When your dog goes missing, it’s easy for panic to set in and stop you from effectively searching for and recovering your beloved furbaby. By taking quick action and following some important steps, you can dramatically improve your chances of finding your missing dog.
1) Immediately after you discover that your dog has escaped, search the area, especially hiding places or nearby parks and other places where your pet might be likely to go. It’s a good idea to enlist help from family and friends, and to have someone stay at your house to field phone calls and watch for your pup to return on his own. Use a high-pitched whistle, especially if you are searching in wooded areas where it can be hard to spot your dog or if your dog has a hearing problem.
Don’t forget to talk to your neighbors if you can, and let them know your pet is missing, and ask if they’ve seen him. Also, ask if they can keep their eyes open and let you know if they do see your dog.
2) If your pup has a microchip, make sure the microchip has an up-to-date phone number and address if any of this information has changed. If you don’t know whether your dog is micro-chipped, check with where you got the dog from. Many shelters now microchip animals before they adopt them out. It’s always a good idea for your pet to have both a collar with an identification tag as well as a microchip. Since the microchip can only be read by a shelter or vet, having both means that anyone can see where your pet belongs and get in touch with you.
Far too many pets are never reunited with their owners because they don’t have some form of identification. Often, a vet can tell that a pet has a home because they are well groomed and fed, but without some clue as to how to contact you, they can do little to help you reunite with your pet.
3)Call all of the local shelters and ask them if they’ve seen your dog. If not, ask if you can leave your information in case they do hear something and offer to get them a picture of Fido. Go in person to local shelters if at all possible. Dogs can travel a lot farther than most of us would believe even in one day, so consider that when calling shelters. Start with the closest and work your way outward. Keep in mind that fellow dog lovers might not take your beloved pet to a shelter out of fear of euthanasia.
4)Make a flyer both for online and on the street use. Social media has become a great place for sharing news of all kinds, and calling upon others for help. Just having a flyer on Facebook and asking all of your local friends to share it will bring a lot of new eyes to your pup meaning if those people have seen him or do see him, they can contact you. Make sure to use a good picture of your dog, preferably cropped to show him close up. You can also post lost pet notices in the newspaper or on classifieds sites such as craigslist.
Flyers made for posting on street corners should be easy to see, and should be bright to attract the attention of drivers as they pass by. Remember drivers can only see your sign for a few seconds as they drive by, so make your words big, and keep the message brief. If you offer a reward, don’t post the amount of the reward on the sign. For specific tips on making your lost pet sign stand out, check out Missing Pet Partnership.
Even if you don’t find your pet right away, don’t give up! There have been many cases where dogs managed to get home even after months of being lost, sometimes from as far away as across the country.
Lisa Mason is a content marketer and dog lover writing for Doggie Clothesline. For a wide variety of dog accessories, collars, pet supplies and more, visit Doggie Clothesline. You’re sure to find many things that will suit your needs and your dog’s personality.