Video: Loss Prevention
Until proven otherwise, every new dog owner should assume that their dog is a FLIGHT RISK.
Please take every precaution to avoid the heartbreak, stress, and expense associated with the search for a lost dog.
What you will need before bringing your new dog home
For the Dog
Engraved ID tag attached to the collar with your name, address, and phone/cell number.
Tags that slip onto the collar are preferable, rather than onto an attachable metal ring, which can be pulled off during rough play or leash attachment.
Collars with embroidered identifiable information are also available for purchase and recommended.
Leave a standard-clip closure collar on your dogs at all times. Use a second collar (a Martingale collar, see below) with leash when walking your dog. Should your dog slip its collar, clip collar with ID will remain intact.
Two forms of restraint, used together, are recommended for all new dogs at least until the dog and you have formed a lasting bond and are sure the he/she will obey commands.
Martingale collar – a slip-proof collar that must be properly fitted for effectiveness. NOTE: A Martingale collar should never be left on a dog while crated or during playtime. A properly fitted standard quick clip or buckle collar, with ID, should be left on your dog at all times. Click here for more information about using the Martingale collar.
Two standard leashes with one attached to the collar and the other to the harness. We do not endorse the use of retractable leashes. If the leash is dropped in error and the dog runs, it will frighten the dog as the plastic handle hits the ground behind causing him/her to run.
A Microchip* is an essential part of your dog’s ID system. Your veterinarian can provide your dog with a microchip, a small rice sized device easily inserted with a syringe beneath the skin of your dog. The microchip will need to be registered with a service (your vet will provide you with this information). If your dog has already been microchipped by a shelter or previous owner, be sure to update the service with your contact information. Microchips can migrate under the skin, so be sure to have your vet scan for the microchip anually to confirm its’ location and information.
*A microchip does not function as a GPS. A lost dog must be found and scanned in order for the identifying information to be accessed.
For the Home
Before opening the door to take your dog on a walk, be sure your dog is properly leashed, under control and you have your hand firmly through the loop of the leash to prevent your dog from escaping though an open door. Your hand should be placed entirely through the loop at the end of the leash allowing you to grasp the leash itself as well – a dropped leash is one of the top reasons dogs go missing.
Preparation for a walk
If you are using an exit that does not have a double door (i.e. breezeway or vestibule), we strongly recommend that a baby gate be placed in front and not removed until the dog is double leashed, under control and ready to exit with you.
If you are expecting company, crate the dog upon your visitor’s arrival and departure, or keep your dog on a harness and leash if you do not have a crate. This simple step can prevent your dog’s escape and save you from a great deal of heartache.
Even if you have a fenced-in yard, do not trust your new dog to be left alone in the yard. New dogs can be anxious in unfamiliar surroundings. Be sure that fence gates are equipped with self-closing hinges (many dogs are lost when a worker has left the gate open.) Your gate should also be equipped with a lock.
Secure any space under your fence where your dog could escape with large rocks or cinder blocks. Ideally, fencing should be extended 1 ft. below grade with farm fencing/chicken wire to prevent a dog from digging under the fence and escaping.
Please remember that unlike a physical barrier, an electronic fence does not keep predators from entering your yard, nor does it keep a dog with a high prey drive from crossing its’ boundary in pursuit of a squirrel or rabbit. Batteries for your dog’s collar must be regularly changed. Please be aware that if you experience a power failure, electricity will not be supplied to the fence. Deep snow can also prevent an electronic fence from working properly.
Travel with your new dog
When traveling by car with your new dog, he/she should be contained in a crate at all times. If you stop for bathroom break along the way, do not open the crate door until a leash is attached through the wire of the crate. Nothing is more dangerous than a loose, frightened dog in an unfamiliar area.
Do not assume that your dog will behave or respond to you in the same way that he/she does at home if you are visiting a new location. The dog may be anxious and an abundance of caution should be used. When in doubt, keep your dog leashed!
Contributing factors to dog loss
Lack of training – be sure that your dog responds to basic voice commands and most importantly comes when called. Good “recall” is essential to keeping your dog safe. Enroll in a beginner training class. It will be worth every bit of time and money.
Spay or neuter your dog – Intact dogs are more likely to wander and unsprayed/unneutered dogs have a much high incidence of mammary and testicular cancer.
Fireworks – Holidays celebrated with fireworks such as July 4th and New Year’s are the busiest days for animal control officers! There is no need for your dog to attend such celebrations. Keep them indoors and safe with plenty of “white noise” such as TV, radio, A/C to help block the scary celebratory sounds.
Keep the number of your local police department and animal control officer handy. Be sure to keep a clear, current photo of your dog. Immediately call police/animal control should your dog go missing. Review and follow the steps outlined on MDM’s Recovery Blueprint.
Following these suggestions can save you from heartache and anguish and could prove to be a lifesaver for your dog!
We wish you years of joy and happiness with your new dog!