Losing a pet is devastating. It’s like losing a member of the family. Luckily, there are many tips you can follow to find them in no time and prevent escapes in the future.
Start your Search Immediately
Don’t sit around and wait for someone to call you. Start your search around the neighborhood. How far they run is just a function of how far their legs will carry them. Big dogs, especially young ones, can run 5 miles or more. Small dogs may be able to go half a mile at most. Most dogs are recovered well within a two-mile circle of their home, especially because they normally will never run for an extended length in a straight line no matter how strong or fast they are.
Have Up-to-Date Tags on your Pet
Normally, pets run away from acute boredom or loneliness, in response to sudden and unexpected events that frighten them, out of curiosity if doors, windows or gates are left open, or if they are new to a home and are looking for their former surroundings. Outgoing dogs will likely go looking for other dogs or humans to play with, whereas more skittish pets may find places to hide like in bushes or under cars. In many cases, someone will see your pet and take them in. It is important that you have up to date tags on their collar with your phone number and address. Make sure you are glued to your phone when your pet goes missing to see if anyone has reached out to you.
Check Local Vets, Shelters, and Animal Hospitals
If someone finds your pet, but doesn’t have adequate housing to keep them safe until they find the owner, they may take them to one of these places. Call around to every pet-related place in your town.
Use the Internet
Many shelters maintain online lists of found pets. Look over the ones in a huge circle from your home. There are many rescue organizations which regularly publish current lists and digital photos of found pets at the shelters, as a way of helping them go home or be adopted. There are usually Facebook groups for most towns dedicated to finding lost pets.
Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet’s sex, age, weight, breed, color and any special markings. Now you have added a thousand people to your search. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
Don’t Lose Hope
Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners. Stay Calm! It is okay to keep walking and driving in search of your pet, but set hours for yourself. The best ones are early morning before the traffic starts up.
Prevent Future Escapes
Dogs may run away for a number of reasons. Here are few tips to prevent this:
- Walk your dog daily
- Get some professional dog training/obedience classes
- Rotate their toys to keep them interested
- Keep your dog inside when you are unable to supervise them
- Have your dog spayed or neutered
- Get a fence around your yard
- Get a GPS tracker collar