Are you wondering what you would do if your dog went missing? It can be an overwhelming topic to think about and is even more scary to imagine it actually happening. The most important thing to remember in this situation is don’t panic. One of our first instincts when a dog goes missing is to notify as many people as possible, but before you do so, there is one thing you should know first - always check inside your home. Sometimes you might not realize that your dog found a new favorite spot. It could just turn out to be that they’re hiding out. So here are a few things that will prove to be helpful if you’re looking for your lost dog.
1. Check for your lost dog inside your home
This seems like the most obvious place to start, but sometimes your dog could just be hiding in an unexpected or unusual place. Great places to check include around appliances, under beds, in closets, and behind bulky furniture. Another great place to check is around dryer vents. This is a perfect place for your dog to nap. To check if your dog is hiding out, you can call their name and shake their food dish to try and get them to come to you.
2. Expand your search
After you’ve checked around the house and have determined that they’re not at home, check your neighborhood, parks, schools, and other nearby areas. If you think your dog wandered off into a neighbor’s yard, be sure to check with them before searching. Remember that most areas that pose a barrier to us are often accessible to dogs so don’t rule out industrial zones and neighbors yards.
3. Recruit a lost dog search party
Raising awareness about your lost dog during the first few hours will drastically increase the odds of a happy reunion. Getting help from others is key. The best place to start is to call your friends and family to see if they will be willing to help you out. Your search party can help in many ways including with searches, printing and distributing lost dog flyers, and keeping an eye on areas that your dog is most likely to return, such as your home.
4. Focus your search near your dog’s last known location
Although dogs are most likely to wander off far from home, the search should still begin at their last known location. You can start by calling for your dog around the neighborhood. Dogs typically travel between 1-3 miles of their last known location in the first 24 hours, so limit your search within that range for the initial search effort. You may consider expanding your search area as time passes to accommodate for your dog’s potentially widened travel range.
5. Bring a fellow furry friend
If your dog has a fellow furry friend, it can help to bring them along during your search efforts. Their presence may also encourage your dog to come out of a hiding place.
6. Go where found dogs go
Think about where you’d take a lost dog if you ever found one without ID. Most likely it would be to one of your local shelters. Call or visit these places and provide them with a current picture of your dog. You can also leave a ‘lost dog’ poster and check back in with them daily to see if your dog has turned up.