to knee level.

If you plan to use a nylon collar and leash to stabilise your dog during bathing, put them on now.

Lift your dog and place in the tub or walk him/her into the hydrobath. Be sure to lift in a way that will not hurt your back. For example…place one arm under the chest in front of the dog’s front legs, and place the other arm behind the rear legs and under the tail. Stay fairly upright and lift with your legs — not with your back. For a heavy dog, have someone help with lifting the dog into and out of the tub.

Get your dog used to the water by spraying his back and shoulders. Keep the spray on low. (Remember, scaring or hurting your dog will increase his resistance to being bathed in the future.) Be gentle, work gradually, and give the dog time to acclimate. Try to keep the spray nozzle about an inch from the dog so that the water efficiently penetrates the fur.

After your dog relaxes, wash his head. Never spray water directly in a dogs face. Slightly lift his face so that the water runs down the back of the head. Use your fingers, a washcloth or sponge to move the water around the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Lather up the body with shampoo. You can apply a line of shampoo along the dogs back and back of the head. Massage the suds all the way down to the skin. A Hydrobath would do all this work for you.

Some experts suggest shampooing the body, then toward his rear end and then the head last. Other experts suggest starting with the head and neck to prevent fleas from moving up the body to the head. In any case, avoid getting soap in the dog’s eyes.

You can use a rubber brush on a dog with shorter hair to help work the shampoo into the coat. The rubber brush can also be used to remove debris clinging to hair. For dogs with long hair, massage the coat in the direction of hair growth to avoid tangles.

Work the suds down and under the tail, the underside, legs and all around the paws. And remember to clean under the neck, in facial wrinkles and earflaps. A soft brush is useful for cleaning around the paw pads and other small areas.

If the dog’s ears stand up, cup your hand over the ear opening while washing and rinsing.

Remember, you can reward good behaviour by giving your dog a few treats during the bath.

After thoroughly lathering, rinse the dog with lukewarm, never hot, water. Check the temperature and make sure the spray is not too strong before aiming at the dog.

Gently rinse the dogs face and head first. Cover his eyes with one hand and rinse the top of the head and around the eyes. Next, cover the nose and rinse the rest of the face and neck. Work down the body.

If the dog is rather dirty, you can repeat the lathering and rinsing steps.

Rinse until the water runs clear so that no dirt or soap residue remains. Otherwise, the residue can lead to skin irritation or allergic reactions. The pet may also ingest the residue when licking himself. Knead the fur with your hand to help remove soap.

Mist dogs coat with a detangler spray for easier combing after the bath. You can also apply a moisturizer.

After the bath:

Depending on the dogs coat, use your hands to squeeze excess water from his fur. Start by squeezing water from the tail and paws.

Wrap the dog in a large, absorbent towel. Gently rub him dry. If he has long hair, avoid heavy rubbing that can tangle the fur; blot instead.

Remove cotton balls and towel out the remaining moisture in the ears. Moisture left in the ears can lead to infections.

If your dog has urinary accidents, place a towel under her when drying to absorb any urine released.

You can let him help by letting him shake his fur.

If you prefer, you can also use a pet dryer or blow dryer on a low setting. Dryers are often preferable to towel-drying for dogs with frizzy or long fur. FYI, pet dryers are better suited to dog fur than are human blow dryers. Never aim a dryer at a dogs face. And never use overly warm or hot air, which can dry out the skin and even burn the dog. Use a low setting. We recommend the Allbrooks Tornado Take Off, it allows to you to build heat and speed gradually.

If using an automated dryer that hangs on the front of a crate, test the temperature before aiming it at the dog, and check on the animal at least every 10 to 15 minutes for safety reasons.

Do not let the dog outside in cool or cold weather until he is completely dry.

Between baths:

Brush and comb daily. Check for fleas, ticks, debris, foxtails and skin conditions.

To give your pet a waterless bath, sprinkle on baking soda and brush off the excess.

And remember, you can also have a professional groom and bathe your dog.

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Hydrobaths…..the latest craze to hit the UK!! Do you know the benefits?

