Dog Gone Missing? How to Find Your Lost Dog

how to find your lost dog

Is your dog missing? Did it run away? Don’t panic. Chances are you will find it again very soon. In this guide, I will go into detail on how to go about finding your lost dog.

When I was young, we had two very curious dogs; Eurasiers. They always wanted to put their snout where no snout should be. So naturally, whenever someone (me) forgot to secure the gate, they found a way out.
They galloped happily out towards “freedom,” leaving behind some anxious people.
It sometimes took us a couple of hours before realizing that the dogs were nowhere to be found.

So the search began.

One thing I always noticed when the dogs ran away was that they would always stick together, with the leading dog (the dog in chief) deciding where they should go.
They never went away too far from home, and always tried to find their way back around dinner time.
And when we finally spotted them and called their names, it would always be a sight for sore eyes, seeing them in the wild running towards you with their tongues sticking out in the wind.

We would never yell at them or punish them for running away; after all, it wasn’t their fault that they are curious creatures; that’s just in their nature, and if we started punishing them now, then the next time they ran away they would not want to come back because they know what would be waiting for them at home.

Here’s what you should do if your dog has gone missing.

Be prepared.

Here are a few things you should do to prepare if your dog should getaway.

Have your dog wear a collar with a nametag and your current phone number.

Have your dog microchipped. It doesn’t replace the collar, but it could make all the difference when it comes to finding your missing dog.
The microchip will not track your dog’s location as a GPS tracker would, but if your dogs end up at a veterinary, then they can scan the chip and track you down.
Make sure that your information is always up to date in the microchip registry. Your local vet can help you with that.

Invest in a GPS tracker for your dog. Your dog would wear it like a collar, but you will, at all times, be able to track his exact location.

Neutering your dog will reduce his or her instinct to roam, and you’ll be less likely to have your dog running away.

Where to look for your missing dog?

The first thing to do when your dog goes missing is to drop anything else on your plate. Skip work that day, postpone any activity you might have had planned and focus only on finding your dog. It is a priority to find him, and your boss should be able to understand that.
Ask friends and family to help you find your missing dog, even if some of them live far away they can help you make posts on social media platforms, adds on craigslist, and contact nearby shelters.

Dog’s don’t generally run away more than a couple of miles from home. In rural areas, they would often go further than in highly populated areas. So take a map to draw a circle around your house with a one or two miles radius.
Your dog may have taken the route you would usually walk him on, check out your nearest dog parks or beaches where it’s likely to find other dogs playing around.

Print out posters and signs.
Use a recent and clear picture of your dog, make sure it’s a color picture, you might want to go to the nearest shop where you can print photographs have some big signs made.

Here is a suggestion on how the sign should look:

missing dog poster

Contact the nearest dog shelters, pet shops, veterinary clinics, and animal control agencies.
Give them your contact information, send them a picture of your dog, keep calling them every day.

Don’t give up hope; many people will be helpful and offer their help, others might be in it for the reward, but eventually, you are very likely to find your precious furry friend again.

Oh, and when you do, if it’s a female dog that hasn’t been neutered, you might want to be prepared for a litter (How to train your puppy guide).

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