The Best Way To Find Your Lost Pet While Traveling

One of my biggest worries about setting sail with Honey is reuniting if we got separated.

If the worst happens, I’ve found the best way to keep Honey from staying lost while we’re traveling. And it’s probably a good idea for you too.

Honey the golden retriever lies on the cabin porch.

How could I ever get lost? I’d never go anywhere without my pillow and my penguin buddy.

Make A Finder Web Page

When you live on a boat or in an RV, a pet tag with a street address makes no sense.

Off-the-beaten track adventures lead you to places with no cell service. So even that won’t help. And how many times can you update your pet’s microchip tracking information before the service decides to charge you a nuisance fee?

Honey the golden retriever's dog tags on her collar.

Yep, these tags are worthless. Especially since we sold the house to a new owner and disconnected the phone number.

I’ve created a simple web page that I can update every time we move. I could link to GPS coordinates or a map of our location.

If you’re on the road with your dog, whether camping or boating or just taking a day trip, you could do the same thing.

Then just put the web address on your dog’s tag (or cat’s tag) so whoever finds him or her knows where to look for you.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting up your “find your pet” web page.

How To Make A Web Page To Find Your Lost Dog (or Cat)

It’s easy if you already have a blog or website. But I’ll also show you how to make a free webpage if you don’t already have a site.

WordPress

If you have a WordPress blog or web page:

  • Click on “Pages” in the sidebar of your Dashboard and “Add New” in the drop down menu.
  • Title your page and add any information about how someone finding your dog can get in touch. Don’t forget to add pictures or maps.
  • After you hit “publish,” make sure your post will not appear in the navigation bar through your theme’s settings. That will keep your page from showing up for everyone to see.
  • When you view the page, copy the URL that appears in the browser.

Blogger

If you have a Blogger blog:

  • Go the “Pages” section of your blogger site.
  • Create your page so it includes all the information someone needs to reunite you with your dog or cat
  • On the drop down menu that shows where your page will show up (probably top tabs or side links), choose “don’t show.”
  • Make sure you copy the URL that appears in the browser for your private page.

Make A Free Website On Google Drive

If you don’t have a blog or website, you can save a simple document using Google Drive.

  • You must have a google/Gmail account. If you don’t have one, create one here.
  • After you’ve signed into your google account, go to Google Drive.
  • Click the “New” button on the left side of the page. Choose “file.”
  • Using the tool bar at the top, create your page. You can add links, pictures, formatting, etc. Google continuously saves your work as you go.
  • When you’re finished, choose your sharing options. You’ll find them under an icon that looks like two people. Choose “make file readable by anyone with the link.” Then make sure you copy the link.

Now you have a website that you can update with new information any time. It’s time to create your pet’s tag with the web address.

Honey the golden retriever looks behind her.

I think someone is following me. If I was dognapped, how would anyone know where to get the ransom money?

Make A Pet Tag With Your Web Address

Web addresses can be very long (especially the link for Google Drive). And pet tags are very small.

So you have to shrink your web address.

You can do it by creating a tiny URL that will direct anyone using it to your original web address.

Visit bitly.com or tinyurl.com. Paste your long URL into the window and click the button to make a new URL (or web address) that is only a few characters long.

It’s that shorter URL that you will imprint on your pet’s tag. You should still have room for your phone number or other information someone who finds your pet needs to know.

Reunited And It Feels So Good

If some kind stranger finds your pet and looks for tags, they’ll find your web address and hopefully track you down.

Honey’s web page will be frequently updated with a picture of her that shows where we’ve landed. I’m also going to include a picture of us as a family so someone who finds her knows we belong together. And I’ll have a picture of our boat with her name prominently displayed so anyone can find her at anchor or in a marina.

I will also insert a map on the page with our current location.

But it’s a work in progress. And it’s a good idea that I wanted to share with my traveling friends.

You can find a simple example here. It doesn’t take much time. And you can be as creative and detailed as you wish.

So don’t run the risk of losing your pet while traveling. And help out that kind person who wants to help a lost animal.

Make a simple website and tag for your pet today. After all, you have nothing to lose but… well, nothing. You have nothing to lose.

Honey the golden retriever in the woods.

Whew, sure glad I won’t end up lost in the woods. All those leaves make a mess of my floofie tail.

Update: Please note that the shortened URL is case sensitive. Make sure the company who prints your tags can engrave lower case letters (many use upper case letters for clarity).

I ordered my tags from Boomerang tags and made special arrangements to print the URL with upper and lower case letters by contacting the company directly.

The Kurgo #SurfNTurf Life Jacket Winner

Thank you to everyone to entered the contest to win their dog a life jacket. And congratulations to our winner, Diana Cote.

If you didn’t win and really want a life jacket for you pup, click on the Kurgo ad in the sidebar to order your very own.

Your Turn: What information do you include on your pet’s tags? Do you think a website is a good idea for your family?

Disclosure: The Kurgo ad in the sidebar is an affiliate link. If you buy something after clicking that link, I will earn a small fee. But your item will not cost you more. Thanks for supporting Something Wagging This Way Comes.

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I like these ideas a lot!

    I also heard of another idea recently. If you lose your dog somewhere in the woods, take his crate/bed/something-that-smells-like home out there and put a water bowl and a favorite toy out there. Some people have tried this and have come back to find their dog waiting there.

  2. What a great idea – and so easy to do. Summertime so many people travel, it’s an important reminder.

  3. Ingenius!

  4. I REALLY like this idea!! While Sam and I haven’t travelled with the dogs — always had my Dad, the PetSmart PetsHotel, or a pet sitter take care of them — if we ever do, this will be a great thing to do! Let’s just hope we never have a lost-dog situation!

  5. I think this is the bestest idea! Using TinyUrl for small tags is genius. And your “Thank you for taking care of Honey” message on the where-are-we page is so sweet I’m stealing it.

  6. This is a really great idea.

    My bipeds add a little barrel to my collar when we’re on holiday – it can hold a small piece of paper with extra details, but we’ll do this as well.

  7. Love this idea and it doesn’t seem too difficult to set up… well done and thanks for sharing!

  8. Sounds like a really good idea!

  9. What a great, unique idea for traveling peeps such as yourselves! I had never heard of the tiny URL option, so thanks for broadening my horizon! Definitely sharing this!

  10. Fabulous! I’m so techno-challenged with WP, these instructions are terrific. Thank you! :)

  11. Great idea and it will give you a lot of peace of mind. That’s just one more thing you can cross off you list before you set sail. Btw, how’s the boat hunting going? Did the one you were having inspected pass?

    • The inspection went well with a few issues that we’ve asked the sellers to take care of. The last one should be fixed August 13 or 14 allowing us to close and move aboard shortly thereafter.

      Yeah, it sure feels like a long wait to us too. :)

  12. This is a truly inspired idea, Pamela. I wish I had thought of it! (tee, hee) I am posting a traveling pet ID extravaganza article next week and will send folks to this page for your detailed how to. We have all kinds of great traveling ID tricks but I am so excited to add this one to the safety arsenal. Thank you!

  13. Superb!!! what a great idea. I really like this idea.
    Thanks for sharing…