As dog owners know, your beloved four-legged friend is more than a pet, they are family, so it makes sense that if Fido goes missing you will understandably be worried. The first thing to do in the unfortunate event that this happens to you is try not to panic. Have a read through this article so that you can be prepared with all the necessary knowledge so you can get your dog back home to you as soon as possible.
1. Ask your neighbours
If your dog has gone missing while it was at home or in the surrounding area, ask your neighbours if they have seen anything that may indicate the dog’s whereabouts. They may have seen suspicious activity around your property or may even have seen your dog escape and have taken it in to their home for safekeeping. While you are walking between the neighbour’s houses call out your dog’s name so that if they are hiding anywhere, they will hear you and (hopefully!) come out and greet you.
2. Call your dog’s name in familiar locations
In addition to calling your dog while you are walking between neighbours’ houses, think of the regular places in the vicinity that you and your dog frequent. These places may include parks, certain streets, or even cafes. Most dogs have good memory when it comes to favourite places that they visit often, so you might just find then hiding behind a tree that you regularly play fetch under! As well as calling your dog’s name (in an upbeat and friendly way) you could rattle their favourite treat bag or tap on their food tin so entice them to come out of hiding for a tasty treat.
3. Make sure microchip registration is up to date
If your dog is microchipped make sure that the information is current and up to date. If you think it may not be current, make sure to contact the microchip agency and get the details updated. If your dog is found and is microchipped often the local council will try to get in touch with you via the contact details that you have provided - so make sure that these details are correct.
4. Contact Local animal Shelters
The moment you know that your pet has gone missing, contact local animals shelters in the vicinity of the area you live, or in the area surrounding where your dog was lost. By contacting shelters and letting them know your pet has gone missing, they will be able to contact you as soon as they receive any information about a dog that matches your description.
5. Contact the Council and Local Vets
Some councils may have a council pound that animals get brought to, or if someone has seen your dog wandering around, they may have called the council to alert them. The same goes for local vets. Additionally, sometimes vets will have a lost and found display board so you can inform that that your dog is missing, and they will display information about your dog so that people can contact them.
6. Put up posters
It’s a good idea to put up as many posters about your missing dog as you can, as this will increase the chances of someone seeing it and then contacting you if they happen to spot your dog when they’re out and about.
On the poster make sure you include a picture of your dog, along with a description and a few facts, such as their favourite treats or the name/sounds they respond to. Also don’t forget to include your contact information.
Put these posters up in as many public places as possible. Consider places such as supermarkets, street poles, cafes, and areas close to veterinary offices. Although you may think that stating a reward will be given for the safe return of your dog, this may actually be counterintuitive.
Some people who see this may attach a monetary amount to your dog and subsequently try to sell the dog if they find them. Most people luckily do not think this way though, and do not need an incentive to help you get your dog back - the satisfaction of reuniting your dog to its family will be enough.
Although losing your dog is a highly stressful event, if you try to stay as calm as possible, and follow the steps above you will have the best chance of being reunited with your four-legged friend.