If you are an animal lover and a pet owner, seeing well-groomed dogs wandering in the streets will really break your heart. For us, pet owners, our pet is part of the family, and losing one constitutes as an emergency situation and we will turn every rubble just so we can find our beloved pet.
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Here are ideas and solutions to help dog owners prevent losing their pets and some tips on how to find them quickly.
How to Find Your Pet Quickly
Search the neighborhood
Begin your search in the neighborhood, by car and on foot. Dogs are usually active at dawn and dusk, but it won’t hurt to look for them in other times also. Follow the paths where you usually walk your pet as well as nearby areas.
Bring a leash and their favorites
Do not forget to bring a leash and some of your dog’s favorites, be it a quacking toy or a yummy food. Whether you are driving or just walking, move slowly while calling your dog’s name in a voice that you normally use on him. If you are in a car, it would be better if you ask someone to drive so you are free to stick your head in the window while you are looking for your dog. If you trained your pet to come to you when called, then call their names. Use also familiar phrases or words to entice the animal to follow your voice.
Bring another dog
If you have another dog at home or if you can borrow another dog that yours is friends with, bring them along on your searches.
Bring a photo
Make sure that you have a picture of your pet in your position, on your phone or in print. It will be handy in situations like this. Bring it with you and show it to everyone while searching for your lost dog. You will also need it when claiming your dog at a shelter.
Post “Lost Dog” flyers
Make sure that the flyer is not crowded with text. Your pet’s photo should be colored and occupy most of the space in the flyer. Text should also be in larger font so it would be easier for passersby even the passing drivers to read. It will also be a good idea to include phrases that convey sense of urgency such as “Needs medication.” This will also discourage those who will find the animal from adopting your pet. If applicable, include “REWARD” in bold letters to encourage people to find them and return the animal to its rightful owner.
“Lost Dog” ad in local papers
It would also help if you put a lost dog ad in your local newspapers and classified ads online like Craigslist.
Give also flyers to people working in the postal and delivery services, the taxi and bus drivers, and hi-way workers because they are the ones who have bigger chance of finding your missing pet because of their kind of jobs. Don’t forget to seek help from the children who frequently play in the streets and don’t forget to give them a reward. It would also be best to inform your local pet sitters and pet trainers. The more people know about your missing pet, the better chance you have of finding your dog.
Post flyers at dog-related establishments
Post also some flyers at shelters, humane societies, groomers, local veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, and dog parks. Also post at other business establishments that will allow it like the supermarkets and bulletin boards.
Use social media
The use of social media has been proven helpful in finding a lost pet, so don’t hesitate to post and share your “Lost Dog Information” on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Inform local rescue groups
It would also be wise to tell your local rescue groups if your pet is a thoroughbred. Some people prefer to turn in purebred animals to rescue groups than in shelters. Leave them a detailed description and a photo of your dog with your contact number.
Search at local shelters
This should be one of the first places you must check when you lose your pet. Calling them is not enough, you need to be there and check in person to make sure. You can’t be sure if the office staff who answers the call knows what dogs are in their facility. Search all the runs, including the medical area, because there are times when they got the animal’s gender or breed wrong or your dog may be injured. Try also to find out how many days does it take for the shelter to put the animals up for adoption or euthanized. And try to show up within that time frame.
And while you are there, browse through the found logs because there is also a possibility that someone already got your dog and doesn’t want to return it.
Look at possible hiding places
Dogs are attracted to something that smells like garbage dumps at the back of restaurants. Include also the bushes and underneath the parked cars since those areas are popular hiding place of frightened or sleeping dogs.
Pay per search
If you are a busy person or someone who works full time and doesn’t have time to search for your dog, you can obtain the services of certain companies for a fee. They will be the one to create flyers and look for your pet using their extensive contact list.
Post specific instructions
In case your dog is not fond of strangers, make sure to mention that in your flyers to give a fair warning to people not to try to contain the animal themselves. Put instruction on how you want them to approach your dog to prevent both sides from getting hurt. In case they have their own dog, advise them to bring it with them when trying to coax your dog out in the open, then ask them to immediately call you. Mention also the reward because it also encourages some people.
Use GPS tracking device
Letting your pet wear a GPS tracking device such as Trackimo will make searching for your beloved pet easy. You can make a virtual fence on the app, which will allow you to monitor in real-time your pet’s whereabouts and you will receive alerts the moment your dog goes out of the virtual perimeter you have set.
What to Do If You Find Your Pet
Once you find your dog on the street, do not immediately approach him. You may try to go the other way and to try to encourage him to chase you. Call his name with a happy voice and wait for him to come closer to you before putting a leash on him.
But if you haven’t found your pet yet, don’t give up and keep looking!