What to do when your dog goes missing

Fitdog Sports Club_Dog Blog_Lost Dogs

Whether it’s for five minutes, five days or five weeks, one of the worst feelings is when your dog goes missing.

You never think it can happen to you until it’s too late. We want to make sure you are taking all of the right precautionary steps and doing the right things should you have a lost dog.

Things to do ahead of time:

  • Microchipping – Did you know that it’s against the law in some cities to euthanize a pet who has been microchipped, even if it is not claimed! Many websites allow you to register your pup’s microchip for ease in a recovery situation. Great sites to look into are PetKey, AKC Reunite, and Home Again.
  • GPS Trackers – Technology is your friend. Just like you wear your Fitbit or Apple Watch, your pup can wear a GPS tracker! From getting separated on a hike to slipping out of your back yard, you’ll worry less knowing you can find them quickly.
  • Sign up for local groups – Sites like Nextdoor, Yik Yak, EveryBlock, Neighbortree connect local community members and serves as virtual flyer boards.

Things to do when looking for your pet:

  • Visit local vets and shelters. Many people will turn in dogs they find to these locations.
  • Use neon posters. You have only five seconds using five words to get a message across. Use big, bright posters instead of 8 1/2″ x 11″ white pieces of paper.
  • Go online. Many people post to their Facebook or Instagram when they find a lost dog, so see if you can find them there. Search for a person who has “rescued” the “homeless stray” (lost) dog that they found. You can also search apps like io that allow you to search photos tagged at certain locations. If you see your pup, you know where to find him!

Things not to do when looking for your pet:

  • Don’t run towards them. By the time you find your pup, they may be scared and traumatized from the new environment or running from would-be-rescuers. To avoid setting off your dog’s fight or flight instincts, be calm and patient while he slowly shows recognition
  • Don’t fail to find your pet because you’re focusing on wrong theories. For instance, some assume their dog was “stolen and sold to research” when in fact their dog might have been rescued and put up for adoption through a local adoption event.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Some owners experience “grief avoidance” and quickly give up search efforts because they really believe they will never see their pet again.

Lost pet resources:

If you have any questions, please ask our staff the next time you’re at Fitdog.

 

Photo Credit: NuVet Plus

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