Realizing your dog is lost is absolutely devastating – you feel sad, worried, guilty, and on top of it all you are panicking, and rightfully so. However, none of that will help you find your dog any sooner; on the contrary, it will make everything much more difficult. So, first of all, you need to take a deep breath and try your best to think with a clear mind. Then, it’s go time.
Table of contents:
- Be prepared
- 1: Get more manpower
- 2: Plan
- 3: Start searching
- 4: Contact local animal shelters, animal control agencies, and vets
- 5: Use social media
Why wait for your furry companion to get lost and then tackle the problem, when you can prepare for it in advance?
With a profile on the Pet2Net platform, you have the chance to create a profile for your dog as well, which has its own unique URL. You can upload pictures of your dog, as well as include all necessary information such as breed, age, name etc, and you can share that unique URL on other social media platforms so that people in your community and online network can identify your dog more easily. You can also mark your dog as “lost”, so that other people on your Pet2Net friends list can know to pay attention when they’re out and about.
Once you realize that your dog is missing, it’s time for action. And, remember, the first 24 hours are key!
Phase 1: Get more manpower
For starters, you need to get some help. Ask friends, family, and neighbors to help you look for your dog, because you’ll need to cover a lot of ground. If they get lost, dogs will most certainly get scared, run frantically, and hide, so you will definitely need to rely on the help of others in order to check every nook and cranny.
Having someone help you look for your dog will not only make the search more efficient – considering that you can delegate tasks – but it will also help you stay level-headed and focused, which is essential in stressful situations like this one.
Phase 2: Plan
Although it’s important to start looking for your pooch as soon as possible, it’s a good idea to first take a few minutes to come up with an action plan, so that your search is as efficient as possible.
Before you head out and start hectically looking everywhere, it’s best if you jot down a few places you think your dog might have gone. Think about parks and homes you visited together because dogs tend to return to places they are familiar with. It will also be easier for you to keep track of the places you already searched.
You need to multitask a bit, so before you leave to look for your dog you should make flyers, and plenty of them. Use large fonts and bright colors to make them stand out, and put them up as you search for your dog. Make sure to put them up at eye level so that you increase the chances of people noticing them.
Phase 3: Start searching
If there are several people looking for your lost dog, you should definitely split up because that way you will be able to cover more ground. It’s very important that you look at the right time and place; dogs are generally more active at dawn and dusk and they will probably try and hide somewhere, so make sure you look under porches, benches, in the bushes, etc.
It helps to bring your pooches favorite squeaky toy with you or even a bag of their favorite treats to rustle while you are searching for your pooch. Dogs respond to familiar sounds, so keep squeaking, rustling, and of course yelling their names.
Phase 4: Contact local animal shelters, animal control agencies, and vets
It’s also very important to call animal shelters, control agencies, and even local vets, because a lot of people take dogs they found to the vet. You should also contact your regular vet, if your dog is chipped, and make sure that all your info is correct and up-to-date so that people can contact and find you if they locate your pupper.
Phase 5: Use social media
Employ social media! There are literally dozens of different social media groups and pages, forums, chat rooms, and websites who are dog-centered which you can use to advertise your missing pooch. The biggest advantage of the internet is the ability to spread the word like wildfire.
One thing you should do for future reference is to have several pictures of your dog ready, just in case they get lost. You’ve probably noticed that when people post pictures of their lost dogs on social media, they aren’t really high-quality. On the contrary – they are often blurry and pixelated. That’s why we recommend that you take a few nice photos of your dog, in a well-lit room, as well as a photo of the collar and any unique marks and traits (special spots on their fur or nose, for example).
Side note: Don’t lose hope
We understand how stressful it is losing your furiend, but don’t lose hope! The ASPCA conducted a survey and found that up to 93% of lost dogs are safely returned to their owners. Dogs often come back on their own once they orient themselves, so make sure to revisit places you think they might have gone to.
Don’t lose hope and keep looking.