Nobody thinks their dogs are going to run away from their side, but that kind of thinking is what makes people google things like “how to find a lost dog” or “tips for finding a lost dog” because unfortunately, it just happened…
According to statistics, more than 4 million dogs get lost each year, and with a rate of 1 of 3 dogs escaping at least once in their lifetime, is something that virtually all pet parents have to confront.
Motivations are infinite, from chasing a squirrel, mating urges or plain curiosity, dogs innocently end finding themselves far away from home and us doing the detective work. To prevent happiness turning bitter, Barkymate gifts you with a depth guide that will increase not only your success rate up to five times when doing a search and rescue for your lost dog but also providing the right tools to prevent them from escaping again.
- How to Find a Lost Dog at Night?
- How to Find a Lost Dog in the Woods?
- How to Find a Lost Dog with a Microchip?
15 Tips for Finding Lost Dog
Finding your escaped dog doesn’t have to be stressful. Of course, the uncertainty can be overwhelming but don’t let it fill your head, stay focused and apply this tips to find your lost doggy quick and easily.
#1 Use Dog Finder Service
Lost dog finder services have the benefit to cover a broader area quickly and effectively. They basically work in the same fashion: once you fill the form and send it, their support team will spread the word to all the refugees, shelters, and local animal control agencies listed in their database and they will also send a custom voice message to people surrounding the area where your dog gets lost.
Keep in mind that these are paid services. But there are lost dog sites like LostMyDoggie offers similar benefits for free, while the paid options give you a wider search surface.
#2 Create a “Lost Dog Flyer” and Share it
A missing dog flyer is quick and effective option to increase the search range if posted in the right places. Just find a cool picture of your dog, use bold and simple to read fonts and catchy titles like “lost my doggie”, the dog name, its main characteristics, a contact number, and the place last saw.
In case you don’t have a picture of your dog, uses referral ones from the web. To speed up things, the great majority of missing dog websites have free flyers generator that once finished you can download to share and print it.
#3 Write Post on the Facebook, Twitter & Craigslist
Networking has become such a powerful tool to be set aside. Writing a post on social media and classified advertisement websites like Craigslist or Oodle will increase the possibilities of finding your lost dog.
Time is your most valuable asset, don’t just put a generic “ I lost my dog” title, put something that stands like “Missing Labrador last saw in Vegas Strip” for example. Is crucial to post correctly all the information to avoid any issue that can make you delay any lead or contact to your missing dog.
#4 Advertise Your Notice in Grocery Stores and Popular Offline Places
Posting a flyer must be done near parks, avenues, schools, churches, stores, bulletin boards, and any concurred places. Always ask for permission from the person in charge of the place and do it especially were your lost dog was last seen and its surroundings.
Remember, the idea of posting flyers is getting presence, so the more people seeing the notice of your missing dog, the more chances are to get a response.
#5 Advertise Your Missing Dog in Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers are still a reliable source to help you find your lost doggy. This publishings nowadays have both physical and digital presence, ranging from a couple of thousands up to several hundreds of thousands of readers.
This increases the chances to click with someone willing to help. Advertising through this media may be pricey as a 10 line 2 column with a color picture may have a ranging cost from $15/day in the local newspaper, climbing up to $45 and more in large ones like the Times.
#6 Contact Local Animal Shelters
An animal shelter is a refuge intended to rehabilitate animals that were strayed, lost, rescued, or surrendered. Shelters have a list of lost and found dogs too. They usually worked independently without sharing a common database. Nowadays the majority of them are connected to a nationwide public register and several more, private listings. With an average entry of 10 dogs per day, it is essential to keep in touch with them on a daily basis.
#7 Find Local Facebook Groups and Ask for Help
Social networks have connected people even more. Exploit this benefit by posting on your local facebook groups your lost dog flyer, It might seem a desperate act is adding a lost dog publication in a sells group, but this kind of thing can move some fibers in people, and the will share your help request among their contact list. The more exposure you give to the cause more chances has your dog to be found.
#8 Find Specialized Facebook Groups “Lost Dog (Pet) + Your Location”
Same as the previous tip. Just type your city, county or state + lost and found dogs and start posting through all of them. People in this groups will have more concern about your situation and will give you a hand (or paw?) to find the whereabouts of your lost pet.
If you manage to find your pet, don’t be selfish and remove the alert immediately posting the happy meeting. someone might have clicked with your situation and will still be searching for your pet.
#9 Contact Veterinarians
Contacting local vets will give them advice if your missing dog was found by someone caring enough to help a stray pet. Vets usually have the facilities and equipment to identify (if your dog has a microchip implant) and to attend that lost dog in case of injury or sickness.
