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Posted on Wed, Jun 2, 2010 : 5:36 a.m.

Simple steps can help avoid having a lost pet — or assist in recovery

By Lorrie Shaw

You're probably a lot like me: you've got a lot of photos of your pets either around your home or floating around in your digital camera.

Having a picture of each of your pets bears more importance than just for the sake of showing off your pets' funniest facial expressions. In doing so, you could ensure that you'll be reunited with a lost pet.

Thumbnail image for dog, white, face
Walk past any public bulletin board and you'll see at least a couple of missing pet fliers posted. There's always one that lacks an image of said pet. Erica Finley - founder of Dog Up - noted that she gets a lot of lost pet alerts through HomeAgain, and is amazed at the number of owners who don't have one photograph of their actual pet. (They'll use a 'stock photo' of the breed.) Some people have a tendency to take a lot of pictures of their pets when they are young, but end that fun practice as the animal ages.

Missing Pet Partnership offers tips on photographing your pet for the purpose of recovering them if they are lost, and more — including measures that you can take during the time of year that many of us dog owners dread: the Fourth of July and New Year's Eve. The noise from fireworks sends many animals into panic mode, causing them to do things they wouldn't normally do that procures their escape.

With a few easy precautions, you can safeguard your pets' well-being and hopefully bring them home quickly in the event that they get separated from you.

Lorrie Shaw is a pet blogger, a regular contributor to and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. She has extensive experience with animals including dogs, amphibians, exotic birds and cats. Contact her via e-mail.