What to do if your dog gets lost or runs away?
It is probably one of the biggest nightmares of every dog owner. One minute your dog is happily running around and the next he's gone without a trace. In the blink of an eye, everything is different. There are countless scenarios in which a dog can get lost or run away, but we want a happy ending for all of them. For the furry one to return home safe and as soon as possible. How to help?
Before the dog runs away
It is basic, even obligatory in Prague, to have your dog chipped. It is done by every vet, the chip is inserted on the neck under the skin and it is not painful for the dog. After the procedure, make sure that the chip is entered in the National Pet Owners Register and you will be easy to contact if the dog is found. The tattooed number on the inside of the dog's ear also serves instead of the chip. Like the chip, the tattoo number is also recorded in the register.
Another must is a collar with a dog tag and your contact details. It's the least you can do and, if someone finds the dog, the quickest way to contact you.
A chip and a stamp are therefore absolute necessities every time you leave home. Even if you're just going for a short walk around the neighbourhood. You never know what might happen - your dog might get scared of something, smell a cat or a female dog in heat, or be startled by thunder or lightning. In such moments the dog loses control, is confused, does not know where he is running to and when he gets somewhere, he often does not know the way back. Therefore, do not underestimate these two basic points and always keep your dog carefully marked.
But what to do if he's already lost?
When this happens around your home, stay at least 15 minutes in the area where the dog ran away from. Call out to him, whistle - in a cheerful tone if possible. Make familiar noises, such as the clinking of food bowls, the tapping of a fork on a tin can or the shaking of a jar of favourite treats.
Likewise, when he runs away during a walk, call, whistle and stay in place for a while. If you are on a familiar route that you walk regularly, return to places where you know the dog likes it, such as where you let him loose. Some dogs are very smart and the moment they lose sight of you, they will return to the parking lot to your car.
If even that won't work? Ask for help.
If it's been a while since your dog went missing and your anxiety is growing, it's time to ask for help.
- First ask passers-by, or give them your contact details if they see the dog. Tell them his name, describe what he looks like and how to treat him in case they find him.
- Call the city police and report the missing dog.
- Contact psidetektiv.cz, where they will create a flyer, distribute it to all relevant organizations and post it on social media.
- Call the National Registry of Owners of Microchipped Animals.
- Let the nearest shelters and vets know.
- You can leave your clothes at the scene of the loss, from which the dog can smell you and may wait at the scene when he finds it.
- Put up posters around the area with your photo and contact details.
- Report the loss on social media. There are often various dog groups and discussions. Send a photo with details there too. Social networks are very helpful in this. People in the area can post there if they spot the dog and you can keep track of his movement.
- If you're lucky and know where your dog is, a cage where you put your dog's food, bed and your clothes is very effective. This will entice the dog to get in and you will close the cage from a distance. This is mainly in case the dog is so panicked and stressed that he is afraid of strangers and even if he is only a few feet away, he doesn't trust them and runs away.
We wish that you never have to take these steps and that you and your furry buddy will always be inseparable. Otherwise, we believe that the lost dog will always find his way back to you.