What to do if you lose your hound while out walking

What to do if you lose your hound while out walking

Taking your dog to the park for the first time should be a fun, enjoyable experience. So the last thing you expect to be doing is hunting for an errant pet who has literally gone walkabout!

Ask any pet parent who's been through the cold sweat-inducing agony of losing their dog, and they all say the same thing– "one moment Fido was there and the next he was gone!" Can you blame them for taking a dash on the wild side, with all those lovely smells and the excitement of exploring a new environment, complete with pesky squirrels or cheeky pigeons?

Unfortunately, many safety-conscious pet parents have experienced the escape artist talents of their hound in the hot pursuit of a cute canine or woodland creature. So what should pet parents do if they lose their dog?

What Action to Take if Your Dog Goes Missing

  • Remain Calm

Firstly, and most importantly, don't panic! Wasting precious time envisioning the worst possible scenarios won't bring Fido back safely any faster. Instead, take a deep breath and start by calling their name.

A dog with good recall capabilities (responds when they are called) will usually return when called, especially if they know they will receive a tasty treat for their efforts. Therefore, when taking your dog to the park for the first time and any time you are out adventuring, always carry a few of their favorite treats to entice them back to your side should they manage to escape the confines of their leash.

  • Prevention Is Better Than a Lost Dog

A well-trained dog is often the safest when taking your dog to the dog park or walking in unfamiliar areas. Practice basic commands such as 'stay,' 'sit,' and 'come' to ensure they respond well when given instruction; that way, you can avoid a missing hound and instead enjoy a well-behaved hound outing as expected.

  • Check the Neighborhood

Most hounds have a keen sense of smell, so if they have wandered out of the yard or disappeared from the park, they may instinctively head home. Search your surrounding neighborhood, and speak to people who may have spotted your wandering hound.

  • Alert the Microchip Company

In most states, hounds must be microchipped and wear a dog collar with ID tags for proper identification should they become lost. Alert your hound's microchip company that they are missing so they can quickly be identified and returned to you if they are brought into a veterinary practice or animal rescue centre.

However, remember, a microchip is only as good as the information it holds, so be sure to update your contact information should your phone number or address change. The last thing you need when taking your puppy to the dog park is a microchip containing outdated information!

  • Social Media is a Hound's Best Friend!

Aside from posting cute photos of your loveable pooch, social media can also help find your lost pet. Post an alert with an up-to-date picture of your hound on your profile and ask everyone to share. You can also contact local Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram groups as well as Community forums and ask for their assistance in spreading the word. The more people who know your dog is missing, the more likely you will find them.

  • Good ol’ Fashioned Fliers

While posting fliers through letter boxes may seem outdated, it is an effective way of recovering a lost hound. Ensure your fliers include a recent photo of your pet, your contact details and a reward (it's a handy way of gaining interest!) and post them in as many places as possible.

  • Make Some Phone Calls

Call the surrounding animal shelters, veterinary practices and animal control offices and alert them of your hound's disappearance. That way, if someone brings your dog to them, they will know how to contact you quickly.

  •  What Would Your Hound do?

Dogs are also creatures of habit; they have specific places they love and enjoy, like the park or the woods. Head to these areas to check they haven't gone to a place they know in search of safety. Lastly, if your dog has been missing for hours, a lost and hungry dog might head towards areas that smell like food, such as fast-food outlets or restaurants. Unfortunately, deserted alleyways with aromatic dumpsters can prove irresistible to a hangry hound! 

Final Thoughts

When taking your dog to the park for the first time, take it slowly. Start with a short visit and gradually increase the time spent there on each trip. Next, ensure that your pet is comfortable and keep an eye on them in case they get overwhelmed or become overly distressed or excited. Finally, always bring along treats to give to your hound when they display positive behaviors, like coming back when called!

 Image by maksym niezhentsev from Pixabay