In case they can’t identify the missing dog, they will provide you with the necessary guidelines and organizations to help you continue the search for both dog and pet parent to reunite them.
#10 Try to Place Your Missing Dog on these Websites
- FindFido is a missing dog website that allows you to find any match across the UNITED states and Canada by introducing breed, color, and other characteristics and a postal area code. If you don’t find any match, you can easily list the dog in question.
- FindToto and LostDogsOfAmerica offer the same features, but also have the option of sending phone alerts to the local numbers listed in the white pages parting from the postal area you assigned. Cost may vary depending on the number of people you want to reach.
#11 Search the Neighborhood
As curious and playful animals by nature, dogs can give a walk around the block if they find a chance. Before starting to panic, check the blocks around first as sometimes dogs can be found barely half street away. Always call him or her by her name and keep close a bag of treats or kits favorite toy just to lure him more easily. If your pet is a notorious escape artist don’t forget to leash em before they bolt again.
#12 Contact Animal Control Agencies
Check all the local county animal control agencies, both public and private. The great majority of them are listed in the Internet so it will be easy to contact. be aware that not all of have the same working hours and is desirable to establish a schedule to visit them and file your missing dog report.
These agencies have facilities intended to keep animal well maintained until they are identified and deliver with their rightful owner.
#13 Find people in the Neighborhood who also Have Dogs
Mating instincts are near impossible to control, especially if your dog is young and energic. They will find a way to drain that urge, and any gap is enough to escape to find a mate. If you know, dogs pack near your house or a neighbor with dogs you better search first those places. Sometimes dogs ran away for days due to urgings so once founded is advisable to neuter them avoid similar incidents.
#14 Don’t Forget About Rewards
Although altruism must be the way to do, cash rewards have more incentive to persons to help find the lost dog. We all know how important are our pets, but you can’t be too greedy or needy by putting figures that people will ignore or on the other side that attracts scammers that unfortunately will lure you to give them money in exchange of false hopes.
If someone did his share and dedicated to delivering your dog back, always be thankful. You might not only recover your dog but also could win a friend.
#15 Don’t Give Up
It may sound a cliche, but it’s true. According to ASPCA, 93% of lost dogs are reunited with their owners even after years have passed. You might be in the house, alone, still mourning that lost, until suddenly you get an unexpected call, And there it is, alive, and happy to see you again. Here are a couple of examples of people reuniting with their beloved dogs, even after everybody lost all hope:
These touching stories show us that no matter the harshness of the circumstances if you keep that willingness to find your dog, you can have a happy ending too.
How to Find a Lost Dog at Night?
Getting notice of your missing dog at the end of the day or following a lead in the night involves some risks that can put not only your dog but also your person in danger, to ensure a safe return for both of you, we recommend following next steps.
Wear Reflective Clothing and Take a Flashlight
Accidents occur at any time of the day, but if you are looking for your lost pet even after the night falls, you make not be aware of cars or accident terrain until it is too late. reflective clothes aren’t expensive and can help drivers or friends to notice your presence in the dark.
Flashlights are a must in any search activities and can help you watch inside hideouts like ground burrows, pipes and boxes before getting into it. If your dog is a playful one the light might look amusing and draw its attention back to you.
Take a Car or Bicycle for a Safe Ride
You can go further and safer using a vehicle when looking for your lost doggie at night. Sometimes you can spot your dog, and he will run from you, and a car or bike can help saving distances and to retrieve him back home safely. a companion is highly advisable to watch the surroundings while you retrieve your dog.
Can’t Find your Dog During the Hour? Go Home and Follow our Tips at the Beginning
You might feel tired and frustrated as the hours past and still have no results is better to retreat and fight another day. While at home you can post your lost dog report on social media and check for any previous response that can tell a clue of the whereabouts of your dog friend. Not finding your dog can be stressful but a couple of hours of rest will do wonders on your body and mind to continue the search the morning after.
How to Find a Lost Dog in the Woods?
If you live in rural areas or near forests, having your dog lost in those places might complicate its search. If this is your case. Make your lost dog report and follow these guidelines to a safe recovery.
Check the Map of Woods and Plan your Route
In this situation, the best is to plan ahead. Check on google map the satellite view and zoom around the area where your dog gets lost. After downloading the map into your phone (signal may fail) mark the possible areas where your lost dog might be.
Contrary to common belief, most dogs don’t go deep inside the woods, they usually roam near the border, close to neighborhoods and other developments where they can find food. Based on that fact, those are the first place to go to start your search.
