Around 10 million dogs go missing in the U.S every year, which shows how common it is.
Understanding how to search for your missing pup is essential to keeping them safe and bringing them home. But, in this stressful time, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you’re currently searching for your missing dog and need advice urgently.
Sounds like you? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything to know if you’re wondering “how do I find a lost dog in my area?”
As soon as you think “I lost my dog,” you should start your search. Time is crucial in this situation and you want to increase your chances of reuniting with your furry friend.
If you delay it, your dog may have traveled far, making it harder for them to return.
Check at Home First
Before you panic and think “where is my dog?”, pet owners should check their homes first. Although it sounds obvious, you’ll be surprised at how many pooches are simply hiding in a closet or under a bed. Bring your pup’s favorite treats with you and try to coax them out if they are there.
You should also place your clothes or your dog’s bedding outside as they’ll be attracted to the scent.
Assemble Your Search Party
If you’re still thinking “I still can’t find my dog,” it’s time to call in the big guns. Tell your family and friends about the situation, so that they can help with the search. You should also inform your local community to be on the lookout.
You should organize a time when the entire group can search for the lost dog. This will help you cover more ground. And make sure people are searching in an area where they can interact with other dogs, like a park, because they’re famously social creatures.
Search the Area Where Your Dog Was Lost
If you lost your pup in a specific area, search there. Spend time calling your dog’s name calmly because you don’t want to scare them.
Again, bring their favorite treats or toys to increase the chances of them returning.
Look Around Your Neighborhood
Still struggling to locate a lost dog? Then, look around your neighborhood.
Even if you’ve conducted a thorough search, stay focused on checking the area every day as your pooch may suddenly arrive. Keep revisiting your dog’s favorite walk routes at different times of the day because your dog may be confused.
Inform Everyone on Social Media
The beauty of social media is that you can get the news out fast. Create a post about your missing dog, include the location, and upload a clear photo, so that people know what to look out for.
Ask your followers to kindly share the post and upload it onto your neighborhood’s Facebook page.
Create and Post Flyers
Aside from social media, you should spread the word via flyers. Create one for your missing pup and include the relevant information. This should include recent snaps of your dog, its name, and a detailed description.
Pet owners should also include where the dog was last seen and if they can, a reward. But don’t mention the amount because if it’s too large, the finder may sell your pet instead.
Call Your Pet’s Microchip Company
Pet owners whose pup has a dog microchip should contact the microchipping company. Someone may have found your missing pet after getting the chip scanned at a local vet. If this happens, you’ll instantly know where your furry friend is.
You should also contact the microchip company and check that your contact details are up-to-date. Tell them that your dog is missing and they’ll be on the lookout. And if you haven’t already microchipped your dog, contact Saltwater Animal Hospital Services to book your appointment.
Check Local Animal Shelters
Visit animal shelters in your area because someone may have turned your dog in. It’s wise to file a missing pet report to flag that your pet is lost.
Because animal shelters are notoriously understaffed, visit the shelters in person daily and check their website to learn about newly registered pets.
Another place to check is Craigslist. Aside from uploading the dog’s flyer, you should look out for people replying to missing pet ads.
Plus, check that no one is trying to sell your pet online.
Always Keep Your Phone With You
Make sure your phone is charged and with you 24/7, especially during the first two days.
You don’t want to miss any leads, whether it’s from someone seeing your ad or hearing about it from a neighbor. The same goes if you’ve included a contact email.
Be Prepared for Scam Calls
You receive a promising call, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up. Because your phone is out there, pranksters can be cruel by taking advantage of pet owners, especially if there’s a reward.
If someone claims to have your dog, ask for a photo of your pooch or inquire about a specific characteristic. For instance, your pet may have a strange marking that makes them instantly identifiable.
Don’t Give Up on Your Search
Regardless of when your dog went missing, don’t give up on your search. Not all pooches are found right away and it could even take months. Instead, keep updating your community and searching until your pet’s home is safe.
How Do I Find a Lost Dog in My Area?
Now you know what to do if you’re worried about finding a lost dog in my area.
There are many things you can do, such as informing everyone on social media and contacting your pet’s microchip company. Pet owners should also check local animal shelters and keep their local community updated. Good luck!
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