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Common Reasons Why Dogs Become Lost

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Our pets become like family, so when a pet gets lost it’s devastating. Yet it is an all too common experience. In fact, every year the incidence of lost dogs rises during summer. Understanding why and how dogs become separated can be key to prevention and pet safety.

Every dog has a unique personality and temperament but many behaviors are universal and

lost-fur-babyHere are the top factors leading to dogs becoming lost:


An open door or gate is an opportunity just too good to resist for most dogs. During summer, most houses have children or guests coming in and out frequently and have an increase in outdoor activities that may cause the gate to be opened more frequently. When they see the opening, they seize the opportunity.

Predatory or Pack Instincts

A dog will always retain some of their natural instincts, no matter how domesticated. Some dogs
are more inclined to hunt and join a pack and will have an urge to get out and chase any other wandering pet to satisfy that instinct.



If frightened, a dog's natural reaction is to bolt. Loud noises, unfamiliar places, strangers, fireworks, splashing and other things common to summer activity all cause increased anxiety in dogs which leads to the increased rate of separation.


Some dogs simply need more action than others. When they become tempted by the noises, sounds and smells outside their home and escape to explore. This soon becomes habit as it is a “self-rewarding” behavior.


A Need to Roam

Wandering is a problem common in un-neutered male dogs and certain breeds, like huskies and
hounds. Some dogs have a higher desire to go out, mark their territory and experience a greater
range of smells. When that that opportunity is not provided frequently enough they are more likely to
create it themselves at the first chance they get!

Unfamiliar Territory

During the summertime pet owners may take their pets along with them on family adventures. As much as they love excitement, dogs are habitual creatures and crave the familiar to provide comfort and stability. Being in an unfamiliar place can create dual problems of exciting the desire to explore but increasing feelings of instability. Depending on the temperament of the dog, their solution might be to try to escape the current situation and get back home or simply wander away in the  process of exploration.

 For more information check out Missing Pet Partnership's article on lost dog behavior and Petfinder's reasons why you should microchip your pet and contact us at Awesome Doggies.

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