How to Search for Lost or Missing Dogs?

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It is imperative that you begin the search for your dog immediately you notice it’s gone missing. You don’t have the luxury of waiting or procrastinating. Every hour wasted not looking for your dog pushes your pet farther away from you.

People lose their pets now and then, no matter how careful they get. So don’t waste time blaming yourself for something you have no control over. In other words, don’t beat yourself up.

The search for your dog should start immediately you are aware your dog is missing, and it isn’t something your pet would do, to up and disappears. Let us see some of the ways to make your search effective.

Why did your dog go missing?

Australian cattle dog

We have first to determine the reason your dog would disappear. What happened before it did? Was it attacked? Did it get scared as a result of something you did and ran off? Were there cats, rabbits or chicken around for it to chase?

Does it go out on its own? Consider some factors that may have led to its disappearance, and you may just be a step closer to finding your pet. Dogs have been known to run away due to phobia or fear, or they just get carried away chasing something they find interesting, and your pet may have lost its way, especially, if it’s not a road it is familiar with.

Curiosity gets the best of these canine creatures and would do anything to satisfy that curiosity, even if it means getting lost. Like literally. Some dogs would dig below a fence or sneak under or between gates just to get the freedom they want. Some wander off for miles in one day. So it is advisable to have yourself prepared for a long-range search, let’s say a five-mile radius in the first few days of searching.

If by four or five days, you still haven’t seen your pet, then you would have to increase your search range by as much as a 100 miles because dogs are fast travelers and the more things they see, the more curious they get, and they get carried away even more.

Start your search in your area

There are places your areas your dog might have taken some likeness to when you take it for walks: the park close by, the friends’ nearby, family members who stay close by, eateries that have foods in their dumpster, your girlfriend or boyfriend possibly, or other pets its kind. You could check the garage, under the cars around, in the bushes, confirm from your neighbors when last they saw your pet.

Try calling out the name of your dog out loud when you check in places you feel it might be hiding, lure it out with its favorite toy or object it plays with. Check dark spots, wells, and holes. It could be caught someplace, so check for places that you suspect might trap your pet.

Create missing dog posters

The pictures of your dog would be beneficial, especially recent photos. And can be put to good use in searching for your pet. Make signs that you can put up around neighborhoods. Ensure that the posters be highly visible and easy to read.

Bright colored backgrounds are recommended to get everyone’s attention to understanding what’s being posted. Fliers aren’t a bad idea either. You could make fliers similar to the posters, but they should be smaller and on regular colored paper.

The inscription “LOST DOG” should be largely written in black letters. You could also offer a reward for any information that may lead to finding your pet (but state a specific award amount). The most vital information you can’t afford to forget is to include is a color photo of your pet, simple description (e.g. “large white dog” or “black terrier”) and your contact information.

Share lost dog posters and fliers

Make sure to cover a five-mile radius around the area your pet was last seen. Paste your posters at major intersections in the city and make sure the signs are well secured when pasting them. Share fliers to neighbors and people in your area; you could also include mail carriers and delivery persons.

Inquire from as many local businesses as possible to help you post your fliers in visible locations. Go to local dog parks, have them pin your fliers on their “notice board” if any, and post some in the area. You never might know who would see her and where, so it’s advisable to talk about your dog you encounter and hand them your fliers.

Contact local animal control, animal shelter, and pet rescue groups

Personally visit the local animal control and as many pet rescue groups and animal shelters as you can. Always carry your fliers with you whenever you make these visits so it would be easier to share, and also, take the time to search through the facility for your pet.

Contact Veterinary clinics and businesses connected to pets

It is also vital that you visit your vet’s office and inform them of what is going on. This is to give them a heads up, so they make a note in your pet’s chart and have them ready in case your dog is found injured and needs immediate attention.

Hand over fliers to people in the lobby and the staff areas. Also, contact other vet offices, pet supply shops, pet groomers, dog walkers, and pet supply shops in the area and ask them to hang your fliers.

Post listings on websites

The internet is also a powerful tool to broaden your search. Some newspapers list lost pet ad in the online classifieds, and it’s for no charge. You could take advantage of Craigslist, by posting a lost pet listing.

Other websites could also be used to post lost pet listings and do some research on tips for finding lost pets. Fortunately, some of these sites are free, while some others would bill you for special services but be careful with sites that charge you because some of them are scams.

Here are some sites that offer lost pet services:

  • Petfinder.com
  • Fidofinder.com
  • Lostdogsearch.com
  • Oliveralert.com
  • Lostpetusa.net
  • Missingpet.net
  • Missingpetpartnership.org

Make use of social media

The internet as stated earlier is one essential tool for making the search for your dog more comfortable. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the social media you could use. Upload your dog’s pictures, drop your contact address.

You could also contact local community sites such as Nextdoor to see if posting your fliers is possible. Tell your friends online to help you re-post your story. You just may not know who might have seen your dog.

Be careful

It is unfortunate that there are criminals who find pleasure in using other people’s misfortunate as a means to gain extra cash. Do not post the reward amount (if any) on signs and fliers, and do not provide your full names or address.

If there was a tip about your lost dog, don’t send cash until you have your dog in your arm and you confirm it’s yours. Also ensure not to go alone, especially if the places you are meeting strangers at aren’t open places. You could go along with friends and tell other people where you are going.

Be hopeful

Sometimes it could be frustrating waiting for your dog to be found since some search could take weeks, even months. Dogs are natural survivors. Your dog might be out there roaming about also looking for you. So it is important you don’t give up or lose hope. Increase the odds of finding your dog as you keep making the awareness on your lost pet.

Here are some tips for finding your lost dog

Visit the places you’ve had the posters to check if they need replacing.
Have some food and water outside your house if possible. It may attract your dog if it’s nearby.

Don’t chase after your dog if spotted; this may agitate it and may decide to run away. Or it might get playful and still run away. Tell people around you not to chase after it as well, so it doesn’t run.

Coax your dog instead of chasing after it. Lure it over to come to you.

Keep track of where you posted signs in the area, so you do well to have them removed once your dog has been found.

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