It’s the nightmare of every dog owner: your dog escapes, races away and gets lost. Or you leave your dog in your fenced-in yard, only to return home to discover a hole in the fence. No matter how it happens, losing your dog can be a terrifying experience. Luckily there are many ways that you can reduce the chances that your dog will ever get lost.
Use a Collar and ID Tags
Invest in a quality collar that fits your dog well, and regularly check its fit to avoid the collar becoming too loose and slipping off your dog’s head during a walk. If your dog has a habit of ducking back and slipping his collar, you may want to look into using a harness to walk your dog instead.
Don’t forget to have ID tags made and attached to your dog’s collar with your contact information. Keep the tags current, and update them if phone numbers or addresses change.
Train Your Dog
Good obedience training can help to make your dog safer from ever getting lost. There is a better chance that a dog who has been trained to come, sit and stay will remain safe and return to you if he gets loose, compared to a dog with limited training. Start training your dog when he’s young, and train him to obey all members of the family. Working with a professional dog trainer is also a great idea, and can improve your dog’s training.
Check Yard Fencing
If you let your dog loose in your yard, it is important to regularly check the perimeter fencing to make sure that it is safe and secure. Many dogs get loose as a result of holes or gaps in fencing, and you don’t want your dog to be one of them. Make sure that your yard’s fencing is not only strong and solid, but that it is also tall enough to keep your dog from jumping out.
Crate Train for Safety
Crate training your dog can be an excellent way to help keep him from getting lost. Getting your dog used to being inside his crate means that you can secure him in the crate during times when he could potentially escape the house, such as when you’re having a party or will have many people going in and out of the house.
Microchip Your Dog
While they won’t necessarily prevent your dog from getting lost, microchips can help to return your dog to you in the event that he ever is lost. Your veterinarian can implant a microchip into the skin around your dog’s neck. If your dog is lost and brought to a vet or a rescue, anyone with a microchip scanner will be able to scan your dog’s microchip and follow the information registered online to contact you. While the microchip will last your dog’s entire lifetime, it is important to keep your registration and contact information with the microchip company updated.
While a lost dog is any dog owner’s nightmare, following these steps can lessen the chance of your dog ever getting lost.