Having a lost dog is a terrible feeling. It is even more problematic if your dog gets out of your yard at home and simply seems to disappear from the area. Your first thought is often of accidents, injuries, or even theft, and this can make it difficult to calmly approach the problem and start effectively searching for the dog.
The first thing a pet owner should assume is that there is a possibility the dog may get out. This allows you to prepare a preventive strategy to keep your dog safe. Microchipping your pet when he or she is spayed or neutered, or as soon as possible, is a highly effective strategy. This allows for quick identification of the owner if the lost dog is taken to a shelter, a dog rescue, a vet, or if the dog is picked up by animal control officers in the community. A collar with tags and current contact information is also helpful in recovering a lost dog.
Keeping Your Pet in the Yard
An invisible fence is a wire that is placed under the surface of the ground outlining the perimeter of the property or the dog’s space. This wire is connected to a transmitter, and it sends out a continuous radio signal that cannot be heard but can be detected by a small receiver that is on the dog’s collar.
When the dog approaches the buried wire, the receiver picks up the signal and sends out a warning sound that is heard by the dog. If the dog continues to walk towards the wire, a small, harmless, electric stimulation is emitted by the receiver on the collar. This is not a shock, and it does not electrocute the dog or cause any harm to the pet.
To help your dog, mark the invisible fence with small marker flags provided with the invisible fence. Once your dog understands that stopping at the initial sound from the collar eliminates the electric stimulation, the flags can be removed.
Be sure to run the wire under the gate as well. This is a simple way to prevent a dog from getting out of the yard if a gate is left open by mistake.
Steps to Take for a Lost Dog
If your dog is out of the yard, there are some strategic steps to take to help to get him or her home as soon as possible, these include:
- Complete a sweep of the neighborhood, including any parks or areas you walk frequently. Call the dog often and ask people you see. It is helpful to have copies of a current picture with you that list your contact information. Hand these out, place them on cars, give them to businesses, and talk to homeowners in the area.
- Call local animal shelters and report the pet missing. Send pictures via email or social media to these facilities.
- Use social media posts and lost pet listings on social media to notify others
- Call local veterinarians and report the dog missing
- Email friends and family
- Keep your phone with you at all times
It is essential not to give up hope or quit looking. Dogs that are frightened can run for miles, so always extend the range of the search farther than you expect the dog to travel. Keep checking shelters, posting online through social media, and check frequently in areas where the dog spent time away from your home. Drive through your neighborhood as often as possible and try different times of the day, your dog is very likely trying to find his or her way home.