I lost my dog! Possibly the worst nightmare for all dog owners. Every missing dog case is unique, but there are easy, well-proven tips to find your lost pet.
First Respond Immediately…
1. Search your home methodically for your missing dog. Do not overlook an area just because your pet doesn’t normally hide there. Check every room including the basement and attic. Do not overlook closets, cupboards or empty boxes.
2. Go over the outdoor areas of your property carefully, do not forget to check the garage, sheds, storage areas and other outbuildings. Do a thorough search of the garden, hedges, bushes and shrubbery.
3. According to surveys, half of missing dogs are found in their own neighborhoods. Expand your outdoor search to include neighboring properties and areas were you normally walk your dog like parks or where you last saw your pet. Call out your dog’s name as you search and bring along their favorite treats and toy. Using a drone, you can easily and effectively cover larger areas like large parks, dense forests, lakes, canals, beaches and large fields.
Don’t Forget to Enlist Help from Neighbors, Friends, Family, and Local Organizations …
4. Ask neighbors, friends and family to help you with your outdoor search for your lost dog. They may think of areas you have overlooked in your search and can keep eye out for your lost pet.
5. Reach out to people in your contact list via email or text to check if they have seen your lost dog. Ask them to keep a look out and contact you if they spot your lost pet.
6. Call or drop by local veterinary clinics, dog shelters and dog pounds to see if your lost dog was dropped off or a sighting reported. Leave your contact information and a flyer describing your pet so they can call you if need be.
It’s Important to Get the Word Out …
7. Print flyers which include a photo of your lost dog and your contact information. If you are offering a reward, mention it on your flyer but it’s best to not print the amount. Post these flyers everywhere in your neighbourhood and other high visibility areas where the public will notice them: telephone polls in your neighborhood, community centres, public parks, dog parks, local businesses, bus stops.
8. Use social media to reach a wider audience. Post information about your missing dog on your own social media accounts or create a new Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts just for your lost pet. Don’t forget to use hashtags like #LostDog #LostPet #HelpFindMyDog and the name of your city and neighborhood so your posts get more visibility.
9. Craigslist is a good place to post your lost dog ad. Renew it daily so the ad stays close to the top of the page for maximum visibility.
10. Pay for a print and online notice for your lost dog in your local newspaper. Contact your local radio and tv stations and ask if they will mention your lost dog on their news segments. Recently a local CBS reporter helped a stolen dog back her family in Texas.
Lastly, and most importantly, do not give up hope in finding your missing dog! Keep your missing pet search broad and methodical. Make sure you search areas more than once over several days or weeks because you never know where or when your lost dog will show up. Repost flyers and ads for your missing pet regularly. We often hear of lost dogs reunited with their owners after weeks, months, even years after going missing.