A loyal dog which was accidentally left at a petrol station took nearly a month to walk home 37 miles and be reunited with its owners.

Named Dou Dou, the seven-year-old pet was forgotten by its family when they stopped at a service station on a motorway, according to the Qianjiang Evening News in China.

The dog’s epic journey started after a man, who wished to be known as Mr Qiu, travelled from eastern Chinese city Hangzhou to the countryside last month to visit relatives with his family.

They stopped at the Tong Lu Service Station, around 37 miles away from their home, assuming the dog had stayed in the car.

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It wasn’t until they reached their destination they realised Dou Dou was missing.

They gave up after rushing back to the service station the next day and he wasn’t there.

‘[We] hoped it would survive and find a good-hearted person who would adopt it,’ Mr Qiu said.

But 26 days later, the family were stunned to open their front door to their exhausted pet.

Mr Qiu said Dou Dou looked like a ‘dirty, gaunt stray dog’ and was very thin after its difficult journey.

‘Apart from being skinner than before, [Dou Dou] was still the same self,’ he added.

‘Its eyes are radiating with lights. Luckily it didn’t have any injuries.

‘Even though Dou Dou was tired and walking wobbly on the first day [after returning home], it has become a lot more energetic recently.’

Even animal experts were impressed with the dog’s efforts to be able to get back home.

‘We are still trying to understand dogs’ many behaviours,’ a dog trainer told the newspaper.

‘But [Dou Dou] can find home even from so far away. It has exceptional talents.’

They warned however that it was possibly accidental.

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