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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

The horror of every pet owner, his darling is nowhere to be found. What to do in such a situation and how to prevent it? Read up on how you can prepare for this case and how you react when the scenario has occurred.

Why did my dog run away?

This can have many reasons.

  • Often the dogs are frightened and run away out of panic. In shock they get lost or are injured and therefore can no longer find their way home.
  • Some hunt-motivated dogs run after a scent or game and are “in their world”. You can read more about free running here.
  • Dogs often travel long distances in search of a mate. To get closer to the scent of the willing partner.
  • After a move, the animals often do not know their surroundings well enough and get lost or into fights with other animals in the area.
  • Curiosity makes them run outside.
  • Due to injuries, the animal does not make it back.
  • Some dogs are also stolen. Tied up in front of shops or free-roaming (pedigree) animals are often taken away and sold on.
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Dog lost, what to do?

  • Set your pet profile to missing! All nearby service providers, animal shelters, etc. will be notified automatically.
  • Share the profile on social media channels.
  • Let your neighbours know.
  • Notify the police and hunters.
  • Actively search for your dog. Call for him and listen carefully, he may be trapped somewhere and call back. Most animals stay in familiar surroundings.
  • If you have recently moved to the area, search the old surroundings.
  • Search dogs can also help you find the missing animal.
  • Keep near the place, where your dog run away. Many dogs came back there. Also look at places you often go with him.

You found a lost animal, what to do?

  • Do not put yourself in danger. If the animal seems panicky or aggressive, keep an eye on it and contact the police.
  • If it is trusting, try to catch it carefully and bring it to safety. For example, into your car or your home.
  • Avoid loud or hectic movements so as not to drive the animal away.
  • Make a note of where and when you found the animal.
  • Have the microchip read by a vet or the police so that the owner can be found.
  • Notify neighbours and local animal shelters.
  • Search for “missing” reports on the map, at animal shelters, social media sites, etc. and inform them.

Important: If a supposed owner comes forward, check whether this is really the case before returning the animal. Especially pedigree animals are often stolen in order to sell them afterwards. You could ask about external characteristics, ask to see photos on your mobile phone or ask about the vet who treated the animal.

Measures to prevent your dog from escaping

  • Mark your pet with a microchip and have it registered in your name. The data must always be up to date so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
  • Do not leave your dog unattended in public areas.
  • Train your pet to make luring noises that it will respond to in an emergency.
  • Secure fearful dogs well (safety chest harness) and train them. An animal trainer can help you with this.
  • Create an odour sample so that pet trainers can search for your animal if necessary. To do this, put hair and a cotton bud with which you have rubbed your pet’s ears and mouth into an unused jam jar. Then close the jar, date it and store it in a dark place not above room temperature. Packed like this, the sample should last 1-2 years. In an emergency, blankets, chest harnesses, toys, chewed bones, etc. can also serve as odour carriers. It is important that no one else touches the scent article so as not to lure the dog onto a false scent later.
  • Make sure that your dog feels comfortable with you, that its needs are met and that it is not scared or stressed at home.
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It can happen that your dog gets lost. Usually the animals are found again quite soon. Keep calm and follow the search tips.