Top 10 Things To Do When You Lose A Dog

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Knock on wood that it never happens to you, but you want to be prepared if your dog gets loose and you can’t find him. You need to be prepared just in case this event ever takes place. We’ve prepared an emergency list of things you should do when you lose a dog.

Photo credit: Aaron Gustafson / / CC BY-SA


Get your dog microchipped and outfit his collar with tags. If you lose a dog, you want to do both things to ensure your pup gets back to you as quickly as possible. Just in case his collar falls off, a microchip holds onto all your personal information for the lifespan of your dog. A vet or shelter just needs to scan your dog to see where he lives and who is missing him.

Photo credit: Elf / / CC BY-SA


Get to work, fast. As soon as you notice that your dog is missing, you should assemble the troops and start looking for him. Search a two-mile radius of where you live, go to frequent haunts like a local dog park, and hand out flyers of your pooch to people in the area.

Photo credit: Les Chatfield from Brighton, England / / CC BY


Call local shelters, rescue organizations, veterinarians, pet stores and police stations. Make a list of these organizations and keep them on hand. Often, if a dog gets loose and someone finds him, people will alert shelters and the like and keep the dog with them until an owner can be located. If a shelter does have a dog that matches your description, go into to make sure that it is yours – don’t call off the search until you are sure.

Photo Credit: acadmeic


Print up flyers. Use a recent photo that represents the best likeness of your dog. You can post them around the neighborhood, playgrounds, dog parks, local businesses and shelters to get the word out there. Put all pertinent information on the flyer – a detailed description, special markings, the date he went missing, medical conditions, contact info and a reward. If you are offering a reward, don’t post the amount. Always say that your dog is spayed or neutered, even if they are not. This will dissuade dishonest breeders from taking advantage of your lost pooch.


Use social media networks. If you have active social media accounts on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, post the flyer information in your updates and ask people to share. You’d be surprised how many dogs find their way home thanks to social media.


Post an ad in your local newspaper, or Get the word out to as many people as possible by expanding your reach. The more people that done that you’re pup has gone missing, the more people will be on the lookout.


Alert local schools. If you want plenty of little detectives on the case, ask local schools to broadcast a missing dog bulletin as part of their morning announcements. Most kids love dogs and will keep an eagle-eye out for your pup.


Beware of scams. When someone calls to say that they have found your dog, be wary. Ask for specifics, things you left out of your lost flyers. Don’t trust anyone who says they want the money upfront or wants you to wire it to them before they hand over your dog.


Expand your search area. After the first 24 hours go by, start looking farther than your immediate neighborhood. Call local agencies of neighboring towns or communities so they will know you are searching for a lost dog.


Don’t give up! There are stories out there of people who have been reunited with their lost dog after months apart. Stay positive and keep canvasing shelters and rescues to see if a dog matching your description has shown up.

Photo credit: mikebaird