He’s not in the yard; it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. You’ve looked in all the places you think he could be but he’s not there.
Finding your lost dog has now become the most important thing in the world.
When your best friend goes missing, studies show the odds of finding him drop dramatically after 24 hours. Try telling that to a pet parent right? We never give up, nor should we.
Finding your lost dog is an emotional roller coaster. You don’t know if he’s close to home or across town. Has someone picked him up? Was he hit? He could be scared, you’re definitely scared, and there’s no telling how long he could be gone.
Here are some things you should do NOW to help bring him home.
Get The Word Out Immediately!
- Create flyers and signs with photos of your dog. These flyers should include a written description, identifiable characteristics, his name and a reward. Don’t put the amount of the reward, that can be decided later. Like it or not, people will actively search for a dog if there is money attached to it. Hang these flyers on street posts in your neighborhood, in busy intersections, at local grocery stores, coffee shops, vet clinics, shelters, local police departments; anywhere people gather. You can create poster size signs on your own or take a photo of your dog to a local printing company and have then print up as many big signs as you want.
- Write down the same information you put on the flyers and hand out the cards to your neighbors. If people aren’t home, put the cards under windshields, under front doors, mailboxes (if you’re comfortable) basically anywhere you can think of. Also make sure to give flyers/index cards to your mail carriers
- You should search for your lost dog immediately. Some say it’s best to search at night or at dawn. When I lost a pet I searched at all times and had other people searching when I wasn’t able to. Make sure you are looking in garages, alleys, backyards, and out in the open. Follow the wind direction and search behind restaurants (smell of food)
- Go to local animal shelters every day. You can call and ask, and I do recommend that, however it is ALWAYS best to check for yourself.
- Live Trap- if your dog has been spotted, set up a live trap in that area. You should be able to rent one from a local shelter.
- There are many online services that are available to help. For Michigan residents, For the Love of Louie Facebook page is an excellent resource. Post your missing pet there with as much info as you can. There are thousands of people actively posting found pets. Make sure to check this site multiple times every day. There are other Facebook pages dedicated to reuniting lost pets with their families; Lost and Found Dogs, MI is another good one. Do some research.
- Microchipping your pets is just a good idea. If he is found by someone else, the vet can scan him and your information will come up. There are also GPS tracking collars that track your pets location. They aren’t cheap but the price is definitely worth the piece of mind you will have.
Think about investing in a GPS tracking collar– check out my article about the pros and cons.
Only you know how your dog may react to being on his own. He could be a happy and friendly dog at home but a frightened and aggressive dog while lost. Keep that in mind when others are helping you find your lost dog.
If you haven’t lost a pet before this will be a terrible time in your life. No matter the outcome, make sure you keep identification tags on any other dogs you have or any future dogs you adopt. They are a helping hand when incidents like this occur.
Has your pet ever gone missing? What did you do?