One in three pets will be lost at some point in their lifetime. No one thinks it can happen—until it does. So, how to find a lost dog? And how can you keep them from getting away in the first place? Luckily, you can take some basic precautions to help avoid the unthinkable, and there’s no time like the present! To help keep pets safe and close by, we’ve rounded up the best practices for preventing dog escapes, and for finding a lost dog if he gets away. Follow these steps, and lost dogs can be a thing of the past.
Secure Outdoor Spaces
- Check your fence for any holes or new escape routes.
- Make sure all gates are closed before taking the dog outside.
- Check on your dog frequently when she’s roaming around the yard.
- Don’t stack furniture or firewood next to the fence—dogs can use it as a springboard.
- If you can, dig a trench around the fence line and fill it with concrete to prevent under-the-fence escapes. If you’re unable to do so, use bricks or large rocks to block off the dirt directly below the fence.
Secure Entry Doors
- Place a second barrier around doorways to the outside, such as an exercise pen.
- Use a baby gate to block off the room or hall that leads to the front door.
- When you’re coming or going, use your body to block house or car doors so a dog can’t give you the slip.
- Put signs on the gates or doors for guests, explaining that there’s a dog inside.
Staying Safe on Walks
- Make sure you can’t fit more than two fingers under a dog’s collar.
- Keep your dog’s collar and tags on at all times.
- Use a fixed-length leash instead of a flexi-lead, which can snap.
- Try a properly-fitted harness instead of a collar to add extra security.
Want a visual? Check out our quick video on securing your home and yard to prevent dog escapes.
How to Find a Lost Dog: if the Dog is in Sight
- Do not run after them! Your pet may think this is a game.
- Get low and look away, or run in the opposite direction so they can chase you.
- Remain calm and use a welcoming tone.
- Don’t reach over their head. This could be scary, and cause them to run again.
How to Find a Lost Dog: if the Dog is Out of Sight
- Keep searching on foot or in a car to cover more ground.
- Talk to everyone you pass to ask if they’ve seen your dog, and to create awareness.
- Recruit family members and friends for a search party.
- Contact your local non-emergency police line to see if they can get the word out to patrolling officers.
- Contact your local Animal Control.
- Contact local pet hospitals, vets, dog-walking services, animal shelters, pet stores, and other pet-related businesses in your area. They’re often willing to help!
- Create and print fliers to post around your neighborhood. Print extras to hand out to people you meet on the street.
- Try a service such as www.lostmydoggie.com. LostMyDoggie is a website that can generate robo calls to the community to help locate a lost dog.
Fortunately, most dog escapes are easily preventable, and taking some extra precautions to keep your dog secure is a great way to avoid a frightening situation. Here’s to a safe fireworks season—and beyond!