Even though we are always careful and pay attention to our pets, it may happen that our furry friend finds a way to slip out when it sees something interesting outside - maybe another pet, a loose toy, or a familiar face. It’s always better to be prepared, so here are five proven tips to help finding a lost dog and get him or her back home!
Tip #1: Leaving a Piece of Owner’s Clothing
The first thing you need to do to help finding your lost dog is to put an article of your own clothing, that has your smell, where the dog was last seen. The chances that the dog will recognize the smell are high! Check the area whenever possible, since the dog should stay around there.
You can also try leaving at the place:
- Some toys the dog liked
- His bed
- Personal items
- A bowl with water
While leaving a bowl with water is recommended, avoid leaving food since it may attract unwanted animals that will interfere with the smell.
Tip #2: Make Flyers
This old-fashioned strategy can actually help raise awareness about your missing pet. Make a poster with a good-quality photo, numbers for contact, and a brief description of your pet, as well as the last place the dog was seen. Besides hanging them around your neighborhood, you can also try placing them in:
- Veterinarian Offices
- Community Centers
- Grocery Stores
Offering a reward is also a good idea, since it will increase the interest in locating your pet and will also make people pay more attention to the dogs they see around.
Tip #3: Use Social Media and Stay Connected
Don’t underestimate the power of social media! While some people may not pay attention to street posters, they definitely take a look at their social media feed, multiple times a day, and even if they don’t know anything about your missing pet, they can help spread the word and bring awareness to more people.
Try Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist, as well as other websites specialized in the issue, such as:
- Pet Amber Alert/
- The Center for Lost Pets
- Help Me Find My Pet
- Flealess Market's Lost Pets International
- Missing Pet Network
- Missing Pets
- Fido Finder
- Find Toto
Tip #4: Contact Your Local Animal Shelters
People often take found pets to animal shelters, so it’s important that you immediately call locations within a 20-mile radius of your home. Check back with them often, since your pet can show up after your first call.
A visit to shelters is also a good idea: although you can describe your pet very well over the phone, many dogs look alike, and it’s easy for shelter personnel to overlook your pet.
Also, don’t forget to let your vet and other vets nearby know your pet is missing, just in case someone brings it to the office.
Tip #5: Instruct People to NOT Call or Chase The Dog
Your dog is probably very scared, so instruct everyone who's helping you to NOT call or chase the dog. This will only prolong your search and make him even more scared. If they see your pet, tell them to call you immediately and to sit or lay down, without making eye contact with the dog, and gently toss out treats to lure the dog in.
Have you ever lost a pet? What was the one thing that helped most to find him? Let us know at our Facebook page or in the comments below!
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