Whether you’re a dog owner or looking after someone else’s pup, few feelings come close to the helplessness of losing a dog.
Many dogs are complete chancers and will take any given opportunity to gallivant off to explore new scents and environments.
As a result of an overwhelming prey drive; some breeds might make a break for it if they see something moving in the distance.
A whopping 29% of dog owners will lose a dog at least once in its lifetime. Many dog owners don’t realise that Local Authorities have a maximum number of seven days for an owner to reclaim a dog before it’s destroyed.
It’s never been more important to take these preventative steps:
Tips To Prevent A Lost Dog
Securely Does It
- Your garden needs to be securely fenced. We’re talking the kind of super-tight security akin to that of any Royal event.
- The highest recorded jump by a dog was at a staggering 5’ 7” (170 cm), so fences need to be nice and high.
- Check for rotten wood and worn-away concrete joints.
- Get on your hands and knees and look under hedgerow.
- Keep back gates firmly locked at all times. If you have a gardener or are having work done to your home, be sure to instruct workmen to keep the gate shut.
- Don’t leave your dog outside unattended for long periods of time, and keep an eye out for digging.
Yes, we guarantee you’ll be in awe of how fast they can turn up your lovely flower beds, but we warn you – dogs dig so fast, they’ll get out before you know it.
These breeds are more prone to digging than others:
- Golden Retrievers,
- Terriers, and
Is my dog unhappy?
Dogs running away doesn’t mean they’re unhappy or don’t love you, they just have a naturally curious disposition.
- Labrador Retriever
- Cocker Spaniel
- Jack Russell
- German Shepherd
- English Springer Spaniel
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Border Collie
- West Highland Terrier
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Border Terrier
A legal necessity from the 6th April, all dogs will have to be microchipped or dog owners face a £500 fine.
In the event a lost dog is found, authorities will know who the pup belongs to and can return him home, safe and sound.
Collar and tag
It’s also crucial your dog wears a collar and name tag. The tag should be durable with your details deeply engraved on. We recommend a tag made from titanium, as unlike steel, it won’t rust or corrode.
Engraving your name and not your dog’s minimises the risk of your dog walking off with a stranger if his name’s called.
Out and About
If you’re a dog sitter, then you must keep your guest pup’s leash on at all times while walking.
Even if the dog’s owner claims their pup walks fine without a leash and has excellent recall, it’s your professional duty to keep their dog on the leash.
Always ask the dog’s owner if their pup’s run away before and how he behaves outside.
Train and socialise your dog
Along with ‘sit’, ‘rollover’ and ‘paw’, a dog should be trained to return to you when called (ideally) from an early age.
Recall training’s not for a dog to think “If I return to my human, I’m going to be put on the leash”. It should make a dog think “If I return to my human, it’s going to be worth my while”.
Make returning to you worth their while by incentivising your dog and rewarding with a treat.
Watch this super-useful recall training video:
Some dogs run away when they are feeling stressed or anxious. Proper socialisation will help reduce the amount of stress and anxiety your dog feels in new, unfamiliar situations.
What to do if you lose a dog
If your dog’s managed to escape or slip the lead, the first 24 hours are crucial. You can read all about what to do if you have lost dog.