National Lost Dog Awareness Day

by Mary Grace

Today is National Lost Dog Awareness Day. National Lost Dog Awareness Day was created by Susan Taney (Director of Lost Dogs Illinois) and Kathy Pobloskie (Director of Lost Dogs Wisconsin) to bring attention to the dogs lost each year and celebrate those that were returned to their families. More than 10 million pets are reported lost each year, and sadly, some do not make it home. Here are some tips about how to prevent your pet from going missing, and what to do if they do:

-Have your pet wear a collar (with up-to-date tags) at all times, even indoors.

-Get a microchip. A microchip is small and is injected under the skin of your pet, usually between the shoulders. It causes no more discomfort than an ordinary shot, and does not cause any complications. It has no parts that need replacing, and it lasts a lifetime. It is NOT a GPS, it cannot track your animal. It simply contains all the same information that a tag would, but, unlike a tag, it can’t be lost. Most shelters and vets scan lost animals immediately for microchips. Get your microchip registered not only with the company it comes from, but with other websites as well. There’s usually a small fee for this, but it’s worth it to bring your best friend home!

-Keep your eyes on your pet at all times when you take them out. Don’t leave them tied to parking meter or hydrant, they could escape or be stolen.

-A harness can be helpful in making sure your dog doesn’t break free from their leash

-Regularly check that your gate door is in working order, check fence for holes, loose boards, etc.

-Keep up-to-date pictures of your pet in case you need them for fliers.

-If your pet is lost, get the word out as fast and as much as possible. Good alerts are fliers, blog posts and social media. There are also companies you can call that will broadcast calls to all phone numbers in a certain radius around where your pet went missing.

-Check at shelters and vets frequently, and file lost dog reports with them so they will know your animal if it comes in

-Gets your pets fixed! A neutered animal is much less likely to wander or wish to escape.