Lost Dog

How to Find Your Lost Dog: What to Do the First 24 Hours

Losing a dog is every dog owner’s worst nightmare. On what seems like a normal day, you call their name but they don’t come wagging their tail. The backyard’s empty, the front door’s open, and their bowl’s still full. You search the entire house, but there’s no sign of your best friend.

In this situation, panicking won’t do you any good. You need to remain calm so anxiety won’t cloud your reason as your search for your dog. First breathe deeply, then begin by following the steps below. Here’s how to find your lost dog and what to do immediately.

How to Find Your Lost Dog by Acting Immediately

1. Search in your house.

Inform everyone in the house that your dog is missing. Your dog might just be hiding in their rooms or playing with them somewhere. If not, ask for their help. Where have they last seen your dog?

Also try calling your dog’s name loudly, whistling to them, and shaking the dog food bag or tin. Do this in every room of the house. Look under the beds, behind the furniture, even inside the closets. Dogs, when afraid, apparently hide in places you don’t expect: at the back of the refrigerators, behind glass panels, or even inside the dryer. Small puppies may be hiding underneath reclining chairs or behind books on a bookshelf.

2. Search around the neighborhood.

Start the soonest time possible. The owner is likely to recover the lost dog within the first 12 hours of the dog’s appearance. Leave your dog’s favorite item at the door—their favorite food, toy, or shirt. Once you head out, do the same thing we suggested in the previous step. Call your dog’s name loudly, whistle to them, and shake the food bag or tin. The best time to do this is when it’s quiet outside or during your dog’s meal time. They’re likely roaming around for food that same moment.

Be observant as well. There might be signs around like paw prints or feces. Any dog sounds like barking, rustling, or whining are clues too. No matter how faint the sound is, don’t hesitate to follow the noise. You and your best friend could be looking for each other.

Expand your search up to a 1- to 2-mile radius from your home within the first 24 hours your dog went missing. Though dogs can run as far as 5 to 10 miles, it’s unlikely that they bolt suddenly this far.

3. Print out posters.

Although they may seem old-school, fliers and posters with your missing dog’s recent photo, your phone number, and other critical information, as well as a reward will be helpful to find your lost dog. Give a good description for others to recognize him, but hold back at least one identifying characteristic so that you can verify whether the person calling really has your missing dog or is just looking to make some money.

Make sure you have enough fliers to post around the area where your dog was last seen, in grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, animal shelters, and even mailbox clusters. This way, your fliers will be noticed by more people in your neighborhood or in the community.

4. Publish on the internet.

Post a soft copy of your poster on websites for lost animals or local classified ads like Craigslist. Also utilize social media. Post it on your Facebook or Twitter account so your friends and the public will be aware and can inform you if they or other people they know see your pet. Remember, the more people who know about your missing dog, the more likely you are to reunite with your pet.

There are websites out there owned by organizations committed to reuniting owners with their pets. See this list.

5. Stop by local vets or animal shelters.

Most of the time, dogs that go missing are taken to the local animal shelter or to a vet shop. The moment you find out your dog has gone missing, one of the first places you should go to is the animal shelter. Bring with you the flyers or posters you printed. If someone brought your dog to the vet shop or animal shelter, the attending personnel will know that the dog has a home. They can tell the person who found the dog to contact you immediately.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Being Lost

Now you know how to find your lost dog immediately, you may have realized by now that losing a dog is nothing short of stressful and risky. Before it even happens again, you may want to do the following:

Attach a tag to them.

Attach a tag to your dog’s collar. In the ID tag, engrave your dog’s name, vet’s name and phone number, and your contact information. This way, if your dog becomes lost and someone finds them, that person knows who to contact. Make sure that the dog tag is always updated for the changes in information. The disadvantage of this, though, is that the tag may fall off.

Microchip your dog.

A microchip is a grain-sized chip inserted under the skin of a pet. It contains information about the dog, which can only be viewed if your pet is scanned in a pet clinic or shelter with a compatible scanner. The only downside is, what if the clinic or shelter has no chip scanner? There are also various types of chips and readers out there. Worse, veterinarians and some shelters often have only one type.

Use GPS trackers.

GPS trackers like Trackimo, on the other hand, are larger devices that use the global positioning system (GPS) to transmit location information, just like how the car’s GPS system works. The tracker gives out the dog’s exact location through SMS or email alerts. If you’re in an area with 3G coverage, the tracker should be able to relay your pet’s precise location. Trackimo included a collar attachment for tracking your dog, horse, cattle, or almost anything you want to track and locate. If you want a pet pouch attachment instead, Trackimo’s 3G Guardian GPS tracking device will give you what you need.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.