Today is Lost Dog Awareness Day and that got me thinking…….would I know what to do if my dog got lost? Would you?
Holly has an excellent recall (she knows I have food!) but Hugo has selective hearing and is very easily distracted by new smells, other dogs and big trees to wee on! They’re never allowed out of my sight when we’re out and about and I panic even if they disappear for a second so today prompted me to do a bit of research just in case the worst actually happened. Here’s what I found.
If your dog goes missing from your garden spend 10-15 minutes calling for them. Use their name and any trigger words you have, shake a jar of treats if you use them or clang their food bowl, anything that usually makes them come running. Check your shed/garage and check in the house in case they’ve gone into a room and the door closed behind them, Hugo’s done this to me before now! Knock on neighbours doors and ask them to check their gardens etc too.
If they’ve got lost on a walk do the same, spent some time calling for them and use a happy, excited voice, they might not want to come back if they think you’re upset with them! Check their favourite spot in the park, Hugo has a favourite tree, check the café and even the car park in case they’ve gone back to your car! Ask other dog walkers too! Describe your dog and their harness or collar and you could give them your mobile number and ask them to call you if they spot them.
If your dog comes back greet them with cuddles and praise for returning! Telling them off will make them less likely to come when called next time!
By law your dog must be microchipped and wear a collar (or harness) and tag with your name and contact details on so make sure they’re on there and they’re up to date! Our tags don’t include the dogs names, just mine along with my address (the UK law states your name & address as a minimum) but I’ve also included my phone number and ‘I’m microchipped’ on there too. Pets at Home will engrave tags while you wait, just be sure to print your name and address clearly for them!
Where ever you are, if there’s no sign of them after about 15 minutes it’s time to ask for help.
Call your local dog warden – I googled their number and added it to my phone contacts so I have it to hand should the worst happen.
Call your Microchip company – I have their number and our reference numbers already in my phone too!
Call your local police – They’ll be the ones people call if your dog’s involved in a road traffic accident.
Call all the local vets (not just your own) giving them a description of your dog, their microchip ID and your phone number in case they’re taken in.
Call the Blue Cross if you have one nearby.
Hopefully something like this will never happen but it pays to be prepared! If you have any other tips do let us know in the comments!
love and pug hugs xo