Finding a Lost Dog: Lead, Don’t Follow
The sudden realization that your dog is gone can strike fear in most any pet owner. The following tips are offered in hopes that you can bring your fears into focus and organize a successful search for your dog.
Where to Look for Your Lost Dog
Knowing where to look for a lost dog can be tough. There are so many variables to consider that it can be hard to know where to start. If possible, gather family, friends, or neighbors and cover as many bases as possible from the onset. That way, while you are following a familiar walking route, someone else can be circling the neighborhood streets and alleys, while someone else distributes fliers.
Remember, you know your dog best. Even if you don’t know why your dog is missing, you are likely to know where he or she might go. Typically, dogs will follow familiar paths and scents, so go with your gut. Even if your dog has taken off after another animal, he will most likely look for a familiar scent to guide him home.
If you do catch sight of your dog, don’t try to chase him. It’s likely he will either think it’s a game or be frightened of your reaction. Instead, get your dog’s attention and start moving in the other direction. More often than not your dog will think it’s a game and start chasing after you, allowing you to lead him home.
Getting the Word Out About Your Lost Dog
If your dog has been missing for longer than you’re comfortable with, it’s best to take the search to the next level.
The following can help you organize a thorough search for your dog:
- Go door to door with a flier (including your dog’s photo and your home and cell numbers) and talk to your neighbors face-to-face. If your neighbor’s aren’t home, leave the flier at the door.
- Post a Missing Pet listing to Craigslist, as well as Facebook and Twitter. Again, don’t forget a photo and your contact information.
- Alert vet offices in the area, as well as emergency clinics.
- Contact local animal control and let them know your pet is missing.
- Visit the local shelter every other day to see if your dog has been surrendered.
Remember, lost pet fliers on telephone poles can be hard to read and will fade with the weather—don’t be afraid to reach out to your neighbors and community in person.
We understand that a missing pet can be an emotional and trying time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors when it comes to helping your dog get home. If you are missing a pet, please contact us. We’ll be happy to help however we can.
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