For many people, their dog is a full-fledged member of the family, so it can be devastating when their dog runs away or gets lost. You can never completely ensure your dog won't get lost or runaway. Despite all our preventions, our pooch earned the nickname “Miss Houdini”, as she was a regular escape artist, even learning to open latches. We quickly learned how to put an end to her unauthorized outdoor excursions. Here are some precautions you can take to keep your dog safe and to help you find your lost dog should you get separated.
- Always make sure your dog is wearing a collar with up-to-date contact information on it. There are some very stylish and innovative collars and IDs, such as slide-on collar name plates (instead of charms/tags), electronic dog IDs, personalized dog collars, and GPS dog collars.
- Check your yard for ways your dog can escape. If your dog is a digger (like ours), consider putting down about 4-6 inches of concrete under the fence line so they can't dig under. Always keep your fence gate securely closed.
- If you don't have a fenced yard, always supervise your dog in the yard and keep them on a dog leash or a dog lead.
- Consider microchipping or tattooing your dog so they can be identified in case they get out of their collar somehow.
- Take pictures of your dog regularly, including good close-up shots that show unique identifying details.
- Train your dog to come at the sound of a dog whistle and associate the sound with something good, like dinner time. They are more likely to come if they're within hearing range if they think they'll be fed.
If Your Dog Gets Lost
- If you microchipped your pet, call the company it's registered with to report it lost or stolen. Also, contact your vet and local shelters, in case someone brings your pet in.
- Leave strongly-scented articles of clothing outside of your house. Your dog may be able to find its way home itself by finding your scent.
- Visit your local shelters to see if your dog is there and to let them know your dog is lost.
- Put up flyers in your neighborhood or the area in which your dog was lost. Dark writing on a light background is best. Include the most important details (description and phone number) in writing large enough to be read while driving.
- Talk to your neighbors or people who live in the area your dog was lost in. Give them a description of your dog. Services like LostMyDoggie.com will call all your neighbors for you to get the word out quickly.
- Enlist neighborhood kids to help in finding your dog. They're often outside, very observant, and will probably want to help find a missing dog.
- Place a lost dog ad in your local paper and check the found dog ads.
- Place flyers in local vets and pet stores.
- Check websites like PetFinder.com for your dog and place a free lost dog ad.
Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with finding your lost dog. If you do, we hope our tips will help reunite you with your dog quickly.