Because woods and its surroundings have a lot of hiding places is better to go slowly with eyes and ear on full alert mode to any clue that can lead to your dog. Bite marks, hair, even feces are evidence of its presence in that area.
If you know someone who is a seasoned hunter, its experience will be of great help to you. Finally, always carry a bag of his favorite treats, as your dog might feel hungry and the smell can be deceiving enough to attract him back to you.
Check houses in the neighborhood of woods, parks or fields
Look for open trash cans, holes in the ground under fences, and the presence of other dogs. Try asking with the neighborhood residents about a dog invading their yards. If you got a lead that your dog is hiding inside a property, always ask for permission before trespassing.
If they are uncooperative and you are sure (really, really sure) that the dog is there, call animal control, whatever the reason the owner has not to let you go in, they will find it.
How to Find a Lost Dog with a Microchip?
Microchipped dog has the advantage to be more easily identified, to achieve it, you must follow this steps:
Visit the Website of Your Microchip Service and Report a Lost Dog
The most critical step is to have your dog registered in the microchip manufacturer database and with a microchip service company. Without this, is impossible to track your missing dog. Once in contact with your service company, file a lost dog report, and update your contact information in case you changed your phone number or moved.
In case you don’t have the microchip number, contact the vet or facility where you implanted, as they might have the record of it.
Specialist Checks the Database and Identifies the Location of Your Canine
Once the report is sent, a company specialist will check any match on veterinarians, shelters, animal control agencies, and rescue groups registered both private and national databases. These databases are fed by all the microchip service companies, manufacturers, public and private animal organization with the intention of completing a nationwide register.
Even some companies have an international register for their clients. The bottom line, ensuring that every dog received as stray or founded once scanned, can be identified and linked to its owner.
Once the Pet is Found, the Service Notifies You
At the moment the dog is identified as lost and matches you as the owner. The microchip service will make contact following the information you provided to them, and voila, your doggie is back with you. We remark the fact that this can only be made if your contact info updated.
But, in case it doesn’t, there are volunteer groups willing to reunite dog and owner, although this can be exhausting, time-consuming and not always achieved. Remember that love is always in this little details.
Why Do Dogs Run Away?
Like a little imp in the back of their ears, nature’s call is the response of dogs running away, as their primal instincts are triggered by next things.
Boredom (Looking for Mate or Adventures)
Like an old saying: idle hands are the devil’s playground, and the same applies for our 4 paws friends. Unfortunately, nowadays we have less and less time to dedicate to our pets, and people neglect the fact that animals can get bored.
Because dogs are known to be quite obsessive, any stimulus like a passing car, a squirrel or innocent bystander is enough to make them find an open gate, a crack in the fence or a badly tied leash to break free and run behind the object of their attention, regardless of the consequences.
Looking for a couple
If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered, you will have a recurrent problem, Once dogs are sexually mature, both male and female will be hard to control if they sense a mating partner or something that arouse them. That last thing might sound weird, but dogs were only creatures wild and driven only by their natural urges, forcing them to find a way to get relief. Believe me, like a furry wrecking ball they will be unstoppable until they get what they want.
Scared by Sounds, Noises, Lights
Self-preservation is an instinct almost impossible to deter in every living creature, and dogs aren’t the exception. Because nature gifts them with wonderful senses, they get easily overwhelmed with the strike of lightning storms, fireworks, gunfire; even the subtle sound of a piano that might be delightful for us can be harmful to our dogs as they can perceive a wider spectrum of sounds. To protect themselves, the best option is to run far away.
Fact: Stress is contagious. If there are problems in the house dogs can perceive it and get affected. The same happens with solitude, movings, kids growing up and departing, been adopted by another person without the proper transition, and been abused. Every stressful change gets stacked over and over until the anxiety is too much to cope.
If the situation continues and the dog isn’t attended properly, they will find a way to get rid of that atmosphere for good.
How to Prevent Missing a Dog?
With the motivations previously detailed dogs can be escape artists. To keep your dog from missing and at your side for their lifetime just try the following advice.
Use GPS Dog Collars
GPS collar allows to track your dog anywhere he goes in the USA and around the globe(if supported), Some GPS dog collars even have the possibility of marking a perimeter to create a virtual fence for your dog and send an alert if violated. Drawbacks for this options are costs.
As an addition to purchasing the device you must contract a GPS provider, short life of batteries (depleted in 4-6 days) and if the collar gets removed your lost dog gets untraceable. But if you manage to combine high tech with common sense, this option becomes a foolproof solution.
