This is a dog owner’s worst nightmare. Your dog gets loose from the house or goes missing on a walk. Dogs are such curious creatures that they don’t see the harm in following an interesting scent or chasing after a bird. The problem is that they quickly loose sight of you. Here are some simple tips to follow if your dog ever runs away.
Make Sure They Are Microchipped
Since April 2016, all dogs in the UK must be microchipped by law by the age of 8 weeks. Any owner of an unchipped dog is liable for a £500 fine if they do not microchip their dog within 21 days of being reported by the authorities.
In the US, there are no state laws regarding mandatory microchipping but some municipalities do have rules in place.
If your dog is found, they can be scanned by a dog warden or veterinarian which will show your name and address. This is why it is so important to update your details if you move to a new house.
Although it is a scary situation, panicking will make you act in a way that you wouldn’t if you were thinking rationally. Take a minute to collect yourself. your brain is not capable of problem solving if you are in a heightened state of anxiety.
Work Your Way Slowly
In all likelihood, your dog will not have got far. Start by searching the area immediately around you. Call your dog’s name and wait a few seconds. Listen for noises of rustling or barking to give you an indication of the direction to head in.
Slowly move away as you search, knocking on nearby houses and asking passers-by. If they can help you search, make sure you all head in different directions to cover more ground.
Think Like A Dog
Dogs love to explore but they also like familiarity. If you are in your local neighbourhood, head towards the local park or to a house that you usually visit with your dog.
As you go, check backyards and alleyways in case your dog was distracted by garbage cans, other dogs or people.
Having treats will also help. Shake the packet at regular intervals in case your dog is close. They will most likely start trying to follow the sound to find the treats.
Don’t be afraid to post on social media in local chat groups, post pictures of your dog around your neighbourhood and ask your local stores to put posters in their windows. The best places are supermarkets, cafes and restaurants that regularly put out food waste. Dogs will be attracted to the smell and so are more likely to hang around those places.
Contact Local Shelters
Visit your local dog shelters and rescues and let them know that your dog is missing. Take along a recent picture so they will recognize your dog if they are brought in. Make sure to leave your contact information and home or work address so they can get in touch with you.