The holidays are a time of joy and magic but, just like any other time of year, when visitors may be coming and going from our home, there’s the frightening possibility that our dogs can escape from home and become lost. Picture this – you just noticed something was off in your house and the next thing you are faced with is an open door, a slipped leash or an empty backyard and your furry friend is nowhere in sight. You get scared and start thinking of many horrifying scenarios but the fact remains that your dog is not with you.
The feeling is one that should not be experienced by any puppy parent – ever. In the unfortunate event your dog does become lost this holiday season; here are some tips to being your fur baby back home safe and sound.
Bringing your lost dog back home
Be calm: whatever you do in the first few minutes of discovering your dog has gone missing will determine how the search process will go. Even if your dog is still in sight, do not run towards him because he will certainly run in the other direction and in a race between your dog and you, the odds are in favor of your dog winning. Stay calm so you can think clearly.
If you have an especially shy or fearful dog that is hard to catch, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue has a useful guide that lists what type of body language and techniques you should use to ensure that you or your helpers do not scare your dog away.
Leave your yard gates and the usual house doors open. Usually, a lost dog will come back home when he is tired of exploring. Also, arrange your dog’s favorite toys and treats in the yard or stick them in conspicuous places so as to attract him to come back home.
Ask friends and neighbors for help: the higher the number of people you have on the lookout, the more the likelihood that your lost dog will be found quickly. Check animal shelters and veterinary clinics nearby and ask them to pass on any information they might have concerning your dog, or if anyone else has reported a lost dog recently.
Make posters and hang signs: put up “lost dog” signs as soon as possible. Include your dog’s picture, name and a brief description, as well as your phone number, so people with useful information can contact you.
Use social media forums such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and post in lost dog forums. Lost dogs are being reunited with their families every day thanks to the advent of social media and the ability to share information with a few strokes of the keyboard.
Avoiding the Situation
While the above steps are quite useful, there are other ways to ensure your dog is found faster and with less stress if he goes missing.
The use of identity tags and collars is perhaps the cheapest and simplest way to ensure that your dog makes it back home, even if it gets missing. The collar and identification tag will contain your dog’s name as well as your address and phone number, so it doesn’t get mistaken for a stray when found. A good Samaritan or animal control will use the details on your lost dog’s collar to find you and you’ll be reunited with your furry friend in no time.
This is the newest and most reliable means of finding your lost pet. Your vet will inject a microchip into your pet’s skin, between the shoulder blades. The microchip is as small as a grain of rice and the entire process will not bring more discomfort to your dog than the regular vaccination injection does. The microchip contains a unique code that can be read with a scanner and this will help with identifying the dog and getting it reunited with the worried owner. While not many people have microchip scanners, vet clinics and shelters usually have them and the microchip is very reliable unlike collars and tags that may fade out or be removed from your dog.
Identification tattoos can also help you find your lost dog quickly. They are registered markings that are usually on the ear or inside a thigh and will be seen by experienced eyes at animal shelters.
With the advent of technology, newer methods of finding lost dogs and other lost pets are being developed and one of such is an application, www.findingrover.com which is available on android, iPhone or the web.
When you register with the app, you provide your contact details as well as information on your dog. The application uses facial recognition technology to scan the features of your dog’s face and saves it on file. When a finder snaps a picture of a lost dog and uploads it on the app, the app does a search of all the faces in file and when your dog’s face is found, your contact information will be displayed. You will be contacted and your dog will be home with you in no time.
Finding Rover has a wide reach and with the access it provides to its network of users and partners, local dog organizations and social media outlets are alerted when a dog is reported as missing. This app makes it easier to find a lost dog.
We wish you and your pets the best of everything this holiday season. Be safe and always exercise caution, even while experiencing high traffic, holiday rush in your home. Be sure to set parameters with your guests and be sure they understand how to help you keep your pets safe as they enjoy the celebrations with you and your pets.
To prevent lost dog related stress and worry, Tailored Pet Services will always do our best to ensure your pet is safe and secure by locking all doors, fully closing all dog gates, and sliding through your front entrances with expert care as to not let out any excited fur babies. Part of our meet and greet includes asking if your dog is prone to wandering and what special tips and tricks you use to bring Fido back home. Our policy is to contact pet parents right away in the unlikely event that a pet has run away or is missing from your home, and we take our duty to keep your fur baby safely at home very seriously. If you’d like to know more about our services, view our monthly rates here.