What should we do, in the terrible event we lost our dog? This is definitely the worst nightmare of dog owners: one minute your dog is in the garden or you are walking together in the field, the next he is nowhere to be found. In this event we should not lose our temper, perhaps with the help or someone trustworthy. We should write down the date, the time, and the place where we last saw our dog or we think he got lost. Then we should seek around, enquiring with local shops and passers-by.

Who should I call if I have lost my dog?

Unfortunately, many countries have no dedicated number and the legislation varies from country to country. We should always call the local law enforcement and let them know happen. This would prevent us from being held responsible for the loss of our dog, and they might also be able to help us out finding our best friend. In some countries there are bodies or associations dedicated to the protection of animal welfare, which should also be alerted. If our dog is microchipped, we should inform the company where they are registered.

What else should I do?

Once we have contacted the law enforcement, we should prepare flyers with a picture and the most important information about our dog, as well as our contact details. We should share these with local vets and shelters, as well as any commercial or other type of business that might be able to show our flyers. 

Lost dog, what to do

What to do if the dog was lost somewhere remote?

If the dog might be lost in a remote area, people might find him, so vets and shops would be of little help. In these and other cases it might be possible to contact special search and rescue dogs, specifically trained to find lost dogs.

What if I have found a dog that seems lost?

What should you do if you find a dog or a puppy that appears to be lost? In this case, should the dog let you come close and touch him, you can look for a tag where you might be able to find the owner’s contact details. If however the dog didn’t have a collar, you can bring him to the local vet or a local charity that might be able to check whether the dog is microchipped. In some countries the microchip number is registered in a national database. Moreover, animal protection bodies might be able to take care of the dog should they need any medical care. Finally, it might be a good idea to inform the local law enforcement, which might have been contacted by the desperate owners seeking for the dog. Should you see a dog in the highway, due to extreme risk of causing fatal road traffic accidents, it not advisable to try and rescue the dog. In some countries it is even forbidden by low. You should rather call the local law enforcement and inform them of the exact location of the dog.

Tips for your canine holidays

Holidays or any time we take our dog somewhere new we might increase the risk of displacing them. What to do to reduce this risk? Before leaving, we should check that the contact details associated to our dog’s microchip and tag are correct and up to date. However, in many Countries microchips might not be registered nationally. Therefore, one invaluable help is a GPS device, such as Kippy Evo, which can locate our best friend in real time and over unlimited distance thanks to its GSM technology.

Federica Pirrone, Mariangela Albertini, Patrizia Piotti researchers at UNIMI Veterinaria