April 23rd is Lost Dog Awareness Day. While we hope that our canine patients all stay safe and sound at home, this is one topic where an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure. As many as one in three dogs will get lost at some point in their lives! A New Orleans, LA vet discusses lost dogs in this article.
There’s no 100 percent foolproof way to prevent Fido from getting lost. It only takes a moment for a pup to run out an open door or perhaps yank the leash out of his owners’ hands. That said, there are certain times and habits that increase the risk. For example, lost pet reports usually spike after both New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July. (Here in New Orleans, you can add Mardi Gras to that list.) Many dogs find the noise and commotion of those events terrifying, and are prone to bolting off in sheer panic. Intact pooches are also more at risk, because they want to go looking for love. Then there are some dogs, such as huskies, that are notorious for taking off.
Keeping Fido Safe
First and foremost, keep your furry best friend leashed any time he isn’t in a fenced area. Training is also important, as is having a sturdy leash. We also can’t stress enough how important it is for Fido to be microchipped and wearing ID tags. If your four-legged buddy is untrained and/or just prone to running off, you may also want to get some GPS-equipped tags.
Bringing The Pup Home
What do you do if your canine pal does run off? Don’t wait to see if he turns up: start the search right away. Enlist as many friends and neighbors as you can. You’ll want to start by walking around your neighborhood. Check empty lots, ditches, and wooded areas, in case your pooch is hurt but out of sight. Spread the word on local social media groups. Offering a reward can definitely make a difference, as money is a great motivator. Next, start checking local shelters and found ads. Don’t give up! There have been amazing tales of pets being reunited with their humans after being gone for months or even years.
Is your canine buddy due for an exam? Please contact us, your local New Orleans, LA animal clinic, anytime.