What happens when my dog gets lost?

Just imagine Randy the Rottweiler does a runner—what do you do?

30 Apr 2015 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

There’s nothing worse than the horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realise you've left the gate open and your canine companion is no where to be seen. What do you do? We're going to assume you have a collar on your dog and it's micro-chipped (that’s the sensible thing to do, yes?). If you’re reading this and think “mmn, no I haven’t got around to it yet, please, please make sure you get it done!

Uh oh, my dog’s done a runner

Firstly you should get out there yourself and look for your dog! They may not have wandered far and hearing you calling their name might be all they need to come running home. Make sure you have its lead, a bag of treats or a favourite toy, especially one that squeaks or makes noise at the ready and search any of dog’s favourite places, like the park, first to give yourself the best chance of finding your furry friend. The more people you can mobilise to help look the better, so ask family and friends to give you a hand. Always remember to supervise children or leave them at home, roads can be dangerous! This also applies for your pet, if you spot them over the other side of the road, don't call them until you are safe on the same side as them. No one wants to find their dog only to witness it get knocked over on the road!

Put the word out

If a search on foot doesn't find your pet, it might be a good idea to spread the word as far and wide as possible, the more people who know your dog is missing, the more pairs of eyes that are looking out for it and could potentially bring it home.

Postersfind a good photo of your pup and include details like their name, a clear description, any reward you want to offer and a contact number and put them up around your neighbourhood in visible locations. Try to put up as many as you can and go further then you think your dog can go, there's all kinds of crazy stories about dogs ending up half a continent away after getting lost so there's no harm in widening your search.

Door knocking — it's time to visit the neighbours and friends in your area who could have seen your pet! Take some of your posters with you and hand them out, lots of people have pets and will understand your concern and by making a personal connection they’ll be more likely to keep an eye out for you.

Social media — one of the wonderful things about social media is how accessible large groups of people become. It's a great tool for finding lost pets. Use your personal pages to spread the word and from there ask friends to share. Use the search tool to look for ‘lost and found’ and ‘lost pet’ pages in your area. These groups share photos of lost pets with their followers and some of those people will also end up sharing your search.

Vets — Check with local vets to see if your dog has been handed in. If people find a lost pet without any identifying tags vets are often where they go. If you're lucky and have a chip the vet may be able to find you, but it's best you be pro-active. Visit the vet in person as it may be hard to identify your pet via description over the phone alone.

Shelters and Rescues — like with vets, visit shelters and rescues in person as your lost dog may be there but hard to identify over the phone! Check back regularly as there's every chance your four-legged pal may be handed in. Even if you don't find your dog at the shelter, your visits means they’re aware of your lost dog, and will be keeping and eye out for you. Most Shelters have a network of volunteers and this provides you with more people who could potentially find your pet.

Ultimately, NEVER give up hope or stop searching, you will find your dog!

If you’ve lost and found a dog, we’d love to hear your story.

30 Apr 2015 By Zahra Gaitskell Comments

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