When your dog is lost it’s difficult to think about anything else. To you, it’s practically the same as a missing child. This is a beloved family member and you must do everything you can to find them. Your mind is probably going wild with fears and your emotions are all over the map.
When your dog is missing it can be a stressful experience for both you and your dog. If this should happen to you, there are some tips to help find your dog.
Time is of the utmost importance day or night.
Finding Your Lost Dog
Search your neighborhood — Ask the neighborhood children if they have seen your missing dog with someone other than your family members on the day he disappeared. Ride your bike or drive your car all around the neighborhood and call your dogs name. Don’t be embarrassed about what others may think about you yelling out your dog’s name. It’s important to you that your dog is found.
Ask Everyone — Ask your mailman, paperboy, children, and their parents, or any delivery person that may have come that day, if they have seen your dog. Ask too, if anyone saw any stranger or car that doesn’t belong in the neighborhood.
Offer small reward — Tell the neighborhood children that there is a small reward offered to whoever finds your dog. This way there will be others out there keeping their eyes open for your dog.
Take along your dog’s favorite squeeze toy — If your dog has a favorite toy that has a “squeaker” in it, squeak it now and then while you are searching for your dog. He may be able to hear it and will come to you.
Print up flyers — That evening, if you haven’t been able to find your dog, print up flyers with information and pictures if possible or just a written description of your dog along with your phone number and start passing them out. If you have a photo of your dog, show it to everyone you hand a flyer to.
Place a “missing dog” ad in a newspaper — Place flyers in veterinarian’s office, grocery stores, pet stores, and place an ad in your local newspaper under “lost dog”. There are online missing dog websites that you can take advantage of. Never give your full name and address, just your phone number. Describe the dog, but leave out an identifying characteristic and ask the person who said they have found your dog, to describe it. If you offer a reward, don’t say how much it is in your ad.
Beware of pet-recovery scams — When someone calls claiming to have your dog, ask him to describe your dog. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out in your ad, he may not really have your dog. Be especially suspicious of anyone asking for the reward upfront or for money for gas, so they can bring back your dog. Bear in mind, there are dangerous people in our society who like to check out the “lost dog” ads in the paper and then prey upon the victims by saying they’ve found your dog. You have to remember to protect yourself from harm.
Visit and/or call your local animal shelter — Contract your local animal shelter and any shelter within 50 miles from your home and file a lost pet report. If possible, visit the shelters daily. They may have your dog and not recognized it, so it won’t get reported to you that your dog has been picked up or turned in. Find out how long they hold the animals. You don’t want your dog being euthanized or being adopted out before you can get to him. If you think your dog was stolen, file a report with your local police department.
Contact local and state department of transportation — Keep in touch with your road crews for your local or state department of transportation to see if your dog was killed or injured on the road. This is a sad but necessary task. In some areas, Animal Control also removes any dead animals from the roadways. Find out what agencies do this service in your area. This way you’ll know, and can call off the search.
Better Your Chance Of Finding Your Dog Faster
Collar and tags — Keep a collar on your dog whenever he goes outside, with his ID tags on it.
Microchip or tattoo — A dog with a microchip implant or tattoo, have a better being returned faster if found. Consult your Veterinarian on either of these options.
Photos of your dog — Have good photos of your dog so he will be easily identified, should he become lost.
Fenced yard — Keep your dog in a fenced in yard for his protection. Check the fence regularly for any damage or holes dug underneath. Keep your gates locked for the safety of your dog and unwanted visitors.
Use a leash — Never let your dog roam free in the neighborhood. When taking your dog for a walk, make sure your dog is always on a leash. This is something your whole family must do. Don’t let the children take him out for a run without his leash. The same thing goes for any place your dog goes: Your Veterinarians office, pet store, the park, etc. Always use the leash.
Silent dog whistle — It might be a good idea to train your dog with a silent dog whistle. If your dog is familiar with this sound, your dog will recognize it if your dog should ever get lost and would come toward the sound when he hears it.
Neuter or spay pet dogs — Both male and female dogs are more likely to roam around the neighborhood if they aren’t spayed or neutered.
Keep yourself available — And finally, make sure you can be located when your dog is found.
Don’t Stop Searching or Give Up Hope
Dogs have been found or returned home on their own, even months after being lost.
When this whole terrible ordeal is over, you have to call every place that you had notified or filled out a missing dog report and tell them that your dog has been found. Then gather up any other flyers you had posted in various places.
Now that your dog is back in your arms, give him a big hug and keep him safe.