Keeping Your Dog From Becoming A Lost Dog
Today is Lost Dog Awareness Day, where focus is on preventing lost dogs and what to do if your dog goes missing.
There are several steps dog guardians can take to keep their dog safe. There are some suggestions:
- Accompany your dog outside. Often, dog owners will open the door so their dog can go into the fenced backyard, but not go out with the dog. If the gate is inadvertently left open and the dog sees something of interest, he’ll make a run for it out the gate. I’ve also known of cases where a dog leapt over the fence, or dug a hole that allows him to escape under the fence.
- Microchipping. This is a safe and easy way to register your dog with your contact information in the event your dog is lost. The microchip is very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and inserted under the skin. There is a number assigned to your dog, and if your dog is lost and someone finds him and takes him to a facility that has a microchip scanner, contact information can help reunite with your dog. It is important to keep the microchip contact information current, so anyone finding your dog can reach you quickly.
- Keep your dog leashed when outside. Have you ever taken your dog out to the front yard without a leash? Maybe it’s just to go potty, out for a few minutes then back inside. If your dog sees something that grabs his attention, perhaps another dog, your dog could very easily run off before you realize he’s gone. To keep your dog safe, it’s best to put on his leash, even if you only plan to be outside for a short time.
- Make sure your dog’s collar fits. Collars can stretch out over time and can become loose enough for your dog to wriggle out of it. Check your dog’s collar periodically to be sure the fit is correct (you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar for a correct fit). Ensure your contact information is on the collar and is easy to read. Include your complete telephone number, including area code, your address and your dog’s name. Many people have this information on tags they attach to the collar, but tags can come off, so consider a collar that has the information sewn into the collar material itself.