It seems as though we are sharing an alarming amount of "missing" or "found" boxers lately. (One is too many, but we know how easily things can happen and a dog can get loose.)
I recently could have been in this situation. When out of town visiting family over the holidays, I let my boy outside to potty not knowing the trash had been picked up and they left the gate open. It was dark so I could not see until in the morning. Thankfully, Marlo did his potty and came right back in. Had it been a little warmer, he would have wanted to stay out longer and though I watch them, he could have been out the gate in a flash. He is terrible with recall and I had taken his collar off so the only way to identify him would be his microchip. I very easily could have been someone sharing a "Missing" post. What is most important is that it can happen to anyone so we must be prepared. Our recommendations:
1. Always keep an up-to-date picture of your dog. It should be a good face or body shot showing their face. Keep it bright, it is hard to distinguish markings in dark photos.
2. Keep a collar with an updated tag on them. Most microchips come with tags, you can have one made at your local pet store and you also get one when you buy your dog license. Up to date info is critical.
3. Microchip... microchip... microchip. This one cannot be emphasized enough. Microchipping your pup can cost as little as $15 upwards to $25. Look for one that does not have a yearly fee. Register them as soon as they are chipped, share the info with your veterinarian. There are many clinics that do this for discounted prices so check your area for a Petco, a VIP Pet Care Mobile Clinic or a low cost Vet Clinic. Unlike a collar that can slip off, a microchip is inserted under the skin. (From experience, have the person who is inserting the chip scan it first just to make sure it is not a dud. This has never happened to me, but just in case!)
If you have all of these bases covered, there is a very high likelihood of your pet being returned if lost and can avoid what would be for many of us, a nightmare.