We hope that you never need these tips, but just in case your dog ever gets lost, knowing what to do can increase your chances of getting him back. Last week we looked at ways to decrease the chances of your dog getting lost. Today we have some tips to help make the search for your lost dog a little bit easier.
First Things First
There is an old trick used by hunters for finding lost hunting dogs. Take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day, and leave it where you last saw the dog. This way to ensure the clothing smells familiar, like you. You can also bring a favorite toy or crate, but it may be helpful to leave a note to not disturb the items. Make sure to leave some water, as your dog probably hasn’t had access to fresh water, but NEVER leave food, as this can attract other animals. Make sure to check this spot intermittently through out the day or the following day.
Use Social Media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media today – it’s responsible for reuniting countless owners with their lost pets. Immediately put up a few pictures of your dog, along with a description, the location and time where he was last seen, and instructions for anyone who should find him on your social media pages. Ask friends to share the post. You can also reach out to local pet stores, dog boarding facilities, and dog trainers asking them to share it. The more dog-lovers who see the post, the more people will be aware of the situation and on the lookout.
Contact the Dog Officer
The local dog officer or animal control officer should be one of your first calls if your dog goes missing. Inform the officer about your dog’s last location, his physical description, and any tricks that may be used to catch him. Leave the officer your contact information and ask to be contacted if any dogs matching the description are brought in.
Check Animal Shelters
Instead of calling your local animal shelters, it is best to go down to the shelters in person. Doing so will let you see the dogs who are new arrivals, but you can also speak with the staff there. Your physical presence is likely to make more of an impression than a phone call, so check shelters and do so repeatedly when your dog is missing.
Reach Out to Veterinarians
Local veterinarian offices are another great resource when your dog is missing. If your dog is found, he may be brought to the vet by a concerned citizen who would like to have him scanned for a microchip. Additionally, if your dog is found injured, he could also be brought to a veterinarian.
Many vet offices have a bulletin board where you can post “lost dog” flyers. Let the staff know that you are looking for your dog so that they can contact you if they receive any information that might be helpful.
One tried and true way to find your dog is to make “lost dog” flyers to hang around town. Include a recent photo of your dog, your contact information, the area where he was last seen, and any instructions for someone who sees your dog to follow. Be sure to make the text large enough so that it can be easily read, and then hang the flyers around town. Especially make sure to post them in areas like pet stores or dog parks where animal lovers congregate.
We hope that you never have to search for a lost dog, but if you do, stay calm and reach out to as many people as you can to help spread the word and bring your dog home.
Photo source: http://www.ingimage.com/imagedetails/54526239_extInt0/ISS_4597_00227-Isignstock-Contributors-sad-dog-being-closed-in-its-pen.html