The biggest fear many pet owners have is finding out their beloved animal has gone missing, either running away, getting loose or getting lost.
This possibility is a big reason why all owners must register their dog microchip by eight weeks old, and remains one of the most important tools to help reunite owners with their pets. They also need a collar whenever they are out in public with a nametag
In the moment, however, which often happens so quickly, it can be difficult to know what to do, so here are some important pieces of advice to bear in mind if your animal goes missing.
Keep Calm And Cool
For many pet owners, the moment they realise their pet is missing can lead to complete panic, but the best way to make a runaway moment as short as possible is to resist that instinct to scream, yell or chase after them if you still see them.
You won’t be able to catch up and your dog may stay away for longer if they think you are angry at them.
Instead, remain calm and call out in your happy voice, making kissy noises and bringing a toy out as making it clear they will not be in trouble will help to convince them to come back.
Start With Surrounding Areas
If they have only been missing for a few minutes, start with areas you know they are familiar with, such as nearby streets and parks. It is likely that they are close by as dogs tend to stick with familiar locales.
Alert Rescue Organisations And Dog Wardens
If your dog has not been found after an hour, it is time to call in the cavalry.
The first place to report is with your local council; each council has a dog warden service that finds stray and lost dogs and can help reunite them with their owners. They will often check the microchip themselves and try to notify you if they find them.
Nearby dog’s homes, animal welfare groups in the area and neighbours are also good people to contact.