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What to Do if Your Dog Runs Away
by Alisa M. Chagnon

Losing your dog can be such a terrible event. You may feel very guilty, even if you are not at fault. Many owners are in shock when their dog runs away. After all, you offer such a nice home, why would your dog run? A dog, no matter how happy they are with you, will have a natural instinct of curiosity.

All it takes is a passing squirrel or other element that entices your dog for a moment, for him to take off running without even thinking about it. A dog can get lose even if you think you are taking precautions. Many dogs that are left in what seems like safe fenced in areas will spend hours digging a hole so that they can scoot under the fence. Other dogs will spend their entire day trying to jump over the fence.

The first step to take is before your dog runs away. You will want to make sure that your dog is not able to dig under or leap over a fence. Whenever you are walking your dog or bringing him outside, use a leash. Beware of leaving doors open, even for a few seconds. Check low floor windows as well; in nice weather, open windows can be just the escape route your dog is looking for.

Prepare in advance for a possible lost dog. You can prepare posters now so that if this emergency happens you will not need to waste precious time on the posters, you can begin your searching. You should make sturdy posters out of poster board. Take two good pictures of your dog: one as a full body shot and one head shot. Have duplicate copies made. Paste these to the posters, along with very specific descriptions of your dog. Make sure you write in permanent maker and make the lettering large.

If your dog does run away, you should immediately grab the posters and attach them to every store window, telephone pole and other objects that is humanly possible to do. Then, gather as many people as possible to look for your dog. People should call out the name of your dog in a friendly and excited tone, as if they had a nice reward for him. Do not allow any tone of anger to be in your voice or it may scare away your dog.

If someone does spot your dog, they should never chase after him. They should remain where they are and call to the dog as if they wish to offer him something. Using cell phones to remain in touch with all search party members is suggested.

If you can not find your dog within two hours, make sure that posters are everywhere and begin placing lost dog ads in your local newspapers. Offer the largest reward that your budget can handle.

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