Sunday, July 8, 2012

8 Steps To Help You Find Your Lost Dog

A lost dog sign tacked to the neighborhood telephone pole is a sad reminder that any dog can become lost.   According to a survey conducted by the ASPCA, of the 78.2 million dogs living in 46 million US homes, about 7 million are lost every five years. The good news is that 93% make it back home.

More than likely, 93% made it home because their owners took IMMEDIATE action with the help of these 8 steps: 

1)Start your search at your home.  

Walk and drive around your property with a bag of dog treats to use as bait. Remember to carry a leash with you in case your dog is found.

Dogs have become trapped inside sheds, closed inside garages, entangled in wires under your home, dropped into wells, and even fallen into your pools so be sure to check your property very carefully.

2) Visit all of the animal shelters within 20 miles from where you think your dog was lost. 

Calling the animal shelter is not very effective because your pet may not yet be listed in the records at the front desk, and the way you describe your pet may not be the way a shelter describes your dog. Any animal may become dirty,  matted, and neglected-looking very quickly so you MUST visit the shelter even if your pet was wearing tags when it was lost. 

3) Visit and post fliers at all veterinary offices in your area.  

Many people will pick up a lost dog and take it to their vet's office even if it is across town. Visit all the offices and ask questions about where they would take a dog or cat that was brought in by a Good Samaritan. 

4) Fliers are the #1 way people find missing pets. 

The flier should include a color photo of your pet, a brief description, the date, your telephone number, and where your pet was last seen at the time he went missing. If you aren't able to make your own flier, Pet Bond will generate one for you!

5) Leave something that smells like home, including food and water, on your front steps as soon as your pet goes missing.
Very often your dog will linger around your home once they've sniffed out the scent of your t-shirt, their dog bed, or toy. Check the location you left the scented items right at sunrise and sunset. 

The road crews for your local and state department of transportation (DOT) usually pick up deceased animals from the roadside and city streets. Call the city, county, and state road crews frequently to see if they have found your pet's body.  If your pet was wearing an ID tag, the DOT should contact you if they found your pet but don't count on it. You must put forth the effort to find out for yourself!

7) Check the internet for websites that will post information about missing pets. 

New Hampshire residents should rely on Granite State Dog Recovery for help because this small group of dedicated volunteers have been known to work tirelessly to help distressed owners find their dogs for as long as it takes to achieve success.

Otherwise,Pet Amber Alert, Find Toto, and Found and Lost Pets are great resources.

8) Network.

Go out in teams and talk to people your neighbors, dog walkers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, local police, neighborhood youth, the postman, and everyone else who frequents your neighborhood. Almost everyone can relate to your search for your lost dog and most will be sympathetic to your mission.

If you have any other lost dog search tips that you'd like to share, please leave a comment. Any extra help would be appreciated! 


  1. Awwww have your pet microchipped maybe? I feel so sad every time I see a "Lost" pet poster. :-( Take care

  2. Great PSA. Mom is always amazed at how many peeps are out in the neighborhood looking for a dog that escaped the yard but don't have the sense to have either treats or a leash with them. Great tips, hope we never need to use them.:)

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  3. We see signs a lot too. Don't get it. They we see lost kitty kat signs when there are coyotes all over the place
    Benny & Lily

  4. Old Kitty, I agree! A microchipped dog can be easily identified if found by a shelter or veterinary office in possession of a scanner. Thanks for mentioning this tip!
    The OP Pack, Good point! I wish everyone would think to have a leash and some treats in their possession while looking for a lost dog. I'd guess that it is hard for an owner to think about these 2 items when panicking.
    Two French Bulldogs, How horrifying to think that coyotes are on the prowl for cats! There's another good reason for keeping cats indoors!

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