No matter how careful you are to keep your dog at home, or how well you practice good habits to keep your dog safe, dogs get lost. Knowing that, you should prepare for it now. Here are some basic things you need to do:
Your dog (and your cat) should always wear a pet ID tag. The ID tag should, at minimum, have your current phone number. There are also more High-Tech Pet ID Tags available that provide more info. A dog collar and tag are a clear communication that this is someone's pet, not a stray. That alone could mean the difference between your dog being kept by the finder or given back to you.
Microchip your dog! This is a simple procedure done by your veterinarian. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected between your dog's shoulder blades. This is like DNA – only quicker. It positively identifies your dog. If your dog slips out of his collar, he hasn't lost his identity. Most shelters and veterinarian's offices can scan the microchip and identify whom he belongs to. If someone claims your dog as his or her own, the microchip provides proof positive that he's yours.
Register the microchip number. A microchip will do no good unless it is registered to you. Go to HomeAgain.com to learn about registering. HomeAgain also provides many services to help you find your dog, such as sending out lost pet alerts to veterinary clinics and shelters in your area.
Remember, if your dog should get away, the most probable scenario is that someone has found him. The best thing you can do to make sure your dog is returned to you, rather than being taken in by another dog lover or turned over to a shelter, is to make sure it's abundantly clear that he belongs to you.
Information courtesy of Purina PetCentric