No matter how careful you are, sometimes Fido manages to break free from his leash or escape from the backyard in pursuit of a squirrel, a cat—or just because he felt like exploring around the neighborhood. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent you from loosing your dog—but if your dog does go missing, here’s what to do to help bring him home.
Sweep the Neighborhood
In many cases, a dog that is well-trained is the safest dog when it comes to not getting lost. If your dog knows and responds well to basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come”—as all dogs should—you’ll want to head outside and start calling his or her name and using a command such as “come” (or any other special phrases you know your dog would typically respond to, like “get in the in car”) to find out if that’s enough to bring Rover out from wherever he’s hiding in the neighborhood.
You may also need to bring an extra special treat or his favorite food to help use his sense of smell to lure him home. Sometimes leaving some of your dog’s clothing or his bedding with your scent by the location where your pet went missing will help him find his way back.
Your dog will so be scared, but depending on your pet’s personality and how they may react when an unknown person approaches them or attempts to pick them up (assuming you haven’t lost your Saint Bernard, that is), you may also want to alert your neighbors or people in your area of where your dog went missing and instruct them on how to approach your dog when spotted. Be sure to share your dogs name and photos so that everyone in the general vicinity of your home (or wherever your dog went missing) knows exactly who they’re looking for. If you have other dogs, make sure to recruit them, too their powerful noses may be all you need to help lead you to the direction where their best bud is currently hiding.
Use Your Pet’s Microchip
proper identification is an important key to find a lost dog, including a collar with ID tag as well as a microchip. so one of the first things you should do is alert your dog’s microchip company. The whole point of having your pet microchipped is to help find them if they’ve gone missing. and make sure to ensure that the contact information the microchip company has for you is up-to-date, particularly if you moved recently or changed phone numbers.
Print Some Fliers
Posting fliers might be the old-fashioned approach to recover your pet, but it’s still extremely effective. Print a flier with a recent photo and a description of your dog, as well as your contact information and other relevant information about your pet’s personality (such as if they tend to run when a person approaches them directly).Make sure to include a reward if you’re planning on offering one. Put fliers in as many places as possible, including utility polls at busy intersections and neighborhoods, and don’t be afraid to hand them out to people directly, from neighborhood children to your mail carrier. If you’ve been fortunate enough to receive phone calls with sightings of your dog, head to those areas to continue your search and distribute or hand out additional fliers.
Rely on Social Media
In addition to fliers, today there is also the power of social media to help retrieve your pet. Post an alert on your personal page and ask everyone to share, and you’ll also want to post your dog’s photo to as many local groups as possible; you can also find some Facebook groups dedicated to finding lost pets in your area. You can also set up a dedicated Facebook page where you can include additional information about your dog and people can share with their friends or neighborhood organizations as well as post sightings.
Call Local Animal Organizations
If someone is kind enough to bring your lost pet into the nearest veterinarian’s office, animal shelter, or animal control office, you’ll want to be sure they know in advance exactly who your pet is. Be sure to give them a call, or stop in with one of your fliers, so they know how to find you if your dog ends up in their front door. Sadly, sometimes shelters do have to turn away animals if they’re full and let them go, so it’s imperative that they know in advance that if your dog walks through the door he already has a home and they can get a hold of you you immediately. But make sure that you keep following up, as there’s no guarantee they will call you if your dog does show up.
Know Where to Look
If the hours are ticking by and you still can’t find your pet, make sure you try to put yourself in his paws. if you were him, where you might you go? Think of anywhere your pet knows and enjoys going, such as an area like a local park, also as anywhere he or she may feel safe and hidden, such as wooded areas or even a cemetery. You may also want to go to a local fast food chain or restaurant,, because a lost, hungry dog will be attracted to the aromatic food smells and could potentially be found raiding their dumpster outside.
Don’t Give Up
No matter what, keep looking. It’s a terrifying, heartbreaking experience to lose a four-legged member of your family, and even if a few days—or even weeks—have gone by, keep in mind that though your dog could also be familiar with sleeping on a plush dog bed and eating out of a fancy dog dish, most dogs will become very resourceful and rely on their instincts to survive when they’re out on their own. In the meantime, stay diligent and persistent and continue sharing, posting, and searching until your beloved pet is back in your arms.