For whatever reason you have entered the LostDogs-Scotland.org.uk website - if you are a pet owner, please take time to read all the information on this site. Thousands of dogs are stolen EVERY DAY in the UK. Don't ever go thinking it will not happen to you. This is what most people think- until it actually does! We all have to be very vigilant if we want to avoid the trauma of losing our dog.
Ensure your pet is microchipped AND wears a collar with your contact details on it- BUT - collars and ID disks can be removed by a thief, so microchipping is the answer.There are differing lines of thinking about whether you should have your dog's name, along with your details, on it's ID disk or not. Some people think that if your dog is missing and then picked up, it will feel comfort and may feel happier being called by his name while waiting to be re-united with you. Others say that you should never add the dogs name to an ID disk as this information can help a thief, and it is best just to have your contact numbers, address, postcode and the information that your dog is microchipped. I would choose the latter option for my dogs. It will be your own decision whatever you decide to do, but I would always have my dog microchipped.
Some local councils, dog wardens, and groomers trained to microchip, will microchip your pet for as little as £10. Ask at your local council if they do this service in your area, and if not, the vet will do it, although they will most likely cost a little bit more. Always keep the details updated, if you move house or change phone numbers. It is easily done by a simple call to the microchip company. The phone numbers for the microchip companies are on the LostDogs-Scotland ADVICE page.
NEVER, EVER leave your dog tied up unattended, outside a shop, supermarket, bank, post office etc. and do not leave your dog with someone you don't know while you pop into any of the above, even for a few minutes. Please, do not think that your pet is safe when you do this, because, believe it or not, you and your pet could be targeted next. Losing your pet causes great heartache, distress, anxiety and pain. Many of the dog owners I have helped in the past few years will verify this, and it often leaves a lasting effect forever.
Some dogs are never found again after they go missing. Can you imagine going through the rest of your life wondering what has happened to your precious pet - where they are, and if they are alive or not? PLEASE - just take all precautions neccessary to keep your pet from coming to any harm, whether unintentionally or not.
ALWAYS keep your pet safe by making sure all doors are secure, because some dogs are great at letting themselves out. If your dog can open the door, make sure that you have a bolt or chain on the inside, an extra lock, or have the key turned in the lock.
If your dog is in the garden, make sure 100% that this area is safe and completely escape proof and also safe from intruders. Some dogs are very clever at getting out and running off if they want to. Make sure your dog cannot do so.
If you are walking your dog, it is the best idea to have it on the lead at ALL TIMES - unless you are 100% sure your dog will return to you when you call it. Any animal can bolt if they are startled by a vehicle, a loud noise, other dogs or animals who may frighten them. They can also take off after a cat, deer, rabbit etc. when they have got the scent of it. Lead only exercise may seem restrictive, but unless you have a perfect recall between you and your dog, it is not safe to allow off lead exercise, where they can run off into danger. You only have to look at all the lost dogs on the LostDogs-Scotland website and other lost pet sites, to know this is true. If you DO wish to let your dog off lead, please make sure that it will come straight back to you EVERY time you call it, and never let it run off as far, where you lose sight of it. Keep your eyes on on your dog at all times. It is often when we have been distracted, perhaps by our phone, or chatting to someone, that the dog seems to have just disappeared.
If you are unsure about the best way to go about obtaining a good recall, please attend a training class with your dog, or get some instructive books to help, and remember - it takes time, and patience. It will not happen immediately. Remember that if you SHOUT at your dog when it comes back to you, if it has not returned immediately, it will not want to come back to you next time. However long it takes for it to come back to you, give it a treat of some sort or a cuddle or pat and tell him/her they are a GOOD BOY/GIRL!
KEEP A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF YOUR DOG SOMEWHERE SAFE
When your dog goes missing it is sometimes difficult to remember its description and exact markings when stress and anxiety take their toll, so this will come in handy. Always try to have some good photos of your dog where you can lay your hands on them easily. You never know when they may be needed urgently Please have these details below, ready, along with a photo, just in case. Hopefully you will never need them, if you follow the advice given on this website.
A photograph if possible, (photos are better, and great along with a description).
IF YOU HAVE LOST YOUR DOG please look at the Advice page.