April 23rd is National Lost Dog Awareness Day. Unfortunately, as many as a third of our canine companions will go missing at some point in their lives. It can be absolutely heartbreaking—not to mention traumatizing—to realize that your beloved pet has slipped away. Here, a Bucks County, PA vet talks about lost dogs.

Keeping Fido Safe

As the saying says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Rule number one? Never let your dog run around off-leash. Even the most loving pup can bolt if they get frightened! If you have a yard, you’ll also need to make sure that your fencing is secure, and that your gate closes securely. Last but certainly not least, teach your furry buddy to obey specific commands, such as Stay and Come.

Knowing Peak Times

Dogs can go missing at any time. In some cases, they just take advantage of a gate or door left open. However, our canine pals may also run off because they are scared of something. Loud noises, such as fireworks, are often a trigger. Thunderstorms can also frighten pups. Take extra care with Fido around holidays and storms, or when there’s just extra noise, such as construction.

Proper ID

Make sure that your furry pal is wearing proper ID tags. If Fido ever does get away, those identification tags are the easiest way for people to link him to you.Your pup should also be microchipped. Just getting your pooch chipped isn’t enough to protect him in and of itself, though. You’ll also need to make sure your information is correct in the chipmaker’s database. Try using the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool here.

What To Do

We truly hope that none of you ever have to go through the panic of trying to find a lost dog. That said, it’s best to err on the side of caution. If your canine companion ever does go missing, immediately start searching your neighborhood. Put flyers out in local businesses, and post them online in local community groups. People are much more likely to return Fido if there is a reward offered. Include this in your text. We also recommend checking every shelter within an hour’s drive. Do this daily if you can, or as often as possible.

As your Bucks County, PA veterinary clinic, we’re here to help. Please contact us anytime!