Our pets are the light of our lives. Even amongst family members and friends they complete a part of you that you probably didn't even know was there until they were. Because of this, the thought of your pet getting lost is one so heartbreaking that it's hard to even imagine.
But, realistically, this is something we need to be aware of, prepared for, and knowledgeable on, just in case you ever have to undertake this terrible task.
However, there are plenty of ways to be ready for such an event because, like it or not, these happen when we least expect it and, usually, pretty easily. Take a look through these simple steps to see what you need to do to make sure any future crises related to your dog are very quickly resolved.
Saying that time is of the essence when it comes to a missing pup is certainly an understatement. “Time is the most critical factor when it comes to recovering a lost pet. Most lost pets that are recovered are found relatively quickly and in close proximity to where they went missing,” Patricia Sapia, co-author of the award-winning The Complete Guide to Lost Pet Prevention & Recovery, said.
According to some stats in this department, 89% of lost pets are found if actively searched for within the first 12 hours of them being lost. So, rule number one is be quick!
2. The luring games.
You can try to lure your poochie back to the last place you saw them in a few different ways. For example, you can try using your own scent by leaving a piece of clothing you've been wearing for at least 24 hours in a spot close to where you last saw them. As well, if your dog has a crate or fave toy, your best bet would be to leave those there along with a bowl of water in case they're dehydrated (don't leave any food because that'll attract other animals). After all of this you should check one day later and hopefully the pup will be there waiting since it's now a familiar smelling spot.
3. If your pup is microchipped, search online databases.
This one's pretty self explanatory but it's a good idea to know the databases if you are going to have a microchipped dog, how they work, and where they pertain to. A quick online search will yield plenty of results but just in case, here's a few names: The Microchip Registration Center, Microchip Registry, Home Again, and Pet Link just to name a few.
4. Start in your neighborhood.
There's no reason to immediately assume your little love has gotten super far, they could be hiding out near by out of fear or exploration or any number of things. Perhaps there's even a specific neighbor's backyard your dog likes to get themselves into? Is there another dog or cat nearby whose scent they like to go after? These are all highly probable cases and would suggest your baby's still near by so be sure to comb the nearby vicinity first. On top of that, this way you can talk to neighbors, workers, and other regulars who know you and your pet and could tell you if there's been a sighting.
5. You might have to consider going further than expected though.
So if searching nearby doesn't yield results then systematically work your way out. However, don't stop when you think you're getting too far. Remember, dogs are curious, energetic, and intelligent creatures, if they have the desire to explore, chances are very good noithing's going to stop them. Dogs can travel a long ways on foot and you have to consider too that good Samaritans may have come into play by picking your pup up in order to report the findings. See, this is why we need to be prepared, soooo many factors!
6. Use social media to it's fullest potential.
Seriously, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, anything! Get the word out and this way it opens up the lines of communication for those who may have found your pet to contact you. Post all the same info you would have on your lost pet flyer and share, share, share!
7. Lost dog posters are important.
Of course they are, especially if your dog is lost for a longer period of time. But, you do need to make sure to do them right. The posters should be placed within a 10-mile radius of your home and even further if you're in a rural area. Make sure the writing is large, clear, and legible, that the photo is in color, and the signs are at eye level. Include your name and phone number and it's always a good idea to offer some kind of reward as an incentive.
8. You could call a professional pet detective.
Honestly, these exist. This is an especially great option if you're desperate or want to expedite the process. A quick google search for your area will divulge who's closest to you.
9. Call the police and local shelters.
This does of course depend on where you live but, in most cases, it would only be beneficial to make the police aware that your little doggo is missing. As well, you'll have to fill out a report and putting an official claim on paper which is good if you need evidence later to claim your dog.
Local shelters are important too. Sometimes they've been called to retrieve an animal and other times people have brought your pet there already. Call or visit, do it daily, and definitely stay on top of it.
10. Treat bag!
This may seem ridiculous to even list but it's honest;y true. You should definitely have a bag of treats with you when looking for your dog.With, preferably, a familiar one, shake the treats while calling your dogs names. This is especially effective for ensuring they can hear as well as sort of luring them out if they've been spooked or have anxiety.
11. Call you vet (and other vets too).
With such a constant influx of pet owners at clinics, if someone found your dog, there's a good chance they mentioned it to some one. Never hurts!
12. Don't give up.
Your dog wouldn't give up on you so make sure you exhaust every possible resource to to find them. That's all I can say about that, just do not give up. Your dog is a member of your family and you know your life just wouldn't be the same without them.