Keeping a dog is a big responsibility for the life and well – being of your pet. For the safety of the animal on a walk, you must use a collar and leash. Such precautions are important until the pet learns to respond to the call of the owner and will confidently follow any command when walking without a leash.
Ignoring the dog’s safety rules on the street, in crowded places, the owner, distracted for a few seconds, can lose sight of the pet.
What to do if a dog goes missing will be discussed below.
The first step is the operational
If the dog is missing, it is important not to panic, collect your thoughts and start an active search for the animal. There are breed predispositions: service dogs are more independent and it is likely that they will find their way home on their own tracks. Decorative breeds are more prone to panic, when they lose their owner, they go “on the run”, scurrying away from the place of walking. Such dogs have poor territorial orientation and low sniffing ability, which makes it difficult for them to go home, and for the owner to find them.
Priority measures for rapid search should include the following actions:
- Active inspection by the owner of the place of loss with the study of the surrounding area. Do not leave the street for two or three hours, loudly, but not angrily (without threat), calling the animal’s name. If the dog is unsociable, it is likely to hide under a bench or in a thicket of bushes. During the inspection, you should pay attention to such objects.
- Warning the household about the loss of a pet to establish a watch near the house in case the animal appears.
- Survey of passers-by, people working on the street, in roadside kiosks, pavilions. It is advisable to have a photo of the pet in your phone, which will help people to find out if there was a lost dog on their way.
- Message people who have shown participation, their coordinates for communication in case of detection of the animal.
- Involve as many people as possible in the search, without giving up the help of children: after all, the difference in thinking between an adult and a child can help find a missing dog.
- If the search is unsuccessful in the first hours, you should return daily to the place where the pet was lost with a survey of nearby courtyards, neighborhoods, streets, and parks.
If the search was not successful during the first period of time, you must return home and start the next stage of the search.
Step two – informational
When you return home, you need to find information in at least five areas:
- The presence in the city (locality) of organizations engaged in trapping stray animals and volunteer associations to help animals. After specifying the contacts, you should call businesses and volunteer communities, leaving them the coordinates to contact the owner if necessary.
- Design of an online ad on a site, for example, the all-Russian system for finding and returning missing animals (pet911.ru), in social networks, thematic forums, and other online communities.
- Design of a printed ad indicating the age of the dog, its breed (with a rare breed and a high cost – it is better not to specify), distinctive features, color descriptions, placement of photos and contacts of the owner. To avoid the temptation to take over someone else’s pet, the ad may contain details about your health: allergic reactions, special food, and taking expensive medications.
- Design an ad to broadcast it on a local TV channel or place it in local print media.
- Inform nearby veterinary clinics (offices) about the loss of a dog and, if the dog is pedigreed, then you should warn the kennel clubs about the loss of the animal.
Preventive measures against loss of a pet
In order to avoid unpleasant situations with your pet, you need to take certain measures that will help you not lose the animal, and in unexpected situations, speed up the search for a lost pet.
Preventive actions include:
- Walking dogs on a leash, especially when visiting mass events, crowded places, as well as when walking with young uncastered males or unsterilized bitches during estrus.
- Pinning a badge on the collar indicating the owner’s contacts.
- Installing a GPS tracker on the collar. This system allows you to track the location of a pet, but because of its impracticality, it is not widely used: regular recharging is required, a small range of “visibility”, interruptions to the “network”, high cost, and a high percentage of failures.
- The presence of a microchip. Using this device is becoming popular. The operation of the chip is based on a radio frequency identification method without the need to recharge it. The microchip allows you to use a special scanner to read information entered in the database and transfer it to a PC.
Chipping of dogs
Microchipping is replacing branding. Applying a brand (tattoo) is a painful procedure for an animal. Over time, the marks on the tattoo are erased, the information is distorted and can be forged.
Chipping is a modern procedure that is mandatory for animals traveling to EU countries, participating in international exhibitions, as well as facilitating the registration of animals in various canine structures and veterinary clinics.
An electronic device (chip or microchip) containing the unique code of the animal is inserted into the withers of the pet with a disposable sterile applicator (syringe). Installation of the chip is carried out in veterinary hospitals or other veterinary institutions.
Scanners are used to read information from the microchip. The microchip itself is passive and does not transmit any waves without activation by the scanner. The size of the chip is comparable to a rice grain.
Electronic identification (chipping) is reliable compared to branding, and a single database of chipped animals makes it easier to find the owner in case of loss of a pet.
The unique number assigned to an animal consists of 15 characters and contains information about the country code (code 643 corresponds to Russia), the manufacturer’s code (usually four characters), and the individual animal code, which guarantees that the number will not be repeated for the next hundred years.
The code stored in the memory of the microchip is a lifetime passport of the animal, in which it is impossible to change the information or reprogram it.
After implementing the chip and checking its performance by the scanner, the doctor draws up a registration certificate (indicating the device number, animal data and owner) with automatic entry of information into the database of chipped animals.
Periodic health checks of the chip can be performed during routine vaccinations of the animal in a veterinary clinic.
Even if the owner is confident in his pet and its adequate response to the learned commands, then do not neglect preventive measures to facilitate the search for the dog in case of an unforeseen situation.
The applied innovative technologies make it possible to create an information community for animal owners and various institutions whose field of activity is related to dogs. This makes it much easier to find “lost items” and ensures their return at the level of at least 90%.