What Do I Do If My Dog Gets Lost?
Have you ever stopped to consider what you would do if your dog was to become lost? I know it’s not the most pleasant of thoughts and you might even be thinking to yourself “No way, that will never happen to MY dog”. Well, like the old saying goes “Never say never”! It is always best to put together a plan just in case because if the unthinkable happens you just might be way too stressed to effectively jump into action.
- Canvas the neighborhood.
Grab the most recent photo of your pet and zip through your neighborhood. It’s also a good idea to carry some treats or your dog’s favorite toy. As you are walking around, ask friends and neighbors to keep their eyes out for your dog and show any new friends you meet along the way your dog’s photo. Call your dog’s name as you are walking and you’re your eyes peeled!
- Plaster flyers all throughout your neighborhood.
Putting up flyers is a very important step. A lost dog can cover a lot of ground in a very short period of time so it’s best to put up the flyers in all areas within at least a one mile radius.
- Reach out to all local animal shelters.
Often times, a dog will be picked up by a well-intentioned community member or the local authorities. This may result in your poor pup ending up at the shelter. Call the shelters and make them aware that your dog is missing. Leave them with a description of your dog and whenever possible email them or fax them a photograph. You should also make them aware of any distinct markings on your dog as well as any other details that will help them identify your dog. Keep track of who you call and follow up with them. Shelters are often overcrowded and understaffed so stay on top of it especially if there are any kill shelters in your area.
- Call the veterinary clinic, too.
Just as you called the animal shelter, reach out to all veterinary hospitals in your area as well. Often times, if a Good Samaritan picks up your dog, they may stop at the vet to have your dog scanned for micro chipping. It’s also a good idea to leave your phone number as well as a photo of your pet with the vet in case someone happens to bring your dog into the office after you leave.
- Spread the word via social media.
Now more than ever, lost dogs are finding their way back home due to the power of social media. Facebook and Craigslist are two powerful ways to spread the word that your dog is missing. Many neighborhoods and towns have multiple pages that are specifically set up to help reunite lost pets with their pet parents. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. The more exposure your pet gets, the more likely it is that you will be reunited, especially if your dog is without proper identification.
While it is always your hope that you will never be in the situation of searching for your lost dog, it is always advisable to put a proper plan in place. Doing so will prepare you and your family members to jump into action. In the meantime, be sure your pet is licensed, and has an up to date identification tag and microchip. Go on, what are you waiting for?