A missing pup can wreak havoc on a family – the feelings of worry, guilt and panic all rolled into one. Not to mention that a lost pup is at risk for injury, sickness or worse, death. To prevent your dog from getting lost, you should take all necessary measures to protect his safety.
Yet, even with the best precautions in place, sometimes bad things happen to good, responsible people. There is always a chance of your pup getting away and therefore it’s important to know what to do in an emergency to increase the chances of finding your dog right away.
Keep Puppy’s ID Current
Make sure your puppy’s collar and tag is updated with all of your information on it. Even “indoors-only” pets must be equipped with ID tag which includes owner’s name, home address, mobile and home telephone numbers.
Microchip Your Puppy
The microchip embedding procedure may be costly, but it’ll be worth every cent you spend in the unfortunate case your dog goes missing. A microchip, smaller than the size of a grain of rice, is a permanent means of identification scannable by any veterinary hospital or animal shelter.
Do a Critical Search
Conduct a thorough investigation when looking for your missing pet. You may ask questions of the people who last saw your pet, take note of all the pertinent details and analyze the events to draw the most logical conclusions.
Make the Necessary Phone Calls
Call any family and all neighbors who may have come into recent contact with your dog. You should also call down your list of local shelters (both private and municipal), animal control centers or rescue groups to find out which dogs they recently took under custody and see if any are a match for your pup. It doesn’t hurt to also phone the local law enforcement and file a police report that your dog is missing.
Inform the Most Number of People
In this day and age, getting the word out about your lost pet can take just a few seconds of your time. Gone are the days of having to rely solely on creating “Missing Pet posters” and posting them to trees and lampposts within your neighborhood (although this tried and true method is still your best bet of communication given the fact that your neighbors are the most likely to have seen your dog). Now, you can post on your social media accounts and drive awareness via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat instantly to your entire social network so they too can keep their eyes peeled for Fido. It also doesn’t hurt to create a unique hashtag for your pet to help track any community-related posts (think #FindDaisyMae).
About Those Missing Pet Posters…
Make sure the headline of your poster, e.g., “LOST DOG” is written or typed in a large, clear font that’s readable even from a distance. Ideally, place your pet’s most recent photograph below the “LOST DOG” headline. List other details that are necessary for positively identifying your pet such as breed, color, sex, weight, age, and other distinguishing features and characteristics. Also, do not forget to place your name and phone number on the poster. Hit the Streets with the flyers in hand and post as soon as possible, not only in your neighborhood but also in local parks and runs, pet supply or grooming stores, offices of veterinarians and local establishments like schools, gas stations, laundry shops, bus stops, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, and even grocery stores. Pay special attention to areas with high levels of foot traffic.
And remember, while this can be an extremely stressful time, keep your mind focused on finding your dog. Try to avoid the “What Ifs,” and allocate all of your energy to taking the necessary steps above. Don’t lose hope and when you do find your dog, hug him tight and keep him on a tight leash (pun intended).