Help, my dog has gone missing!

How to prevent your pets from getting lost

New Year’s Eve is a nightmare for dog owners. Although this year, the number of fireworks and firecrackers is likely to be less than usual, you still have to anticipate problems. If your pet is frightened by the sudden noise and runs away, you should act as soon as possible as they can run a distance of up to 30km in an hour. András Óvári, founder of the Take Me Home (Vigyél Haza!) Foundation shares some useful tips below to keep your pets safe in the festive period.

Long-term commitment

Although many people find a new pet to be a great companion during the lockdown or consider it a perfect Christmas surprise for children or grandparents, you should be aware that keeping a pet means a responsibility for more than a decade. For this reason, pet owners should always be committed to keeping their pet in the long run. If you have a dog, you have to take them for a walk 2 to 3 times a day regardless of the weather or lockdown restrictions – otherwise they are more likely  to wander off.

Keep safe on New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve, your dog may easily get frightened by the noise and light generated by fireworks and firecrackers. This risk is even higher with newly adopted dogs who always need some time to get used to their new home and owner. When there is a storm or fireworks, you can help your dog if you stay by their side and try to comfort them with your presence. It makes sense to let your dog in the house to keep them safe and prevent them from running away.

Always use a leash

In cities and busy places, it is especially important to hold your dog on a leash. No matter how well behaved a dog is, they can easily run away if frightened by a sudden noise, light or the sight of another animal. Cars are also an important source of risk. You should unleash your dog only if you are in an area where they can move around safely and they don’t disturb anyone else. Always hold your newly adopted dog on a leash until they get used to your company. Otherwise, they may run away and get lost easily.

If trouble happens

First, if your dog runs away, don’t wait for them to come back. A frightened dog may run a distance of 20 to 30km per hour. Consequently, the most important thing is to start looking for them immediately. You can report their loss through the dog search app and you should also ask for help on social media sites and in nearby groups. If you want to be on the safe side and stay up-to-date on the whereabouts of your pet, you can attach a small gadget to their collar to track their movement. This splash-proof GPS locator, available from Telenor, captures and displays the dog’s movement in the past 24 hours on the screen using a smartphone app. You can also use the app to set a virtual fence for your dog – if they run away with the tracker attached to their collar and reach/cross the fence set up in the app, your smartphone will immediately alert you so that you can prevent your pet from wandering further away.

If you find a lost dog

If you find a lost dog, first check whether they have a collar or tag enabling you to identify their owner. If not, take them to the closest vet or a dog-friendly site (e.g. restaurant, hotel, fuel station) to have their microchip read. Never let a dog wander alone as they may run even further or cause an accident.

An ideal gadget to track the location of your pet is Blaupunkt GS02. This small, splash-free tracker can be attached to the dog’s collar and connected to an app to display their exact location. The gadget is available with the Telenor Track tariff including mobile internet with a monthly data allowance of 1GB (enough to fulfil the data requirements of pet trackers) and a maximum uplink and downlink speed of 32/32Kbps at an attractive monthly fee of HUF 490 without commitment.