You’ve lost your dog? It’s normal that you’re panicking and worrying, but instead of sitting at home and blaming yourself or letting despair overwhelm you, you should take action and do everything in your power to find your beloved pet. It is important to act as soon as you realize your dog is gone, as then your chances of finding it will be better. Take a deep breath, calm down and start acting productively in order to find your furry friend as quickly as possible.
1. Call authorities and vets
Local authorities usually pick up dogs that are walking in the streets without an owner. Call the local council, animal control and vets in your city to let them know that your dog is missing. They could help you look for it, and you would make sure that they don’t euthanize it (because some authorities do that with stray dogs soon after they find it). If your dog has a microchip, then you should also call the microchip registry as that will make it easier for you to find your pet. Make these calls daily until you find your dog.
2. Make ‘lost dog’ cards
If you have a picture of your dog, the best thing you could do is print it on a piece of paper which will also state that your dog is lost. You should put your phone number on that paper as well, so that the people who potentially saw your dog could call you and notify you about its location. Also, write the dog’s name on those cards, so that the finders can call it. It wouldn’t hurt to state that there will be a reward for the person who finds your dog and brings it to you – that will motivate people to help you. Unfortunately, many people wouldn’t call you even if they saw your dog – unless they would be rewarded for doing it.
You should administer those cards in public places, and post them on store windows where the owners let you.
3. Ask your neighbors
Go around your neighborhood and ask everyone if they have seen your dog. Chances are that someone has really seen your furry friend and can at least tell you in which direction it was going. If nobody from your neighborhood knows anything about your dog, expand your search area and ask all the people you run into. It would be useful to bring your dog’s photo so you can show the passengers – in that case you wouldn’t have to go into description as much, because as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
4. Use social networks
Today, almost everyone uses the internet and probably almost every person in your neighborhood and city uses social networks. Make a post on Facebook, Twitter and whichever other social media website you visit and post a picture of your dog saying that it got lost and asking for help to find it. Chances are that many people will see your post and that someone will spot your dog and notify you. Also, if there is a pet protective service in your city and they have an account, you could ask them to post for you and help you in your search.
5. Notify the police
If you suspect that your dog might have been stolen, don’t hesitate do go to the nearest police station with your dog’s picture. If you’re lucky enough to meet decent police officers, they will try to help you and look for possible thieves. Moreover, if someone stole your dog (especially if it is a classy and expensive breed), they may try to sell it for profit. Check all the places where people sell dogs and post your flyers there. Ask around and see if someone saw your dog. Also, check the advertisements to see whether someone is selling a dog of the same breed as yours. If you happen to find your dog that way, you have two options – call the police and demand to get your dog back, or buy your dog off if you don’t want to get into any trouble with the thief. In any case, the most important thing is to get your furry friend back, but it would be wiser to notify the police.
6. Put some water and food outside your house
Maybe your dog ran away but is going to come back. Put some food and water outside your house in case it comes back and you’re not home. Hopefully, your dog will return safe and healthy and you will reunite.