It’s hard to describe the feeling of panic when you realize that your dog is lost. Millions of dogs are lost every year. Some find their way back home. Many do not. What can you do to improve the chances that your dog will be returned to you? Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the likelihood you and your best friend will be reunited.
1. Make sure your dog always wears a collar with identification. A rabies tag is required by law in many states and is very important, but it does not have your contact information on it. Make sure your dog’s ID tags have your current address and phone number.
2. Keep you dog up to date on his rabies vaccination. A lost dog without proof of current vaccination may be quarantined by animal control or even killed.
3. Have your dog microchipped. Microchips are tiny devices, about the size of a grain of rice, that are implanted under your dog’s skin and contain your contact information. If your dog is lost and taken to a shelter or a vet, they can scan for a microchip and quickly get in touch with you.
4. Make sure you have recent photos of your dog. This will be helpful if you need to make lost dog flyers. Be sure to include a clear picture of his face as well as a full body shot.
5. Write down your dog’s important information, including his name, age, breed, color (s), and any unique markings. When you are panicked, it may be hard to recall all this important information.
If your dog does become lost, be sure to contact local animal shelters. They may have had reports about your dog or may have picked him up. Go to the shelter in person to look for your dog every few days. Do not rely on shelter personnel to tell you if your dog is there.
You can also search online. In Ingham County, check the Lost and Found Pets Ingham County Michigan, Lansing Area Pets – Lost/Found/Sightings, and For the Love of Louie Facebook pages.
Contact local veterinary clinics and distribute posters with your dog’s picture and your contact information around your neighborhood and to all your neighbors.
Finally, place a poster in your front yard so anyone who might have found your dog and is cruising the neighborhood can see right away where he belongs.