There is nothing worse than the feeling of your dog being lost – you have no idea where he is or if he is even safe. Many pet owners simply do not know what to do when their dog gets lost but your best chances of finding him come from action rather than inaction. This article will break down the steps you should take as soon as you realize that your dog is missing to ensure the greatest chance of recovering him safely.
File a Lost Pet Report
Your first step in recovering your pet should be to contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report with the agency and leave your contact information so that if someone brings the dog in or contacts the shelter about it, they know how to reach you. To make this step truly effective, contact all of the shelters within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the shelters daily to see if your pet has been turned in.
Search the Neighborhood
Your next step should be to look for your pet. Walk or drive around your neighborhood several times a day and ask your neighbors and other people in the neighborhood (like the mailman) if they have seen your dog. The more people you have looking for him, the greater your chances are of finding your dog. When you go looking, be sure to bring a recent photo and consider handing out copies along with your contact information in case anyone finds your dog.
Post Flyers with a Reward
In addition to looking for the dog yourself, you should hang posters and flyers in the area around your house with a recent photo of your dog as well as your contact information. If you really want people to pay attention to the flyer, you should also offer a reward of at least $100 for the recovery of your pet. Hang the flyers on utility poles or street signs in the area around your house as well as in public areas like grocery stores and gas stations.
Don’t Give Up Hope
If your dog isn’t used to being outside away from you, he is likely to be very nervous and scared – he may be hiding somewhere rather than wandering around. Do not give up hope that your dog will come out of hiding eventually and that someone will find him and return him to you. Keep checking your local shelters and continue searching the neighborhood. The chances are good that your dog will look for something familiar, so keep an eye out when you are walking or driving around. You should also keep an eye on your local newspaper or on social media networks in case anyone posts a lost and found notice about your dog.
The most important thing you can do for your dog when he gets lost is to keep looking. Do not give up hope after a day or two or even after a week – you do not know the circumstances your dog is facing and he could simply be in hiding. Keep actively searching for your dog and use every resource available to you to get the word out so anyone who finds him can return him to you.