To lose a pet dog is scary. The reason being you may never find your pet again. In this situation, you need to be calm in order for you to look for your pet without your anxiety clouding your reason. Read this article so you can search for your dog effectively.
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1. Searching in Your House
Involve your family members. If your dog is missing, ask your family members. It could be that your dog is just hiding in their rooms or is out for a walk with a family member. If not, you can also ask them who and when they last saw the dog.
Lure out your dog. Dogs naturally love food. If your dog is just around the corner, you may draw him out by wandering through the house holding and shaking a plastic bag with a food inside. Your dog will be able to hear and smell it and will come to you—that is if he’s near your house.
Search systematically. If your dog is nowhere to be found, search in your house systematically. Check every room thoroughly, under the beds, behind the furniture, even inside the closets.
Search even in unlikely places. Dogs, when afraid, hide in places you don’t expect. It could be at the back of the refrigerators, behind glass panels, or inside the dryers. Small puppies may disappear underneath reclining chairs or behind books on a bookshelf.
Call your dog. When searching for your dog, call its name loudly. If your dog is nearby, he’s likely to recognize your voice. Do it a few times because if he’s sleeping, he may not hear you immediately.
2. Begin to search outside
Start the soonest time possible. Upon realizing that your dog is not at home, it’s imperative that you look for him immediately. Owner is likely to recover his pet dog if he searches within the first 12 hours since its disappearance.
Call your pet’s name. If your dog is assigned a name or a nickname, use it when calling him. If he hears his name, he’s likely to follow where the sound comes from, toward you.
Carry a treat bag with you. Again, bring a food bag with you, shake it while searching for him in the neighborhood or in places familiar to your dog. It would be better if you carry his favorite food, then shout for example, “Buddy, don’t you want a peanut butter?”
Better when it’s quiet. Calling for your dog’s name is more effective when it’s silent outside. Try very early in the morning, at this time, your dog may be roaming already looking for food.
Be observant. When searching for your pet, take note of any signs of your pet, like paw prints or feces in the ground. It can point you to the right direction.
Look everywhere. Some dogs like to dig under a porch, hide behind sheds or bushes and under a car. Smaller dogs can hide themselves in small spaces or climb in high places. If it’s dark, use a flashlight.
Don’t forget to listen. While your eyes are working hard searching for any signs of your dog and your mouth is busy calling for your pet, be alert of any sound that you hear. Listen for any dog sounds like barking, rustling, or whining. No matter how faint the sound is, don’t hesitate to follow the noise, it could be your dog looking for you too.
Leave familiar items outside. Before you head out, put a favorite of your dog, be it a food, toy, or your dirty shirt at the door. Its smell can help him find the way to home.
Remember recent happenings in your neighborhood. This means that if there’s a new or under-construction buildings near you, there is a good chance that your dog is taking a shelter there. Or if there’s anyone who have moved recently in the area, there’s also a possibility that your dog has slipped inside the moving van.
Search and drive. It’s recommended to look for your dog near your home on foot so you can check small spaces where your dog might be hiding. But if you are going to look for your pet further in the neighborhood, use your car and drive around slowly and search the streets methodically. Roll down your windows and call out for your dog while you go.
Expand your search. Starting from home, then near your home up to 1 to 2 mile radius within the day your dog is missing. Though dogs can run as far as 5 to 10 miles, it’s unlikely that they bolt suddenly this far. But it won’t hurt to broaden your search.
Seek assistance. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends, family members, and even the neighbors. The more people you have looking for your dog, the bigger your chance is of finding your pet. To be effective, assign a particular area for each person to look for so no two or more persons are wasting time searching in the same area.
Ask your neighbors. If there’s someone who might have some information about your missing dog, it’s probably your neighbor. They may know which direction your dog went to or they have taken your dog in their custody temporarily. Talk with your neighbors, show them a picture of your pet, and ask if they have seen him. You may also want to talk with your mailman or other people who usually cover large ground in your area.
Check with your local pet shelter. Call or visit the animal shelters in your area. Inform the staff about your missing dog so they can keep an eye in case your dog is brought to their place. Return every couple of days to see if your dog has been turned over.
Visit pet clinics. Check with your vet if they have seen your dog, especially if your pet is wearing an identification tag containing information like the vet’s contact details. Do not forget to check also with other emergency clinics in the areas near you, it’s possible your dog has been injured and brought to the clinic.
Searching at night. It’s understandable, you don’t want to lose time and you want to continue searching even after it’s dark, but think about your safety first. Don’t go searching alone and do not forget to bring flashlights and mobile phones.
Don’t give up. If after a few days or even weeks and you haven’t found your dog yet, don’t lose hope. As long as they haven’t met an accident, your pet can survive for a long time away from home. Just continue looking and keep returning to your local shelters. Some dogs are reunited with their owners after several months and even years. So don’t give up.