What to Do if Your Dog is Lost

What to Do if Your Dog is Lost

What to Do If your Dog Is Missing

It’s every pet owner’s worse nightmare but it happens a lot. I am part of my city’s lost and found group on facebook and I see 4-5 posts a day. Just the other day I came across a post for a missing service dog.  The story was so heartbreaking that I, too, hit the streets looking.  Unfortunately, he was found deceased days later but it does raise the questions, what do you do if your dog is missing?

First off, the most important thing to do is not to waste any time.  Check your home and surrounding areas immediately, including any garages, sheds, cars, under beds etc.  If your dog was spooked you ever know where they could hide.  If you do not find your dog your next step would be to place your dog's bed or blanket outside and some clothes with your scent on them to try to guide them back home.

The next step would be to contact your local shelter and file a missing pet report.  If they have a microchip make sure your information is up to date so if they are found you will be contacted.  Also contact your local vets.

Try to recruit some family and friends and create a lost dog poster.  Start out with the surrounding area but as the days go on make sure you increase the radius of your search.  Dogs can wander quite a distance.  Talk to neighbors and ask if they can check their cameras. The more eyes you have on the lookout the better

It’s very important to include a recent picture and as much information as you can about your pet.  If they are extremely friendly or extremely timid, that would be good information to include.  Also, unless your pet is extremely friendly with strangers, it's a good idea to tell people not to chase or try to capture, just report the sighting to you right away.

Use online resources to connect with people willing to help, there are many Facebook groups and rescues that can be of assistance.  Take advantage of every single one you find.  You can also use websites dedicated to reporting lost and found animals to help with your search.  Beware of scams though, there are unfortunately people out there that will ask for reward money saying they have your pet and require it up front.

You can also use a pet detective to help track your missing pet. We have a wonderful pet detective in Florida and without her services I don't think the service dog would have been found. I don't think the owner would have gotten the closure she did had it not been for Jamie Katz, Pet Detective (jamiekatzpetdetective.com)

What to do if you spot a loose dog

If you spot a loose dog it's very important to report it immediately.  In most areas stray dogs aren’t a thing, if you see a dog loose it was either lost or abandoned and it needs attention. You can tell right away if the dog is friendly and approaches you, if it doesn’t DO NOT CHASE!!  Try to keep your eye on it while reporting it to the proper authorities such as your local animal control division.  If the dog seems interested but is timid you can try sitting on the ground and seeing if it comes to you. Do whatever you can to keep the dog in sight, remember that pets are part of the family and its devastating when they are lost.

Preventative measures

Here are some things you can do before your dog goes missing to help

Collar with name tag- always make sure you have up to date information

Microchip**-Make sure you register and keep your information up to date

GPS tracker- They also make a new apple air tag to attach to your dogs collar to get real time info on location

**A microchip can come in handy but your dog has to be brought to a vet or shelter to be scanned for it and that’s not always the case.  If your dog is on the street for a while it may be looking a little rough where someone might think they were abandoned.  A collar screams somebody loves me so if your pet is found they know for certain that they belong to somebody.


This article is written in memory of Gunny. RIP You will forever be in our hearts

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