It’s a “pawrent’s” worst nightmare – calling for your dog over and over to no avail. Dogs can quickly become distracted and, often, they need a few extra hollers before trotting their way back to you. Unfortunately, sometimes your four-legged buddy doesn’t answer your calls. It’s vital you stay calm and collected. Following are suggestions of five things to do after your dog goes missing. Execute these tips in quick succession to have the best chance of getting your dog back home safely.
What to do if your Dog Goes Missing
1. Search your immediate perimeter and neighborhood
If your dog has made his way out of your backyard, it’s important to inspect the perimeter. Are there fresh diggings or a possible hole he might have wriggled his way through?
After ensuring your dog hasn’t decided to hide somewhere inside your home, such as your basement or underneath the bed, it’s time to make a neighborhood sweep.
Before embarking on your sweep, it’s important to have one person your dog is familiar remain at home in case he makes his way back. Gather as many people as you can to join in on the search. Take advantage of your dog’s keen sense of smell and carry with you a favorite toy or a most-used blanket or pillow to jolt his sharp nose.
Use the most recent picture on your phone and ask your immediate neighbors, as well as those making package or grocery deliveries, mail persons, or children who might have been playing out on the street. First, walk around your immediate neighborhood carefully and thoroughly, making sure to check under vehicles, in large bushes, or even flowerpots if your dog is small enough to fit. Next, take your search on wheels and drive to areas your dog may be familiar with, including local parks or even the house of any other pet-friend.
If a neighborhood search is unsuccessful and you suspect someone has stolen your dog, contact the police.
If your dog has gotten out on previous occasions or there’s no clear sign of a theft, it’s a better idea to continue with these steps.
2. Contact Your Local Animal Shelters & Animal Control Centers
It is recommended you contact and file a missing pet report with shelters and animal control agencies within 60 miles of your home or from the place your dog was last seen. Provide your dog’s latest description and email the most recent photo, if possible.
It may also be useful to contact local vet offices. If your pet was injured, a good Samaritan might have taken him to the closest available veterinarian.
3. Utilize Websites and Social Media
While flyers are a great idea, and we’re not discounting their effectiveness, you will be able to reach a whole lot more eyeballs if you use your frequently-used social media channels and other websites. Facebook, in particular, makes it quite easy to share a post, so write a detailed description and ask people for help. Many local dog or pet groups are operating on Facebook, so ask the admin for permission to post there too.
In addition to Facebook, placing a listing on Craigslist may also be worth it. There’s often a “Found” sections on Craigslist where others post newly-found pets.
There are also specific national websites dedicated to returning lost pets to their rightful owners, such as Center for Lost Pets, Fido Finder, and Lost Pet USA.
4.Create a Flyer
You’ll want to take into consideration several factors when creating a flyer. Add a detailed description, of your dog, of course. It is recommended not to specify an exact amount because if it’s found “too low,” you may not receive a callback, and if it’s too high, you’ll attract possible scam artists. Lost Pet USA has created a lost pet poster template you can utilize and customize for free.
It’s also important to be cognizant of the places you post your flyers. Target high-traffic areas and available public bulletin boards. Many local parks have a designated bulletin board, but avoid posting on light posts or trees. Not only is it bad for the environment, but there are strict flyer ads in many cities. Violating them will only result in having your flyer taken down, which would result in a waste of time and effort on your part.
5. Don’t Give Up
Losing a beloved pet is difficult; however, it’s important to keep calm and not give up hope. Your pet misses you just as much as you miss him!
You may consider a microchip in the future, or if you’re visiting a new city or going hiking, a temporary pet collar. These vet id tags have a powerful adhesive and can be quickly written on with a pen. Because of their bright color, they’re easy to spot from far away, and if someone does find your pet and can’t take it in to get the microchip checked, they can easily find your information by merely looking at the identification tag.
Always keep a sharp eye to spot your missing dog and revisit frequently-visited spots every few weeks. Remain patient and hopeful. We wish for your pet’s safe return!
“5 Things To Do After Your Dog Goes Missing”
Guest Author: Maria Rivera
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MY QUESTION FOR YOU:
Can you think of any other things to do after your dog goes missing?