What to do if Your Dog is Missing

If you have ever come home and found that your dog is missing, you probably know how scary and nerve-wracking it can be when your best friend is nowhere to be found. Even though it is fairly common for dogs to escape or become lost at least once, don’t fret! Here are some steps you can take to help locate your pup and keep him safe in the future.

Steps to Help Find Your Missing Dog

It can be scary and stressful when you discover your dog is missing, but it is important to stay calm as you formulate your plan of action. Here are some immediate steps to take when you find that your pooch is lost:

  • Spend time checking around your neighborhood, chances are Fido probably didn’t stray too far from home. Check around your neighborhood and some of his favorite frequented spots with treats and a leash in hand.
  • Have pictures readily available with your contact information on the back to hand out to passersby as you search for your dog.
  • Inform your neighbors that your pup is missing, so they can also be on the lookout and help canvass the neighborhood.
  • Contact your local animal shelters, vets, and even sheriff’s office. Many times people will report lost dog sightings or deliver them to these local places.
  • Post pictures and contact information on Facebook, Craigslist, NextDoor, and other local groups to help spread the word. Many of these groups also have “Found Pets” sections, so make sure to check those frequently.
  • Create paper flyers and post them around your town—places like mailboxes, parks, and even information boards at local shops are great places to get your flyer seen.
  • Contact your local authorities immediately if you suspect your dog has been stolen. Unfortunately, dog theft is possible, especially for purebred dogs or puppies.
  • Watch out for pet recovery scams and don’t ever give anyone money unless they have already returned your dog.
  • Don’t give up! Your dog is out there and is most likely safe, just scared and hiding. By being positive and vigilant, more often than not you will be reunited with your best friend. 

Preventative Measures

These tips can help ensure your dog stays safe in the future, should he ever become lost again:

  • Microchip your dog and don’t forget to keep all of the contact information up to date!
  • Make sure he has a collar with ID tags—this can help anyone that finds him locate you and get him home safely. And, this also lets people and animal control know that he has a home and is not a stray.
  • Block his escape routes—for example, fixing broken fence posts or closing and locking the gates when you leave him home alone.

By remaining calm and following these steps, you will be reunited with your dog in no time!