Lost Dog on StreetThe Five Main Reasons Dogs Get Lost

Haven’t we all worried at some point that our dog would run off and get lost?  One out of 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime.  If you know the top 5 reasons why dogs run off, you may be able to prevent some of them from happening.

1.  They have an easy escape route.  Either the fence is too low, the gate was left open or there’s a house door or window left open.  It’s an opportunity that’s just too good to pass up.
2.  They have an instinct to chase.  If a squirrel or cat is just too much for your dog to resist, he probaly has a very strong prey drive.  Most shis tzus could care less about chasing anything.  On the other hand, a hound just can seem to help himself.
3.  They have an urge to mate.  If your male dog has not been neutered, all it takes is the scent of an unspayed female and he’s on the chase.  The best measure to stop this is having your male dog neutered.  Neutering will stop about 90% of the sexual drive to roam.
4.  They are bored.  Some dog breeds require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy.  Otherwise they will be looking for ways to entertain themselves.  Be sure to take them on several walks a day, provide them with lots of interesting and stimulating toys, and spend time interacting with them.
5. They are spooked by scary sounds.  These can include thunder, fireworks, large crowds or bright lights.  There are several things you can do to help your dog if they are easily spooked.  Give them a safe space in your house to “hide out”, keep them indoors on the 4th of July and even the eveings after the 4th and try a Thundershirt.

What You Can Do

  • The most important thing you can do if your dog is lost is to make sure you can be contacted.  The two main ways is a tag on your dog’s collar and a microchip with your up-to-date contact information.
  • Hold on to your dog’s collar when you answer the door.  Many dogs take off when the door is opened, so try to prevent this from happening.
  • Don’t walk your dog off leash.
  • Check your fence for gaps and your fence gate to be sure it closes properly.
  • Spay and neuter your dogs.

It is estimated that approximately 90% of dogs who are lost are returned to their owner.  Here’s an interesting infograph that shows lost pet statistics.

National Pet ID Week

National Pet ID Week begins on April 17, 2020 and runs through April 23rd. This is the perfect time to think about how easily your dog could be identified if they become lost.  Even the most well-behaved pets can get lost, yet only 33% of pet owners report that their pets ALWAYS wear ID tags (ASPCA).

ID Tags and Microchips

Most lost dogs that make it home are reunited with their owners because of proper ID tags or microchips. Collars and ID tags immediately identify your pet as a lost pet rather than a stray, and the return rate for a dog with a microchip is 2.5 times greater than one without that identification device.

Make sure to keep your contact information up to date in the registry.  Your vet can check your microchip to make sure it is still working properly.  If you’d like to learn more abouth the microchip process, this site is a good resource.

No one ever plans to lose their pet.  If it does happen, you’ll have the best chance of having your pet returned to you if they are microchipped and have on their collar with ID tags.

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