Maybe you got distracted for an instant, one of the kids left the door open, or maybe your pup, with its adventurous spirit, is known to be a serial runaway. Either way, when your dog goes missing, it can be distressing. Even if time is short (the first 24 hours are crucial in missing cases) keep these important words in mind: Don’t panic! With a good plan and a clear mind, you will be more efficient. Here are 5 tips to follow if your favourite furry friend gets lost.
If your dog was by your side a second ago and suddenly disappears, chances are, he’s not very far. Look around your house and call him gently, but loud enough to be heard. If your pup’s recall is on point and you use a specific word for that command, use it as you would normally do. A few treats hidden in your pocket can help convince your dog to run back to you and avoid a cat and mouse game when you find him. Walk around your neighbourhood and inform neighbours of the situation. If you know a few animal lovers amongst them, don’t hesitate to ask for their help. The more people the merrier! If your pooch can’t be found close-by, take your car and drive around the surrounding neighbourhoods. Remember to stay calm, but to act fast, so your dog doesn’t have time to get too far.
Use the Power of Social Media
Social media has a lot of downsides, but is a powerful tool when it comes to finding missing humans or animals. Post a picture and a brief description of your animal with his name, the time he went missing, the town you live in and any information that could help identify him and assure his safety. You can even offer a reward if your budget allows it. Don’t forget to set your post to “public” so it is seen and shared as many times as possible. Most people are sensitive to news of missing pets and will be happy to help. A side bonus: the encouraging comments can help keep your spirits high and give you the energy to keep searching!
Contact Local Vets and Animal Shelters
If your furry friend has been running free, chances are, someone will bring him to a local shelter or contact a vet. That’s especially true if your animal doesn’t have a tag with a phone number or address. Contact local organizations and clinics to inform them you have lost your pet and give them a detailed description. Your dog might not be in their possession when you call, but someone might bring him later. If your dog has a microchip, they will have access to your info, but make sure you leave them a number where you know you can be contacted at all times.
Help Your Animal Find Its Way to You
Some dogs hit the road seeking a little adventure and end up a lot further away from home than they wished. Without reference points, it can make it more difficult for them to find their way back. Leave food and a familiar object outside your house. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and that simple measure can help them “sniff” their way back to you.
Don’t Give Up!
If your best friend has been missing for a while, sadness and discouragement can take over. Ask a friend or family member to relay you in the search for an hour or a day. The most important thing is to keep the faith. Keep in mind that most cases of missing pets have happy endings that include tears of joy and drool-filled kisses.