Has one of your pets ever gone missing? If so, you’re not alone. Research has found that over half a million cats and dogs go missing in the UK every year with only around a third ever reunited with owners.

A new survey has also found that taking out pet insurance can be a huge help in finding a lost cat or dog. Keep reading to find out more about the lost pet statistics in the UK and how pet insurance can help.

Half a million pets go missing every year

Research from Sainsbury’s Bank in 2014 found that more than 500,000 cats and dogs go missing every year. Of these, around 110,000 have been stolen and only 34 per cent are ever found.

Robert May of Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance, said: “Lost pets cause huge anxiety and stress for owners and many go to huge lengths to get their pets back.

“We advise your pet wears a collar and identification tag. Have your pet micro-chipped. This takes seconds and is virtually painless.”

Micro-chipping your pet is quick, easy and painless for your pet. The process involves a vet inserting a tiny microchip, the size of a grain of rice, under your pet’s skin. This gives your pet a unique code. If your pet is lost and found, the microchip can be scanned and matched to your contact details, which are kept on a database.

The Government recently announced that all dogs in England should be chipped by 2016. Not only will this help to reduce the number of stray dogs but it could also help more dogs to be reunited with their owners.

Suzi Lavin, Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance Manager, said: “It is extremely alarming quite how many cats and dogs go missing in the UK every day. The loss of a pet can be very upsetting and stressful for owners, but having their pets chipped should increase the chances of finding them again.”

Pet insurance can help you to find your lost cat or dog

If your cat or dog does go missing, having pet insurance in place could help you to find your beloved cat or dog.

New research from a leading price comparison site has found that the majority of pet insurance policies offer cover for owners to advertise their missing pet or offer a reward for their return.

The review of 280 dog and 272 cat insurance policies found that 72 per cent of dog and 71 per cent of cat policies offer some cover for advertising a lost pet. 60 per cent of dog and 58 per cent of cat policies provide advertising and reward cover as standard.

The research also found that the majority of policies (60 per cent of dog and 68 per cent of cat) will pay £500 or more to cover the costs of advertising a lost or stolen pet, with just over a third of policies (35 per cent of dog and 34 per cent of cat) willing to pay out £1,000 or more.

Ben Wilson from the website who carried out the research said: “Many of us treat our pets like a member of the family, so losing a dog or cat can be a difficult experience for us.

“When we think of pet insurance, we usually associate it with helping to pay vet bills, however, excluding ‘accident only’ policies, most provide cover for a wide range of circumstances, including helping you find your pet should it go missing.

“Unfortunately, more than half (52 per cent) of cat and dog owners don’t have insurance for their pet, which means they would receive no aid should they get lost or stolen, potentially lowering their chances of being reunited.

“With the host of cover that good quality pet insurance can provide, taking out a policy should be a priority for any owner.”