The moment you realize your dog is missing is heart-stopping. Your mind races through a million scenarios, each more worrying than the last. But if your dog is microchipped, you have an extra layer of security that can significantly increase the chances of a happy reunion. Here's a comprehensive guide on what to do if your microchipped dog runs away.
1. Don't Panic
Easier said than done, but panicking will not help you think clearly. Take a deep breath and start formulating a plan.
2. Confirm the Dog is Actually Missing
Sometimes dogs find a quiet corner in the house or yard to nap. Double-check your property to make sure your dog hasn't just found a new hiding spot.
3. Check the Microchip Information
Make sure the information linked to your dog's microchip is up-to-date. If you've recently moved or changed phone numbers, updating this information is crucial. You can usually do this online or by calling the microchip company.
Start the Search
4. Alert Local Authorities and Shelters
Call your local animal control, shelters, and veterinary clinics to report your missing dog. Provide them with your dog's microchip number, a description, and a recent photograph.
5. Use Social Media
Post about your missing dog on social media platforms, community boards, and any local lost and found pet groups. Include pictures and any identifying features.
6. Canvas the Neighborhood
Print flyers with your dog's photo, your contact information, and the fact that the dog is microchipped. Distribute these in your neighborhood, local parks, and community boards.
7. Use Tracking Apps
Some microchip companies offer tracking apps that can help you locate your pet. If yours does, utilize this feature immediately.
What Happens When Someone Finds Your Dog
8. Scanning the Microchip
When someone finds your dog and takes it to a shelter or vet, the first thing they will do is scan for a microchip. This will pull up your contact information, and you'll be notified.
9. Confirming Ownership
You may be required to provide additional proof of ownership, such as veterinary records or photographs, so keep these handy.
Once your identity is confirmed, you can finally be reunited with your furry friend.
After the Reunion
11. Update Any Changed Information
If you discovered that some of your contact information was outdated during this ordeal, make sure to update it as soon as possible.
12. Check Your Dog’s Health
After a stint outside, especially if it was for an extended period, it's a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a check-up.
13. Re-evaluate Your Security Measures
Consider what led to your dog escaping in the first place and take steps to prevent it from happening again. This could mean fixing a hole in the fence, installing a doggy door lock, or even just being more vigilant when opening and closing doors.
14. Show Gratitude
Don't forget to thank everyone who helped in your search. A little gratitude goes a long way and strengthens your community bonds.
Having a microchipped dog provides an invaluable safety net, but it's not a guarantee. Always take preventive measures to ensure your dog's safety and act swiftly if they do go missing. With a combination of modern technology and good old-fashioned community support, the odds are in your favor for a joyful reunion.