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.
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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Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active
It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.
Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health
At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.
Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite
Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.
Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines
Continue to use preventive medicines.
Senior Dog Health: Dental Health
Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.
Senior Dog Health: Exercise
Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.
Senior Dog Health: Diet
Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.
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