A multitude of reasons can prompt an otherwise happy dog to turn into Houdini, so try not to take his escape personally. If you have recently moved, your dog may be attempting to look for more familiar surroundings. Other motivations can include boredom and loneliness, curiosity, fear or looking for a mate, according to WebMD (one of the many reasons to always spay and neuter when adopting a pet).
Your dog will face dangers on his own, so the first 24 hours after you notice that your dog is missing will be key, explains Kenny Lamberti, vice president of companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
“Traffic is the most obvious danger. A lost dog is likely to be scared and that can make him or her less trusting of people and harder to ‘catch,’” Lamberti tells The Dodo. “There are also potential wildlife risks depending on region and risk of getting in fights with other dogs.”