How to approach a lost dog?
You have just found a dog that seems to be in an unfamiliar place. Instinctively, you want to make sure the dog is safe, but you also need to be careful and remember to protect yourself because not all dogs are friendly...
If you think a dog is lost and needs your help, try to approach it calmly and pay attention to its body language. Turn your body to the side when approaching; a frontal approach, even if you are not very tall, can be intimidating to a dog, and may cause it to assume a defensive position if it already feels threatened. So move forward slowly and once you are close enough, crouch down and offer your hand for him to sniff.
Keep your body at your side and don't make direct eye contact until the dog is clearly beside you and comfortable. Then, gently grab her collar or attach a leash if you have one. Don't make any sudden movements or force him, as this may cause him to become suspicious or, in the worst case, defensive!
If he refuses to approach and you have food or treats on hand, you can try to lure him with them.
If you have reason to believe that the dog is not happy to be approached (it is showing its teeth, its hair is bristling, its body is stiff), it is time to contact the local police or animal control, who can retrieve the dog safely and professionally. If the dog won't let you approach, you can also try to take a photo or video of it so you can share it with the proper authorities and/or social media.
I found a lost dog, what do I do next?
You are now in charge of a lost dog, whether it is on a leash, by the collar or in your car. If the dog has an ID tag on its collar, call the number on it and leave a message. If the dog does not have a tag, a shelter or veterinarian will be able to scan the dog's microchip or check for ID tattoos. They will then offer to contact the owner for you or give you the owner's contact information so you can do it yourself.
However, let's face it, in most cases, you may not be able to go to a shelter or a vet immediately and you will have to take your lost dog home.
If you do this and you have other family members or pets, make sure they don't mix, as your new tenant may have parasites, fleas or any other contagious health problems. He may also be frightened and confused by being in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by unfamiliar smells and faces, which can make him aggressive. Until a veterinarian or shelter can examine him, it's best to play it safe. Confine him to a room away from other animals, children and family members, and provide him with food, a comfortable bedding and clean water.
If you can't contact an owner through a microchip, tattoo or ID tag, it's time to get your community involved. Post their picture and location on social media, print up posters to hang in your neighborhood, and contact local veterinarians and animal shelters so the owner can contact them and eventually you can get in touch.
If no one contacts you to claim the dog, it's up to you to decide whether to find a new home for the dog, give it to a shelter or adopt it. If an owner claims the dog, be sure to re-notify the people you contacted about the dog so they can cross it off their lists.
How do you find a lost dog?
First of all, try to stay calm. Take a deep breath, this will help keep your mind clear and your thinking logical.
As soon as you realize your dog is lost, start searching within a two-mile radius and ask your friends and neighbors to help you search. Teach them the commands your dog usually responds to and bring them treats, food and favorite toys to entice him to return and make him feel more comfortable around "strangers.
How do I report a lost dog?
If you haven't found anything within a few hours, it's time to notify local shelters and the local police department and provide them with an accurate and detailed description and photo of your dog. It's also a good idea to notify the fire department, local veterinary offices, dog groomers, pet stores and dog parks. You can also call these businesses and establishments back regularly for updates.
Next, consider posting messages on all your social networks and asking your friends to share your messages. You can also put up posters and post flyers with a picture of your pup and a way to contact you in your neighborhood. Be persistent and stay optimistic!
How do you prevent losing a dog?
The best way to prevent your dog from getting lost is to microchip him or her and put on an identification tag. A collar can easily slip off your dog's neck or break. Having a microchip will help reduce the chances of losing your dog, as any veterinarian will be able to see that your dog belongs to you. In this case, they will be able to identify your puppy and contact you as soon as possible.
You should also keep your contact information up to date on them. Moving or changing your cell phone number? Update his collar and microchip information immediately.
If you don't use a leash with your dog, regardless of his training level, you may also want to consider a GPS collar with a tracker.
Training is the key to preventing lost dogs. His recall should be as good as possible and you should practice it often. If you have any doubts about their obedience, consider hiring a local, ethical and kind trainer who can help you improve their recall.