The first thing to do when searching for a lost dog is to confirm that your dog is actually lost. Dogs, especially curious breeds, can easily find an interesting place in your backyard to investigate for quite some time. Often no amount of calling your dog's name will distract him from finding out what exactly is moving under that bucket by the fence. Search every corner of your residence before venturing out looking for your lost dog.
- Once you've determined that your dog has definitely left your residence, don't pack up the whole family in an effort to search for the dog. Often dogs will return soon after their departure. You'll want someone at home to contact the others in the event that your dog wanders back home soon after the search party leaves.
- Dogs usually don't go far. They're curious animals that like to look and sniff around. It's more likely for a dog to be a few blocks away than a few miles away. So stick close to home for the first part of your search. Be sure to check all the streets in your neighborhood. Talking to other dog owners you see is a good idea as either their dog or the owner himself might have seen your dog. It's more likely that a dog owner will notice a wandering dog than someone who is not a dog lover.
- When searching the neighborhood, be sure to call your dog's name. Your dog can hear you from a great distance. Your dog might be in between houses or behind bushes. Don't rely on just your eyes for finding your dog. If you own a dog whistle or any device that makes a loud noise, it can be used to attract your dog's attention. If you own other dogs, they might be helpful in finding your lost dog. Bring them along for the search so they can alert you if they smell or see something of interest.
- Once you've exhausted your physical search, it's time to post lost dog posters, which you can print from our web site. Don't just put the posters on your street; post them at the entrance of your neighborhood and in places people frequent. Community mailboxes are also a good place to post your lost dog poster. People often recognize a lost dog poster when they see one. Although it's important for your poster to be marked with "LOST DOG," it could be more important to emphasize your dog's breed and color. Keep the information simple. Someone who might have found your dog doesn't need to know your dog's favorite food or whether it is spayed or neutered. Name, breed and color are really the only things that someone needs to know when looking for a lost dog. Provide your contact information on the poster; provide your phone number, but not your name or address.
- Be sure to call your local veterinary offices and animal emergency clinics to see if anyone has brought in a lost dog. Give them information about your lost dog and take them a poster if you can.
- Be sure to visit your local animal control, humane societies, and animal shelters to look for your lost dog. It's quite possible that your pet could end up there and describing your dog over the phone isn't enough to find out of he has been taken in. Again, leave a lost dog poster at these locations so employees can contact you should your dog show up.
- Be sure to check the newspaper's classifieds section for Found Pets. These ads usually change daily, so you should check them each day. If your newspaper has a web site, see if you can search these listings online.