How to Find Your Lost Dog and Keep Him Safe and Secure

You love your dog. You love him. He’s your best friend. You worry about him. You are anxious and worried about him. Don’t panic just yet. You still have hope. I used various techniques to locate my dog when he ran away. These tips will help you find your pet as quickly as possible. I have some information on ensuring your dog is safe and secure to prevent this from happening again.

Find a Lost Dog

Don’t give up hope. According to the ASPCA, 93 percent are recovered, and 90 percent are found in the first 12 hours. This means you must act quickly to improve your chances of locating your dog. Here’s what you should do:

1. Alert Authorities and Shelters

Contacting authorities and animal shelters is the first step. I found a dog once and immediately reported it. It would be best to tell the local shelters, police, and animal control about your lost dog. You can count on them to help you find your dog.

Please provide your dog’s name, description, microchip number, and contact details. Your pet should be reported to you as soon as it is located or received by authorities.

2. Leave a scent trail for your dog to follow

Your dog may be able to find you by sniffing. Take something that has a scent similar to yours, like a worn-out shirt, blanket, toy, or crate. The items should be left where you last saw the dog.

You can also put some water there, but not food (as it could attract other animals that might scare your dog away). Water is fine, but no food. Food could draw other animals and scare away your dog. You could write a message asking people not to move the items or to contact you if they spot your dog.

3. Create some eye-catching flyers

Flyers with your dog’s photo and information can help spread the word about your lost pet. Brochures should include your dog’s name, breed, color, size, and other distinctive features. Do not forget to include your contact information and, if possible, offer a prize.

You can distribute them in your area and nearby areas, mainly where you think other dog owners may be. You can start by distributing flyers in parks, pet shops, vet clinics, and cafes that welcome dogs—post flyers in public places such as mailboxes, mailboxes, and lampposts.

4. Spread the word online

Social media can be an effective tool for finding your lost dog. Post a photo of your dog describing when and where it went missing.

You can also ask your followers and friends to share the post and keep an ear out for your dog. Use online platforms such as Lost Dogs and PawMaw for posting a notice. You can see if someone in your locality has seen or found them.

5. Do not give up and keep looking

Do not forget to check where you left your scent item to see if your dog was there. You can drive or walk in the general area. You noticed your dog last and called his name. You might think it’s hopeless, but I can tell you from experience that dogs will return if they are persistently sought.

Ask people you encounter if they have seen or know anything about your dog. You can check online and at shelters for the latest information. Some dogs are only found weeks or months later.

How to prevent your dog from getting lost

When dogs go missing, it’s hard on the owners and the animals. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your dog and make him less likely to run off.

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1. Use Microchips and ID tags

Two ways to help your dog find you are a collar with identification tags or a microchip. Labels should include your dog’s name, phone number, address, and medical information. A microchip, a small device placed under your dog’s skin with an ID number, can be scanned by a vet or shelter to find you. A vet or animal shelter can check it to locate you.

Both methods are effective but must be updated with the most recent contact information. A collar may fall off or can be removed, but a chip cannot.

2. Buy a GPS dog tracker

A pet tracker can help you locate your lost dog faster. They are collar-mounted devices. These devices send signals to your computer or phone so that you can track them.

Various products are available, ranging from $20 to $250. GPS is more precise but more expensive. Some use radios and Bluetooth, which are less costly but with a smaller range. Some have additional features such as activity and health monitoring.

3. Use a leash when outside

It would be best always to use a leash when you take your dog outside unless it is in an enclosed area that allows him to run freely. A leash prevents your dog from running, chasing squirrels, cars, birds, or even getting into fights. A leash can also be used to train your dog. It will help him to listen to you and behave correctly. A leash also shows your responsibility as a pet owner.

4. Train your dog to come when called

It is essential to teach your dog how to respond when you call. This can be life-saving if your dog runs away or gets loose. Positive reinforcement can be used to prepare the command. This means rewarding him with treats and praise when he comes to you and responds to your name.

Practice the skill in different situations and often. Increase the distance gradually and distracting factors so you can retrieve your dog easily from space.

5. Protect Your Home and Yard

You don’t want your dog to escape from your yard or home. Make sure that everything is dog-proof and secure. Check for any holes or gaps in your fence that your dog could squeeze through or dig beneath.

When you leave or step out, lock and close all windows and doors. If you can, buy a dog door that works only with the microchip or tag on your dog’s collar. So your dog can come and go safely without anyone else being able to see him.

Final Thoughts

I understand how difficult it can be to search for your lost pet. You now have more information and resources to help you find your dog by following these tips and suggestions. I hope this article will help you find your dog and keep him safe.

Additional Reading and Sources

Lost Dog: 9 Tips to Find a Missing Dog Quickly – Tractive
Dog lost? Dog lost? Discover what you can do to get your dog back home and how to track your dog at all times.
Learn what to do when your dog is missing and how to find help if you happen to locate a lost pet. Learn how to prevent theft and find a stray dog.

The content of this page is accurate to the author’s best knowledge and does not replace formal, individualized advice given by a qualified professional.

Matt Suh

As your go-to expert for everything one-of-a-kind, Matt is here to help you capture and share life’s most important moments. Find thoughtful gifts, creative ideas, and endless inspiration to create meaningful memories with family and friends.

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