Always Leash Your Doggy
Dogs have a love/hate relation with leashes. If you don’t train your dog properly, that leash will be more useful for pulling your car than you trying not to having been dragged by a large escaping dog. Besides of using a leash you can try with a harness or a combination of both. this will give you more control over the dog, and you don’t feel that he is getting choked while attempting to escape.
Implant a Microchip
Microchip implants are an excellent form to preserve the ID of your dog in case he gets lost from home. With the size of a rice grain, these microchips are implanted in the back of your dog’s neck painlessly, ensuring an easy spot to scan when is identification time.
It is vital to register the microchip with the providing company database and have a backup with a recovery service company to make the implantation worthy. The same applies to the contact info. The sooner you do the homework, the sooner your dog can be recovered.
Be Nice to Your Dog
Dogs are social animals, and they evolve along us to be trusty and faithful companions. As natural love givers, you must be reciprocal not by saying how much you like them but proving it. Take a walk with them, play, laugh, feed them well and provide harmony in your home as they are susceptible to our emotions. Happy dogs won’t have the necessity to run away from home they still will do when chasing a cat, but you can be sure that they will come back to you.
Neuter Your Dog
Neutering or spaying your dog will indeed help it. As their sexual hormones levels get lowered down permanently, the same will happen to those uncontrollable urges, with additional benefits, like softening their behavior and turning then way less aggressive. One of the downsides of sexual sterilizations is that your pet will have a quick weight gain, but chubby dogs are lazier and less prone to escape.
Train Your Dog
Proper training will exercise discipline in your dog. Following the proper guidelines, you will end with your dog more happy to follow your commands than those from their instincts. This will also help them to confront stressful situations and handle it even where there is no pet parent around. Consistency is the key to success.
Visit Vets Regularly
Dogs hide when they feel sick or are near to their finals days. This behavior is wired in their DNA as a protection method. They don’t want to be disturbed under those circumstances and will run or hide in a place that gives them comfort. This attitude can cause concern to pet parents if they are unaware of the background situation.
Regular visits to the vet can provide a proper diagnosis, especially in an elderly dog who is more prone to get sick. Don’t wait to see your dog in bad shape or disappear to make a move.
What to Do when Found a Lost Dog?
If you ever find a dog on the run try to approach carefully, as they may be aggressive or nervous due to its situation. It is out of reach, call the professionals. Once the dog is retrieved do the following:
Check if a Dog has an ID Tag
Once the dog is safely captured, check its ID tag an use the contact information to reach the pet owner. Some of them even have the microchip number engraved which eases more the process in case the information in the tag is outdated. If there is nothing visible over him take it to a vet to get him identified or any facility equipped with a scanner.
Ring Local Vets and Rescue Organization
Missing dogs on the great majority of times have someone looking after them. Call local veterinarian and animal rescue groups to spread the word of the newly founded pooch. By addressing the issue to the right the people, it will increase the chances of both dog and pet parent to reunite. These people have access to more resources, and as they are prepared to help in the case, you can’t keep the dog until the owner is contacted.
Publish a post on Social Media
Do your share by posting the founded dog on all the social media. If you have the contact info from the ID tag, put it in your posting along with yours. If someone knows that person, they will put it in contact with you. In the case you are compromised to take action and help that missing dog, take a picture and post it, describing the dog’s characteristics and the area where you last saw the pooch.
Do dogs come back when they run away?
The majority of times dogs get lost by sheer curiosity. But, unless they go far away as their paws allow them, you might find them roaming around the neighborhood, and usually, they come back home when hungry or scared. Take note that this happens in a local situation. If your dogs run away while traveling, is gonna be hard to back because they are unfamiliarized with their surroundings, fall in panic and bolt in any direction.
What are the Chances of Finding a Lost Dog?
It all depends on how bad you want that dog back. Usually, 93% of reported lost dogs are retrieved if you are actively searching for your missing pet. If expectations are that your lost dog finds its way home by its means, chances are more in the 45%-55% range the morning after. As the days and weeks past, chances are slimmer, but unless you give up, they will never go as far as 0%.
What is the Best Way to Find a Lost Dog?
The first thing to do is go to LostMyDoggie.com. They are the best-lost dog finder because they offer a free alert to all the local shelters and rescue groups once you file the lost dog report. Their free flyer generator allows creating one in a few steps, saving you more time while in the run.
And, if you choose to issue the amber alert, you reach 1000’s of people by telephone and social media. Of course, this will have a cost, but it will be symbolic compared to have your back again.