All too often, a lost dog will be seen wandering the streets. No matter how they escaped, the chances of strays becoming reunited with their owners are sadly often slim. However, Lost Dog Awareness Day is approaching on 23rd March, a day which was created in order to help bring home all those pets who have wandered off on an adventure of their own.
The best way to do this is to ensure that our precious pooches are safe and sound and have very little chance of running off. This is why they should always be microchipped and have a personalised dog tag featuring your up to date contact information.
There are thousands of dog owners in the UK and many will attest that losing their four-legged friend is their worst fear. To stop this, we have a few tips that may help you avoid losing your best friend.
The first and most important thing to do is to ensure that your dog is microchipped. It’s a legal requirement enforced to help keep pets as safe as possible. Always make sure your microchip registry has correct and up to date information.
However, microchipping isn’t the only answer. Your pet should also have a personalised dog tag with your contact information attached and this should hang securely on a comfortable pet collar. Legally, all dogs in the UK require ID that shows their owner’s name and address (house name or number and postcode, at least).
A Bow Wow Meow Smart Tag has a QR Code which can be scanned and an NFC chip which can be tapped, allowing access to your pet’s online profile. This can include multiple contact methods including home phone, mobile and WhatsApp, Skype, email, multiple addresses, friend and family contact details, vet information and insurance details. It can also include important dietary and medical information to make sure your pet is well cared for when found, until you are reunited. When the profile is accessed by the person who finds your pet, you’ll receive an email showing the GPS location of where the tag was scanned or tapped. The QR Code can be scanned from any smartphone using a QR Code reader and can now also be automatically scanned using the camera in the iPhone 7. This functionality will be available on all Android phones in the near future. The NFC can be activated by any Android phone. Make sure to keep your pet’s profile completely up to date at all times.
Of course, there isn’t a foolproof solution. Some pets are renowned escape artists so you should always check that the collar is done up tight enough to prevent the dog pulling it off, while still being comfortable to wear.
It’s also best to keep your dog on a lead when you are out and about in public areas unless you’re absolutely confident in their recall skills. Losing your dog is simply not worth the risk and while you may want to let your four-legged friend run free, keeping them on the lead is often a far safer option. If you’re at home, you will want to make sure that your pet is safe there too. Check that your garden is secure and never leave any windows or doors open when you are not at home.
However, despite all our best efforts, sometimes our dogs do manage to escape. Just because your dog may have run off, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost – there are still plenty of ways to get them home safe and sound.
Firstly, you should contact local vet practices and your neighbourhood watch association and ask them to keep an eye out. Someone may see your dog wandering the streets and if this happens, they will instantly be able to contact you. Similarly, it might also be a good idea to post on social media sites and local pages to check if anyone else has seen anything – you might be surprised by just how useful your local Facebook page can be. If you don’t have a Facebook page, ask a friend or family member to post for you and don’t forget to include a photo and detailed description.
You will also need to keep your phone with you at all time in case you do receive a call. Your pet’s personalised dog tag should include your phone number to enable people to contact you if they do find your lost pet. Of course, many pet owners will be out and about searching should the worst happen, so don’t forget to bring your phone if you are looking for your dog.
So, now you know how to avoid losing your pet and what you should do if the worst happens. It’s imperative to ensure your pet is microchipped and to keep the information on their personalised dog tag up to date. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure that you are fully committed to your pet’s safety on Lost Dog Awareness Day this year.