Dog lost is one of the most terrible events that could happen to a dog owner; one moment your dog is with you, the next they’ve disappeared. Of course, it’s very stressful and upsetting when your pet goes missing, especially as there is the extra worry that he may be lying somewhere hurt or hiding under a bush scared . If your dog has gone missing from your home, it’s highly likely that he won’t have gone very far. He may have wandered off to look for food, or to chase a passing cat, or even been spooked by the rumble of thunder or a loud noise nearby.
If you think he is in the local neighbourhood, spend a short while whistling and calling for him. Likewise, if you’re on your usual dog walk, call out for him, and stay alert, perhaps another dog walker has spotted him and is searching for you. If the nightmare continues, you’ve looked everywhere and still your dog hasn’t been sighted, then it’s time to alert others to the fact that your dog is missing.
The very first thing you should do is to put all your prior commitments on hold. Do whatever is necessary to make time to search for your missing pet – take time off from work, ask friends to pick up the kids, do whatever it takes!
14-step guide to give you the best chance of being reunited with your lost dog:
Step 1. Microchipping
This is one of the best ways to get your dog back. If your dog is microchipped then please make sure you keep your contact details up to date. If your dog is handed into the authorities, or someone attempts to change his microchip details, you can be informed. Remember that a dog’s collar with ID tag attached can come loose or be easily removed – a microchip won’t. It is also the law to have your dog microchipped
One of the most common Microchip companies is Petlog, then you can use your online account to report the loss of your dog immediately, or you can call 01296 336 579 (24/7 service). As a precaution try and keep your Petlog ID number with you all the time (maybe in your wallet along with your vet details.
Step 2. Whistle and call your dog
It is important that you spend at least 20 – 30 minutes calling your dog and whistling. Another important factor is not to show your panic and try and sound cheerful so your dog won’t be afraid to come back. Search the immediate area that you last saw your dog in a circular motion and slowly expand the circles before you eventually do leave. Give those who seem helpful and trustworthy your contact number or your vet’s number.
Step 3. Contact your neighbours
Ask your neighbours to keep an eye out for your missing dog – especially if he’s runoff from the house. Get them to check their gardens, sheds and conservatories. If he has runoff from the park due to being spooked then there is a chance he will find his own way hoe hilt you are looking for hi.
Step 4. Pet Insurance –
It is important to contact your t your Pet Insurance Company. Depending on your policy they may be able to help with advice on provide financial assistance for advertising.
Step 5. Poster–
It is very important that you create a “lost” flyer with as much information about your dog as possible. Make sure you include a current photo, a physical description and anything distinguishing about him. Include your name and contact number details. Now go back to the area your dog was last seen and distribute the flyer through doors, fasten onto trees and fences and in surrounding areas.
Step 6 – Vet
Make contact with the local vets in the area, as many people will take a lost dog to the local vet. Ensure they have a copy of your flyer so they can put it on the noticeboard in the waiting room and they can keep an eye out for him too.
Step 7. Walk or cycle up and down the roads
nearest the area your dog was last seen. People strolling or cycling nearby are another helpful resource for spotting your animal.
Step 8. Make sure you visit your local newsagents and community notice boards
Once you have a poster that you have either created yourself at home using a template or created using Dog Lost makes= sure these go up in your local neighbour
Step 9. Contact the local council, dog warden, police and animal control authorities
Give them a description and the time and area in which your dog was lost. They will be the ones who will be contacted if your pet has been in a car accident, for example, or if your dog is reported as a stray. You can also check the government website to see if your local warden has your dog
Step 10. Newspapers –
Many local papers have a lost and found section. Place a ‘lost dog’ advert as soon as possible. If you have been walking some distance from your home, find the most appropriate local paper.
Step 11. Search national databases for lost pets
It is important to register your dog as lost on national databases such as DogLost as they may have a local team of volunteers who can help look. They also provide posters and links t=you can share with the details of your lost dog. Others are available on the internet and worth considering
Step 12. Check local animal shelters and rescue homes.
Lost animals will often be handed to the local animal shelter. Contact local rescue centres hem to see how they can help locate your pet. When contacting local shelters and Dog lost they will want to know things like age and breed of the dog, size and colouring, along with temperament Any unusual markings Details of microchip including number. Does he have a collar with an ID tag and where did you last see the dog? It is important that your dog has both ID tag and Microchip
Step 13. Leave an item of your clothing in the area you last saw your dog
This can help if your dog comes looking for you as it will have your recognisable scent.
Step 14. Social Media
Use Social Media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as a tool to spread the word and give details of where your dog went missing, along with pictures and contact details. Ask people to ‘Share’ your post on Community Pages.
It’s very important that you also focus on yourself as the wear and tear and all this worry isn’t good for you. Try to keep doing the normal, routine things in your life. This will help you to stay focused and productive.
By raising awareness of your dog’s profile, and making him “too hot to handle” you have a much better chance of finding him. All being well, you will soon be reunited with your beloved pet.
Remember dogs are also stolen on a daily bases so it is worth taking steps to prevent dog theft