As the saying goes, dogs are a man’s best friend, and the special bond you have with your pooch can be like no other. So, when a dog goes missing, it can be a heart-wrenching experience that can leave owners in a state of panic and grief. 

Dogs escaping or becoming lost is a significant issue, but with some awareness and proactive measures, thankfully it’s a problem that can often be prevented. In this blog post, we’ll explore the primary reasons dogs go missing and discuss how to keep your four-legged friend safe.

The Heartache Of A Missing Dog

Losing a dog is a distressing experience and the emotional impact on both owners and the dog can be profound. 

The worry and anxiety that follow a dog’s disappearance are often overwhelming, especially if there are any small children in the family. 

Common Reasons Dogs Go Missing

The reasons for dogs going missing are numerous and it would be impossible to name them all. But understanding the most common reasons for dogs becoming lost should go a long way to helping keep many dogs in their owners’ possession.

Open Gates And Doors

One of the most common reasons dogs escape is humans accidentally leaving gates or doors open. Dogs are naturally curious and may seize the opportunity to explore when they find an open door or gate, which can lead to them wandering off and getting lost.

Always double-check that doors and gates are securely closed before allowing your dog to roam freely in your yard or home. 

Distracting Distractions

Dogs are easily distracted by enticing sights, sounds and smells. This curiosity can lead them to wander away from their owners. Whether it’s a cat, a passing car or an intriguing scent, a momentary distraction can result in your dog getting lost.

Keep your dog on a lead or in a securely fenced area when outside, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. 

Fear and Noise Phobia

Dogs can become frightened by loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks. In their panic, to find an escape from the frightening noises, they may run away from their surroundings.

Avoid this by creating a safe and secure space for your dog indoors during times of distressing noise. Consider using background noise or calming music to help mask the disturbing sounds whenever they’re frightened.

Digging And Climbing

Some dogs are natural escape artists and it can seem like they’ll do all they can to break free. These curious canines may dig under fences or find creative ways to climb over them, which can pose a challenge for owners to keep them contained.

To help stop your mini houdini from escaping and getting lost, regularly inspect and reinforce your fencing to prevent digging or climbing. Make sure your fence is high enough and for particularly crafty dogs you might want to consider placing large rocks or paving stones along the fence line to deter digging. 

Sudden Spooking

A sudden scare or traumatic event can frighten a dog and cause it to run away. This can happen during a walk, a car journey or any unexpected loud noise or event at the home.

Keep a firm grip on your dog’s lead during walks, especially in unfamiliar or crowded areas. And make sure your dog is safely secured in the car with a harness.

Separation Anxiety

Some dogs experience separation anxiety and their fear of being alone can drive them to try to find their owners. This could mean they venture away from the home where they could get lost.

To counter this, try to address separation anxiety through training and gradual desensitisation to being alone. Crate training can provide a secure space for your dog while you’re away.

Microchip Your Dog 

A microchip is a small implant placed under your dog’s skin and contains your contact information. If your dog goes missing and is brought to a vet or shelter, they can carry out a microchip lookup to identify the owner.

The law states that it’s the owner’s responsibility to update the animal’s details on the database whenever their circumstances change. However, many dog owners are forgetting to do this, which is resulting in thousands of dogs being unable to be reunited with their owners.

So if you’re a dog owner and you think the details held on the database are outdated or incorrect, you should get it sorted as soon as possible.

Updating A Dog’s Microchip

If you need to change microchip details, thankfully it’s a straightforward process. It can be done online, by telephone or through the post. However, the charges for updating contact details may vary depending on the microchip database provider.

If your pet is registered with us here at PetScanner, we won’t charge you a penny for updating your details!

As a dog owner, you obviously cherish you and your pet’s bond, which is why it’s so important to take a moment to ensure that a microchip lookup is effective in locating your dog.

Other Points To Remember

Here’s a few more things to remember to help keep your dog safe:

Use A Lead

When walking your dog, always use a lead and a secure harness. This provides you with better control over your dog and reduces the risk of them darting off.

ID Tag

In addition to microchipping, ensure your dog wears a collar with an ID tag that includes your current contact information.


Enrol your dog in obedience training to reinforce which can be invaluable in getting their attention whenever they’re distracted and likely to shoot off.

So that’s how to prevent your dog from going missing. Obviously it’s impossible to safeguard your pooch against all of the potential perilous situations, but by following our guidance here you should be able to significantly minimise the risk of being separated from your furry friend.

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