Many are still puzzled about what Hydrobaths really are and how they can help in taking better care of dogs. Some may even see it as a piece of indulgent equipment, since bathing dogs can easily be done with a water hose and a friendly soap, depending on the needs of the dog’s coat.

However, what you should know is that Hydrobathing is one good way to take best care and pamper your dogs as it works magnificently as a grooming method with so many other benefits that your pet dog can take advantage of. To help you unlock the mystery over these equipments, here are some commonly asked questions along with the needed facts.

A Hydrobath is a combination bathtub and power bather that uses a specially designed recirculation pump. This pump produces a high volume mix of water and shampoo delivered powerfully enough to penetrate the thickest coats, yet gently enough to massage the skin. All in the fraction of the time taken by normal bathing methods.

A dog requires deep cleaning of their coats for a good number of reasons. One is for parasite control. As parasites always come from the outside then start lingering in the coats in their way to climb into the insides of your pet, a thorough cleaning is highly recommended regularly, most especially if they are already inflicted with the pests.

As most doctors and veterinarians would put it, prevention is always better than cure, especially with your pets, who cannot exactly say whatever it is they are feeling, it is always the best to think ahead. Do not wait until your pets already have parasites inside them, competing with the nutrients you are feeding them with. Instead, make sure that they are clean regularly.

Hydrobathing is also an excellent tool for applying a both coat treatments for certain skin conditions and flea and tick problems. As the solution can be easily mixed and applied through the spray head, you can be guaranteed that the treatments will be efficiently absorbed by your pet, the water can easily penetrate the coat, that it effectively removes dry dead skin cells, flea eggs, and other soot and small particles imbedded in the skin, leaving your dog with an improved skin, healthier coat, and feeling fresher and even lighter afterwards.

Hydrobaths are also simply amazing for just pampering your pets. The hydro-combing action of the spray head will help a lot in stimulating the skin, in turn, providing a good massage for your pet, allowing better blood circulation, and relieving of tired muscles which are especially good for older dogs.

Hydrobaths guarantee a cleaner feel to your pets, whatever breed they may be, as there is no such thing as a thick coat with the penetrating ability of these equipments. With a clean dog, you can be sure that your pet is happier and healthier, in turn, giving you fewer worries about him or her.

 

 

 

 

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Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues

Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger? Dogs speak to us, but in a different language. Unfortunately, there’s no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn “dog talk.” So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog’s ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can’t string them together. Thus, the need for short comments such as “Sit!” and “Come!” Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you’re uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak “dog.”

Dog Body Language/Facial “Expressions”

Confident and Relaxed

  • Stance – erect
  • Tail – wagging slowly
  • Ears – pricked up but with a relaxed look
  • Eyes – small pupils
  • Mouth – closed or slight parting of lips
  • Stance – lowered
  • Tail – tucked under
  • Ears – down
  • Eyes – a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
  • Mouth – panting
  • Stance – rigid
  • Tail – straight up or out behind, very rigid
  • Ears – pricked up
  • Eyes – intense, focused stare
  • Mouth – lips are pulled back and some teeth show
  • Hackles – this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders. It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.
  • Stance – dog is pulled into himself
  • Tail – tucked completely under
  • Ears – lying down
  • Eyes – wide-eyed and trouble focusing
  • Mouth – lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting
  • Stance – lying down or standing without any alertness
  • Tail – up and wagging or lying naturally
  • Ears – at their normal state, depending on the breed (A Terrier’s would be up but relaxed, a Hound’s would be down)
  • Eyes – normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
  • Mouth – open and lightly panting or closed

Fearful or Anxious

Aggressive

Fear-Aggressive

Relaxed

Dog Verbal Cues

The Howl
This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street. When you leave for work, it’s very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in – it’s sort of like a conference call.

The Growl
This means “back off.” You’ll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn’t like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It’s actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.

The Grunt or Mutter
This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It’s an interesting sound because it’s almost manipulative – your dog knows if he barks, he’ll get into trouble but the more subtle “grunt” might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.

