It can be quite devastating to come home and find that your beloved pet has escaped and gone missing. Even if your dog has escaped in the past, every time it goes missing, it isn’t any easier. There are however some steps that you can take to find your dog and even prevent them from escaping in the future if they are successfully recovered.
Step 1 – Take A Walk
Take a quick walk around your neighborhood, calling your dog’s name. He may be close-by and come to the sound of your voice. Ask passersby or your neighbors if they have seen your pet.
Step 2 – Social Media
Post a photo and description of your dog on your social media pages along with information on how long it has been missing, where it was last seen and which neighborhood it is most likely to be in. If your neighborhood has a community forum or group, you may also want to place the information there. Remember to include surrounding neighborhoods as larger breeds can travel very far in a short space of time or a concerned citizen may have picked it up and taken it further from home.
Step 3 – Make Some Calls
Call your local animal shelters and rescue societies and find out if a dog matching the description of your pet has been turned in. You may also want to call nearby vets. Provide them with the chip number if your dog has been chipped. Call friends or family or acquaintances where your dog is most likely to go or has gone before.
Step 4 – Wait
It may seem like the least likely step to take but your dog will probably come home on its own after a period of time. So make sure someone stays at home and can contact you when it comes back if you are out looking.
Step 5 – Posters And Flyers
Print about 20 large posters and 200 smaller flyers. Place the large posters in areas that are easily visible to the public and mail or hand out the smaller posters. Make sure to place a reward and make this the focus of your print by using capital letters and bright, red color.
Step 6 – Go Online
Some animal shelters post regular updates or photos on their websites of pets that have recently been taken in so check these. You may also want to check sites like petfinder.com and other organizations that are dedicated to searching for lost pets.
Step 7 – Take A Break
As time goes by, it is less and less likely that you will find your dog. You need to accept this and continue with daily life as much as possible. You may also need to accept the fact that your pet may have passed on even though this can be very difficult. Here you can read more about the odds of finding lost dogs.
Preventing Your Dog From Going Missing
There are many steps you can take to prevent your dog from running away. First and foremost, secure your yard and repair or block all routes of escape.
Dogs normally run away because they are bored or lonely or even hungry so make sure that they are getting plenty of affection, playtime, walks and that food and fresh water are always available.
Your dog should have a collar with a name tag and your updated contact information in the event that they do get lost. A GPS collar is a great idea for an escape artist or if you are just concerned about your precious pet going missing.
Get your dog chipped! If it does go missing, this will make it much easier for animal organizations or a vet to locate your when they find your dog.