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How to Prevent and Recover Lost Dogs

If you’ve ever lost a dog, you're not alone. An estimated one in three dogs will go missing at some point, and a majority of unchipped dogs won’t make it back to their original owners. So, although losing a pet is a common occurrence, taking a few simple preventative measures can give you peace of mind and help you bring your pup home if they become lost.

 

 

What If My Dog Gets Lost?

There are a few things you can do to make sure your dog can always find their way home, no matter how far they stray. Here’s what you need to know about keeping track of your dog wherever they are.

 

 

Scan Your Dog’s Nose

Did you know that your dog carries a form of ID with them all the time? It’s in the adorable wrinkles on their nose, also known as “cobbles.” Every dog’s nose makes a unique print — much like a human fingerprint. That’s why IAMS™ has developed a technology that uses this noseprint to help people who find a lost dog identify their owner. It’s called NOSEiD, and it’s free to use. Just download the app, scan your dog’s nose and enter your contact info. From that point on, NOSEiD will help you connect with the person who finds your dog.
 

Don’t wait. Keep your dog safe with a quick scan today.

 

 

Don’t Skip the Microchip

When you adopt a dog, you’ll most likely receive some information on GPS microchips. The cost of a microchip is usually minimal, and the procedure to implant it is simple; chips are only the size of a grain of rice. When used correctly, they allow others who might find your lost dog to get in contact with you. If someone finds your dog, they just need to have the dog’s chip scanned at a vet’s office or animal shelter, which will bring up your information. Remember to update your contact info if you ever change addresses.

 

 

Custom Dog ID Tags

The last way to effectively prevent your dog from getting lost for good is to make sure their collar has an ID tag. Even though our other methods are more technologically advanced, a simple collar tag is a reliable backup precaution. You’ll want your dog’s ID tag to have a few pieces of information:
 

  • Your dog’s name:

     If the person who finds your dog can call their name, they have a better chance of getting close to them and bringing them back to you.
     
  • Your address:

     If a neighbor or someone nearby manages to find your dog, they may be able to bring them back to you before you have time to fear the worst.
     
  • Your phone number:

     By including this information, you can make sure that whoever finds your dog can reach you with ease.

 

 

What Next?

Scanning your dog’s nose, giving them a microchip and making sure they have a custom dog ID tag are all great ways to keep track of your pet, but there’s more you can do. If you’re interested in learning additional ways to keep your dog safe, take a look at our tips on pet safety outside the home and securing your yard.

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    lost dog escaping a yard

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    Could Your Dog Escape Your Yard? Here’s How to Secure It

    For some dogs, a simple fence isn’t enough to keep them in the yard. Maybe you’ve got a little escape artist that’s too smart for their own good. Maybe you’re raising a brave explorer who loves to get lost. Or maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to have your dog stolen from their own backyard. Creating a safe and secure space to keep your pet can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Understanding the common reasons dogs get out and what you can do to prevent it from happening goes a long way toward keeping your furry friend safe.

     

     

    Why Does Your Dog Want to Escape?

    Securing your yard starts with understanding the impulses that drive your dog to see what’s beyond your property. Spaying or neutering is an important first step in curbing a dog’s desire to roam, but there may be other factors at play. Creating a safe yard for a lonely Labrador in search of a friend is an entirely different exercise than securing a burrow-happy beagle on the hunt for a squirrel. We’d recommend trying to learn as much as you can about your dog’s breed and underlying instincts. The most common reasons dogs try to escape are:
     

    • Feeling socially isolated
    • Lack of stimulation (think toys)
    • Desire to escape something that scares them, like thunder
       

    Countering these behaviors starts with understanding which one is at the heart of your dog’s desire to break free. Once you’ve got a theory of what’s motivating your pup, it’s time to give your safety measures a second look.

     

     

    How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure in Your Yard

    Microchip Your Dog and Scan Their Nose

    If your dog is committed to getting out, your most useful tool will be the ability to track and locate them wherever they’re found. There are a huge variety of products and services designed to help you keep your dog safe, but the most important thing you can have is a plan. You’ve most likely heard of GPS tracking chips that can be implanted in your pet, but you may not know that you can also scan their nose. Through a new app called NOSEiD, you can capture your dog’s unique nose print, which will give whoever finds them a faster, simpler way of reuniting the two of you. It’s that easy! Just download the app, call your pup over and start scanning.

     

     

    The Best Defense Is a Good … Fence

    Even though they’re not technologically impressive, a sturdy wooden or metal fence still plays an important part in protecting your dog while they’re in your yard. Not only does it keep your dog from wandering, it also keeps unwanted animals and people away from your dog’s space. If your dog can leap over it, you’ll obviously need to raise the height, or you can add an overhang that makes it harder to clear. You might also consider planting some shrubs along the inside of the fence to discourage jumping. If your dog is burrowing beneath your fence, consider adding a barrier beneath it or putting a bumper collar on them, which makes it harder to squeeze into small spaces.
     

    If you have a particularly territorial dog, you may want to cover any open spots in your fence that your dog might spy adversaries through. A solid fence may help them feel safe and diminish their need to patrol their surroundings.
     

    When it comes to electric fences, using one successfully depends on your dog’s personality. If your dog has recently been ignoring the electric fence, you may want to consider retraining them or investing in a physical barrier.

     

     

    Make “Yard” Mean “Yay!”

    Making your yard a dog-friendly and entertaining space is a huge part of keeping your dog safe at home. With enough toys, space to burn energy and ideally a friend to play with, your dog won’t have any reason to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. A few popular dog-pleasers you may want to provide are:
     

    • A bit of shelter or shade
    • A source of water
    • A rotating lineup of toys
    • Their favorite playmate (you)

     

     

    Use Your Yard Wisely

    Last, but not least, if you leave your dog unattended for a long period of time in your yard, there’s a good chance they will get bored and look for a way to burn off some energy. To prevent them from getting mischievous, limit the amount of time they’re out on their own, and check in frequently. Also, for dogs with separation anxiety or that may be afraid of loud noises, your presence will help keep them calm and close to home.
     

    With your dog chipped or their nose scanned, you’ll always have an option in the event that your dog strikes out on their own. Beyond that, understand what makes your dog unique and check your yard’s safety features regularly for holes or weak points. As usual, a little preparation now can save you a ton of time and energy in the long run.

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