The Whimper
Dogs whimper when they’re anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.

The Whine
This indicates frustration. They are in a sense “complaining” about something.

The Bark
There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they’re happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a “problem” that you can’t see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor’s cat hiding in the tree outside the window.

Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs’ language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn’t going crazy when he’s muttering to himself all the time.

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Dog Microchips and Identification

It’s one of the worst things imaginable: losing a pet. It can make pet owners feel so helpless. The statistics are high and state that one in three pets will get lost. And consider that 90 percent of those that aren’t identified won’t be recovered.

The old way of looking for a lost pet involved knocking on your neighbors’ doors and putting posters up on phone poles. While these tactics can still be very useful, identification systems for animals have almost made them obsolete.

Tagging Your Pet

Most municipalities require pet owners to license their pets and with that comes tags. In addition to these, most pet owners “tag” their pets with their name, address and phone number.

Benefits of tagging your pet:

  • By licensing, you are in the local animal control’s database.
  • Pet tags are inexpensive.
  • You can be creative with your pet tag and make it stand out.
  • Updating your information if you move is quick and easy.

Disadvantages of tagging your pet:

  • Tags can fall off
  • If you don’t keep your pet’s tag up-to-date, he may not be returned to you.

Microchipping Your Pet

Many breeders and humane shelters offer the option of microchipping your pet before you take them home. Your vet can also microchip your dog at any age.

A microchip is placed between a dog or cat’s shoulder blades with a needle. Animals stay awake while it’s done. It is about the size of a grain of rice so animals aren’t aware they’ve been “chipped.” The owner then registers the chip number.

A receiver in the microchip picks up a low-frequency radio wave sent via a scanner, and the identification number in the chip is received, read and then displayed on the scanner. Most vets, rescue centers and animal wardens have scanners, though not all microchips and scanners are compatible.

Advantages of Microchipping:

  • Quick and easy insertion with very little pain.
  • Microchips are compatible with living tissue.
  • Microchips are designed to last for 25 years.
  • Microchips have been proven to aid in pet identification even after prolonged absence.

Disadvantages of Microchipping:

  • Microchips have been know to work free of the skin. Be sure to also have a pet ID tag on your dog or cat at all times.
  • Different places use different scanners. This means that a dog or cat could pass through a shelter without being identified. Luckily, universal scanners are slowly becoming more available. The next step is to adopt the international standard frequency microchip, but that would mean re-microchipping.
  • A microchip is not a GPS device. You cannot follow your pet with it.
  • The insertion can cause problems for some pets.

Pet Identification GPS Tracking Device

GPS Tracking Devices, about the size of a business card – are worn on your pet’s collar. You can track your pet’s location by calling or texting the device and get his exact location, and even directions.

Benefits of a GPS tracking device:

  • Your pet can be located at almost any locale.
  • The device can direct you in real time so if your pet won’t stay still, you can still find him.
  • No insertion under the skin is needed.

Disadvantages of a GPS tracking device:

  • These devices tend to be more expensive than a microchip and can require a monthly subscription.
  • There can be limited cell phone coverage or internet connectivity in some areas.
  • They can come loose from the collar and get lost.

Pet Recovery Services

Pet Recovery Services offer several ways to help you find your pet. Organizations such as Dogster have large networks of members and participants. Combining technology, community resources and social networking, Dogster’s Together Tag can help you find your lost pet.

Advantages of pet recovery services:

  • A database of pets, including your own, with information on the pet and the owner. Some work with the major lost pet databases around the country and, thus, provide good coverage.
  • Information and picture of your pet is sent to all members within a certain radius if your pet is lost.
  • A pet recovery service contacts shelters, vets, animal control and more in your area, should your pet go missing.

Disadvantages of pet recovery services:

  • There is no way to track your pet once he’s lost (unless members in the community post having seen him).
  • There’s no guarantee that members will be of help.

Using pet recovery services in conjunction with tagging, microchipping and/or GPS devices can really help ensure that you find your pet. But don’t forget that putting posters up around the neighborhood is still a good way to go.

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