An escaped dog, or a dog on the loose, is probably one of the biggest traumas for their owners. Why do dogs escape from their owners? How can you find a lost dog?
Why do dogs escape?
Dogs can escape from us or be lost even when they are puppies. Puppies usually get out through doors that are not closed properly. Everyone knows that puppies require more attention than adult dogs and the places they stay in and run around should be well-protected.
When it comes to older dogs, the most common reason for escaping is the need to explore their surroundings and visit new places. Some species of dogs, for example Alaskan Malamutes, have a greater need for this kind of exploration than other dogs, but even small and domestic dogs can behave completely differently while walking in a new place, like forest a forest, where the risk of losing a dog is quite high.
The other reason for a dog escaping can be sexual attraction. All males dogs can be more determined to escape or will chase females, longer than a desexed dog. Quite often dog disappears during these kinds of chases.
How can you find a lost dog?
We should act quickly! As soon as we realise the dog is gone we should start looking for it immediately. We should check all the places familiar to us and our dog. We should also call the pet shelters and RSCPA telling them that our dog is lost. Time is crucial as the quicker we start the search, the bigger chance the dog won't have gone too far.
Another good idea are big posters with the animal's photo and extra information, plus a reward, that wait for someone who finds it. The word ‘Reward’ should be on top of the poster so it gets more attention. Posters should be put in crowded locations, pet shelters, vets offices and so on. We should also ask people in our area if they have seen our dog recently.
If the dog is lost in the forest or on a mountain trip, we should try to follow our footsteps back the same way we came. Our smell will be stronger and maybe it will lead to our lost dog. Anther good idea is to make a little pile of our personal stuff near the place the dog disappeared. Maybe it will be able to sniff it from a distance so we should come back to this place from time to time to check it.
The best way to trace the dog is to have it microchipped before it gets lost and have it wear a collar with contact details. Microchips are easy to read by any vet. Besides this, during holiday trips you should always carry a photo of your dog and put the holiday house address on its collar. Its in not such a big effort, but it can be very useful and save a lot of time.
Its not worth talking about the negative effects or outcomes if a dog escapes. If we love our dog we should do everything to find it regardless of how much time has passed since it was lost. There are cases when dogs are found on the same day, but there are also some stories when they were found after several weeks - alive and healthy.