Pet lovers guide: how to find your dog if it's lost
For pet owners, few things are as stressful and heartbreaking as their dog going missing.
In our recent article, I listed the key reasons and risks how your dog can run away – along with useful preventative tips on how to prevent your dog from getting lost. However, if your dog does become lost, read the following guide on how to locate your dog.
Keep calm and search your home first
1. Check the places your dog is most familiar with.
Firstly, don't panic: calm down and think about the most likely places where your dog can go. Call your dog's name and search inside your house to check if it's hiding or sleeping somewhere. Don't neglect unlikely places either, e.g. the water heater closet, wardrobes, and bookshelves.
2. Take advantage of your dog’s favorite food.
Simply put: dogs loves food. Prepare your dog's favorite food and carefully walk around your house with it; if your dog is hiding somewhere, you can draw it out by shaking the food bag loudly.
Get help using various channels
1. Recruit friends and professional organizations to help.
Don't wait too long to get help! If you can't locate your dog within half an hour after an escape, immediately call for help from your neighbors, friends, families, animal control, volunteer groups, or professional dog finders – get more ideas and search for your dog together. The first 12 hours are the most important period to locate your dog. The best advice is to prepare a search plan in advance, i.e. list of contacts, telephone numbers, etc.
2. Share information in public.
Create an information sheet about your dog, including name, recent photos, basic description (including color, dog breed, age, size, etc), and any health precautions someone would need to know if they find your dog. Don’t forget to include your contact phone and email address. Print and post flyers around community centers, dog parks, grocery stores, phone poles in your neighborhood (if it is allowed) and areas you have frequented with your dog. Remember to clearly mention a reward to attract attention and raise awareness.
3. Release missing dog information on the Internet.
Take advantage of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other Internet social media tools, release the missing dog information (see above) and call for help. The Internet is a powerful tool and you are more likely to find your dog by spreading information.
4. Contact the broadcast media for help.
Call the local radio, TV, newspaper office, or other media for assistance. By broadcasting your missing dog message, you are letting more people know and increasing the chances of being reunited with your beloved dog.
1. Make full use of a dog's sense of smell.
Prepare a coat you have worn recently or often which would have your distinctive scent; wear or take the coat with you during any search, along with an item your dog is familiar with, like a cage or toy. A dog's sense of smell is extremely powerful, so if it hasn't run far away, it can detect your scent and the objects.
2. Find your dog using another dog.
If possible, take another dog to search with you. Unlike cats, dogs are extremely social animals and they will attract each other, especially if they are their own species. Dogs can also detect the scent of other dogs, especially from the opposite sex.
3. Choose the right time.
Search your dog during a quiet time is generally much more effective. Try to look for your dog outside either during early morning or in the evening. This makes it easier for your dog to hear your call and should also be more likely to associate the time with feeding time.
4. Use vehicles.
Walk to search for your dog near your house, while riding a bicycle slowly in parks, streets and familiar locations; if you want to search across a wider area, try to use your car, however drive slowly and carefully with your windows down. Even in unfamiliar areas, GPS car navigation will ensure you don't get lost.
5. Always be careful.
Be attentive: your dog may leave footprints in a muddy road, or even fur or feces behind. Be on the lookout for such clues, as they can point you in the right direction.
6. Keep in touch with your neighbors.
Keep in touch with your neighbors to ensure two-communication on the general situation, just in case your dog returns home by itself.
7. Look into the possibility of dog trafficking gangs.
If you haven't found your dog after several days, do not rule out the possibility that your dog may have been stolen. Conduct an internet search on possible trafficking gangs and stay in touch with local animal protection and welfare groups.
8. Never give up.
Establish a daily routine and frequently check the places mentioned above. Don't forget to update "Lost dog" posters and any contacts, e.g. internet forums, media, animal organizations, etc. A positive attitude is very important: never give up and believe you can successfully find your beloved dog.
Don't feel down even if you can't find locate your dog. Look past your sadness, and believe that your dog might have been adopted by someone who loves dogs and it's living a happy life somewhere. Meanwhile, consider keeping another dog as a substitute for the lost one – your life will be bright once again.
For the purpose of this article, the featured image(s) were sourced from the internet. For any issue, please contact us, and we will deal with the matter promptly.
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