What To Do If Your Dog Runs Away

Apart from going out to search for your dog, you should also call the police, local kennels, and any animal welfare officers in your area. You can also put up posters with your dog's photo and a telephone number.
What To Do If Your Dog Runs Away

Last update: 26 August, 2018

A dog running away from home is nay dog owner’s nightmare. It may happen because they are frightened, had an accident, or are just a little naughty, but it’s something that could happen to anyone. In this article, you can learn how to be prepared if your dog ever runs away.

Identification is Mandatory

As with so many other things in life, it’s better to be safe than sorry. As well as being mandatory by law, the best way to make sure your dog returns home is to identify them with a microchip.

The microchip is a device smaller than a grain of rice that’s implanted under your dog’s skin. The chip contains the owner’s contact information just in case anyone finds the do.

Stray dog in the street

Despite being cheap to install, mandatory, and completely necessary if your dog runs away, only a small percentage of dogs in Spain actually have a microchip. There are no disadvantages but the advantages are many. Identify your dog if you want to increase your chances of having your dog come back home safely.

Before Your Dog Runs Away

Some of the most important things you can do are actually relating to making sure they don’t run away in the first place. Responsible owners should be able to foresee problems before they actually happen.

Installing a microchip is necessary, but it’s still more important to have your contact information up-to-date. It’s very common to change telephone number or address. So, don’t forget to update your dog’s microchip too!

Since the microchip data is only shared within an autonomous community, you should go to the vet and update your contact information in case you ever move to a new city or different country.

It’s also important to have a harness or leash in good condition. Anytime you go for a walk in the street, something could happen that scares your dog. So, in case your dog pulls hard on the leash or harness, he won’t be able to escape. Investing in a good leash is a wise decision.

Of course, you should also avoid dangerous or uncomfortable situations when you’re out of the house. Many dogs get lost each year during a walk because they’ve get scared and run away after hearing thunder or a firecracker.

Dog staring down a road

Your dog’s safety always comes first. If there is a risk outside the house, then you don’t have to go out. You can always take a shorter walk.

What To Do If Your Dog Runs Away

However, let’s suppose that your dog has already ran away. Something awful happened and they’ve ran away. What do you do now? How do you find them?

The first thing you need to do is tell the authorities that you’re looking for your dog. Call the local police station and give them a description of your dog. Even if they don’t have a microchip, if someone finds your dog, the first person that they’ll call is usually the police. Therefore, you need to tell them that you’re looking for your dog.

Dogs in a cage

The next step is to contact any local kennelsYour local police or animal welfare officers should be able to provide you with any contact information of any kennels in your area.

If your dog has a microchip they would most likely read it when they find a dog, but there have been cases when this has not happened. Give the kennels a description of your dog so they know that you’re looking for him.

Then, get in touch with any animal welfare organizations in your area. Give them a recent photo of your dog. Many people get in touch with them on a daily basis because of animals they’ve found.

If a dog runs away it may end up in a kennel

Even as the days go by, you need to keep on trying. Somebody may still find your dog within a few days or several weeks later. Although you’ve already spoken to the kennel, keep checking back with them regularly. Do the same with an animal welfare organization. Remind them that you’re looking for your dog.

Look For Them In Familiar Places

You need to look for your dog in person. A disoriented dog can walk for many kilometers in a day. However, here are a few tips that can help you:

Look for them in places your dog knows. Dogs like routine, so they explore places they often go to. Also have a look in areas where there are other dogs such as parks, walking routes, etc.

Ask people. If you suspect that your dog is in a particular area, ask the people who live or pass through there. The more eyes that are looking for your dog, the better your chance are of finding him. Somebody might have seen him, and in the worst case scenario, if nobody has even seen him, you can rule that area out of your search.

Lost dog poster

Put up posters with your dog’s photo and your telephone number. Although you and other organizations may be sharing this on social media, make sure that you use posters too. Many people don’t look at these things on social media.

It’s a situation that nobody would ever want to go through, but being prepared and knowing exactly what to do is the best way to make sure that they comeback home safe and sound.

A microchip is mandatory, but not less important than knowing how to look and never give up.

The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.