23rd April every year is celebrated as the National Lost Dog Awareness Day. It is the day to create a dialogue concerning a common problem of pooches running away from homes for a myriad of reasons.
Dogs are little excited kids who are always ready for the next adventure. Curious by nature and explorers by heart, it is hard to keep their free spirits on a leash, and as a pet parent, you shouldn’t be doing that either.
However, like kids, they are prone to losing their way home, especially in their early years.
We know how much you love your pooch and to lose a pet is a heartbreaking situation. In order to save you from this heartache, we have compiled this list of awareness and prevention tips that you can implement daily to avoid losing your dog.
Why Do Dogs Run Away?
As mentioned, most dogs are curious by nature, ready to explore their surroundings and the world that lies beyond. Here are some of the common reasons why your dog might go missing.
1. Lack of Engagement
Dogs are brilliant animals and require something to stimulate them and busy their minds and body.
If you are unable to create an engagement for your dog, he/she may create one for themselves and might dash out your property just to keep boredom away.
To avoid the case of a missing dog, offer them opportunities to exhaust their minds and bodies via exercise, playing with them at home, and toys, to name a few.
Once they have had their fill, they won’t feel the need to run away, and you won’t have to put up the LOST DOG fliers in the neighborhood.
2. Curiosity Lost the Dog
It is very common that your dog might be curious about the world beyond the gates. They might dig a hole in your backyard or run out of the front door the first chance they get.
Sadly, there are reasons for mistreatment that also push dogs to run away. When they are denied their basic rights, not given the affection they deserve, and abused frequently, it is only natural for a dog to get distress and would run away to look for a safer haven.
Bring Back Your Lost Dog: Prevention is better than Panic
It would be ideal if we never lost a dog. However, we do not live in a perfect world, and there are chances that your dog might run out of your house. The good news is that there are preventive measures that you can put in place to avoid the situation.
1. Pet Proofing Your Home
Does your dog bolt out the second you open your door? Time to install baby gates that allows you to open the door for visitors but closes the path for your pooch from running out. If you have a yard, you should also consider fencing it and securing all the gaps so that your dog does not sneak out.
If you have a fluffy pooch, take extra precaution because it is easy to be fooled how small your dog can really be underneath all the fur!
While it is a great idea to put up a fence, it is imperative that you stay vigilant because curious dogs will find a way to dig underneath and come out on the other side. Ensure that they stay away from the boundaries, much less have a chance to dig through.
2. Soothe them
When in distress, dogs tend to look for options beyond the home boundaries to calm their frazzled nerves. One such situation is during the fireworks or high decibels in any form that can be painful for your dog’s sensitive auditory canal.
It is during times like these they will try sneaking away. While you cannot stop your neighbors from using the fireworks on the 4th of July, what you can do is put your dog on a leash and give him his favorite toy or your shirt to soothe him. You can also sit with him, ensuring that you are right there to protect him.
3. Use a Leash
As a dog owner, you must have a leash with you at all times, even for the most mild-mannered dogs. A leash can also help prevent your dog from dashing when you have wild visitors like squirrels and other similar animals in your backyard.
4. License Your Dog
Consider it your dog’s identity. Many countries have mandated dogs to be licensed to separate pets from strays. Many veterinary clinics sell these licenses when your dog gets his/her rabies shot. In case your dog goes missing, this license can help animal welfare refer to the details and track the owner with substantial ease.
You can also microchip your pet that rules out the possibility of illegible print on the name tag. However, ensure that the details in the chip are upgraded so that the return can be quicker.
Moreover, by licensing your pooch, you also save him from ever going to a shelter, and even if he does, the impounding fee is much less. So basically, it’s a win-win!
Incase You Lost Your Dog
The unimaginable has happened, and you lost your dog. Instead of panicking, think of ways that can help you find your missing dog! While it is natural to be worried, be rest assured that most cases of missing dogs are resolved quickly.
Here are some steps you should immediately take to find your missing pup.
1. Launch a Search
So, where do dogs go when they are lost? While this question has no definite answer, missing dogs are usually around within a two-mile radius from home or where they were last seen. Walk out by calling their names, waving their toys, making familiar welcoming noises, and shaking their favorite bag of treats to get their attention.
If your dog is friendly, he or she might approach other humans to give them care and shelter. In such cases, talk to your neighbors and commercial property owners if they have seen your pet. If your pooch belongs to the shy category, there are chances they might be hiding under a car or a bush to keep contact with other humans to a minimum. An immediate search party helps curb the situation before things go out of hand.
2. Contact the Local Animal Control
The local animal control is better equipped to find your missing dog. So while you are on your own looking out for your pooch, contact the animal control for a broader perimeter search. Most of the time, they successfully bring you back your lost dog.
3. Use the Power of Social Media
With social media’s incredible reach, you have the power of letting people know far and beyond about your missing dog. Simply upload the picture of your pooch and share the relevant details to help identify him and her. Many cases of lost and found dogs have been solved with the help of social media in an incredibly short turnaround time!
Do not let the cases of missing dogs put you through a painful experience. Understand what makes your dog tick as well as their behavior and secure your household to ensure that your pooch remains safe and secure.