Getting Your Lost Dog Home Safely

Chance and Parker's PAWSibility #89 - Wearing a collar with an ID tag and being microchipped

Chance and Parker’s PAWSibility #89 – Wearing a collar with an ID tag and being microchipped


Did you know that dogs don’t talk? Huge revelation, right?

Well, that’s not completely true. My Papillon, Filbert, could tell stories like you wouldn’t believe. He had an animated gurgle and greeted me with glorious tales of his day when I walked through the door. As grand of a story teller as he was, he did not speak human. He understood it, but he did not speak it.

If he had ever been lost during his 13 years with me, he wouldn’t have been able to approach Silly Sally Neighbor and say to her, “Hey, nice lady. I’m lost. Will you call my mom so she will come get me?”

Because dogs don’t talk.

It is our responsibility as humans who care for our beloved pets to make sure they have a chance to get home safely if ever they do get lost. Don’t take the risk. Anything can happen. The gardener could accidentally leave the gate to your back yard unlatched. Maybe you open your front door to get your BarkBox delivery and Rover darts after a squirrel. Okay, that one might be far fetched. What dog can resist BarkBox?

On a serious note, one of the more common reasons for dogs dashing is fear. Bangs of thunder. Booms of fireworks. Weeks surrounding the Fourth of July are notorious for dogs getting lost. The pounding echoes of sky-glittering explosives are terrifying to dogs, and are capable of sending them running fast and far.

Anything can happen.

How To Increase Your Dog’s Chances of Returning Home Safely If Lost

1. Get an ID tag with your phone number.

Having an ID tag on your dog’s collar with up-to-date contact information is the quickest and easiest way for a good Samaritan to reunite you with your dog.

You can also include any of the following, if you wish:
* Pet’s name
* Your name
* Email address
* Home address

Pet ID tags are available at your local pet store, veterinarian’s office or online. When I couldn’t get to the store right away to get an ID tag for my foster dog, Pinot, I handmade a temporary one with paper, a Sharpie, packing tape and a paper clip. Check it out:

My foster dog, Pinot, with temporary, homemade ID tag

My foster dog, Pinot, with temporary, homemade ID tag


2. Get your dog microchipped.

You can get microchips implanted by your trusted veterinarian. There can be a bit of a sting, so it is a good idea to request local anesthetic. If you adopted your pet from a shelter or rescue organization, he or she most likely has a microchip already. Make sure the contact information is current.

Personally, I think microchips are a godsend. So often, I hear stories of newly adopted dogs getting spooked on a walk, wriggling out of their collar and running like the wind. Another common story is “Dog Betty got out after her bath and we didn’t put her collar back on, yet.”

If someone finds your lost dog without his collar, they can take him to the nearest veterinary office or animal hospital to be scanned. The office personnel do not give out your personal contact information. They will call you to let you know your pet is found. Soon after, a happy reunion scene will take place at the vet. Many pet stores have scanners, too. They provide the same service.

Do you have a reunion story you can share thanks to an ID tag or microchip?