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The time to prepare for the possibility that your dog can go missing is now, when he’s safe at home. Here are a few things you can start to do today:
Identification tags. Make sure your dog wears identification tags at all times. The ID tags should have current information and be easy to read.
Microchips. The use of identification microchips has become popular, and for good reason. Microchips have helped reunite many lost dogs and their owners. Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted under the loose skin on your dog’s shoulder. These chips contain identification information that can be read by scanners located in animal shelters, vet offices, and rescue groups around the country. When the chip is implanted in your dog, you register the chips number/letter code and your contact information with the microchip company’s registry. The code number will then be recorded in a shared database that can be accessed by the organization using the scanner.
Prepare a LOST DOG kit. Your kit should include recent pictures of your dog (both paper photos and electronic photo files for Internet posting), ready-to-post LOST DOG flyers with your dog’s photo, an accurate written description of your dog, and a phone number where you can be reached at any time. You may want to think twice before publicizing your name and address because making sure you stay safe during your search is an important part of bringing your best friend back home.
Close off areas of possible escape. Check and double-check your home to ensure that there aren’t any open doors, windows, or gates that your dog could slip through. Check around your fences to make sure there aren’t any craters or tunnels under your fences that lead to the world outside. If your dog is small, remember that he may be able to squeeze through very tight places to make his escape.
Check your dog’s leash and collar. A loose collar, broken leash fastener, or a threadbare leash could allow your dog to get loose when you’re out for a walk and he gives it a tug. Invest in a quality leash and collar—and make sure you use them properly.
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