Have you ever owned a dog that suddenly went missing? As you no doubt know by now, being prepared ahead of time for something that hopefully won’t happen is the best approach. Once the dog is missing, you may be a little frantic, and not necessarily thinking logically and clearly. Are you looking for things that you can do to get your dog back? Dogs usually get lost for one of two reasons: they were stolen, or they wandered off too far and do not know how to get home. For the worrying pet owners, here are some quick tips on finding your lost buddy and some reminders as well.
- If you have an animal rescue group and shelters in your area, call them right away and inform them about your lost dog. You can also let the local officials or people from the sheriff’s office know about it. Who knows, they might be able to help out in searching for your dog. Do this as fast as possible if you live in an area where there are many shelters and pounds that may quickly send canines to be euthanized. Your dog could easily be one of these dogs, so you should call them frequently, perhaps even daily.
- Be precise about describing your dog. Many misunderstandings can occur when describing your dog to the authorities or to people you want to ask. State briefly the color, breed, size and any distinguishing marks of your pet. The best way is to provide pictures if you have them.
- Radio and TV stations can also help. Some of them have segments for lost and found animals, and this is your chance to let everyone know about your lost dog.
- Local vets may be taking care of your dog if it has been injured. Contact all of them. Some of them have lost pet registers so you can have your dog listed.
- Is your dog microchipped? If so, notify all you contact about this fact.
- Get help from pet organizations. Your area could have other groups for dogs and pets. Ask around for their contact numbers, or check both online and the Yellow Pages (they’re not out of date yet!).
- Make small cards, flyers, or medium-sized posters that inform of your lost dog. It should have the words “Lost Dog” or similar as the heading, and must include the description of your dog. A reward can also be put there if you are offering one. You can also put in a little information about the dog, such as “He responds to the name XXXXX”. If you’re planning to create posters, then include a recent photo of your canine friend.
- Walk around town and ask people. Hand out to them your “Lost Dog” flyers or cards – it doesn’t matter who they are, just give it to them and ask politely for information. You can also check under vehicles, as many dogs will usually stay there if it rains or there’s nowhere to go. When searching at night, have flashlights ready.
- Cooperate with your neighbors. There might be a possibility that one of them has seen your dog. Ask everyone, even the kids, to watch for the dog’s appearance anywhere, from their houses to their yards.
- Rewards are helpful, if you can afford one. It will give the onlookers motivation in looking for your dog, and doesn’t have to be extravagant.
- Make sure to have something attached to him for easy identification. It could be an ID tag or even a microchip if you can afford one.
- Take your dog on long walks throughout your neighborhood. Vary the routes. This will get your dog familiar with your area, and very well may help it get back home if it does take off chasing a cat or squirrel and gets “lost”.
We hope you find these tips helpful — feel free to print this out to use as a checklist, and share it with others below.