My Dog ran away! What do I do?
How would you feel if your dog somehow got lost? They may have slipped out the door while you were talking to someone or broke out of the fence when you turned your back for 2 minutes. Side note: Never leave your dog unattended out side. If they get bored they WILL find a way out! If your dog slipped out the door don’t chase them they think it is a game. Try these tactics first:
- Lay down in your lawn or driveway and make weird noises. The dog is confused as to what you are doing and may come back to check on you.
- Grab a bag of treats or tell them it’s dinner time if they are food driven
- Grab a leash and see if they want to go for a walk or jump in the car and see if they want to go for a ride
If these don’t work my next question is even more important…do you know what steps to follow if you DO lose your dog? It’s scary and not so pleasant to think about but you should put a plan into place now so that in the event your dog is lost, you will be ready to jump right into action. During times of stress and uncertainty, we sometimes don’t have the clarity of thought that we ordinarily do so jot your plan down somewhere safe so you can grab it. This also applies to lost cats too!
Have a family member or friend man the post at home! You will need someone at home to field calls and make calls. Whoever is at home should call local shelters, animal control, and/or the local police station. You may want to call animal shelters of cities that are close by. We have heard of some dogs being cities over! They will also need to go online to the animal shelters site and post in their “lost dog/cat” section. If your dog is micro-chipped and/or has identification tags on, it’s important to be available to answer those calls or have someone be at home if your dog comes home on his own! If you dog is micro-chipped make sure you keep the information up to date. Some micro-chips come with an annual fee you have to renew.
Hit the road! Start to canvas the neighborhood. Time is of the essence! Be sure to bring a current photo of your dog with you so you can show the picture to neighbors and other people you pass as you search. Also, carry a leash with you and your dog’s favorite treats or canister of food and maybe his favorite toy (or anything else that he might hear in a distance or to get him to come right to you when he sees you).
Use social media, online community boards, nextdoor.com and the newspaper to alert people that your dog is lost. Your poster or advertisement should include a picture of the dog and contact information. You may offer an award but don’t put a dollar amount on the postings. You can go here to put together a quick poster. Put your posters up all across the community – library, grocery stores, veterinarians, pet food stores, post office and any other business that will allow you to post. Don’t forget to alert the postman, lawn care service men, local petsitters/dog walkers and any other service people that get around in the community! Post on your own social media sites – and have your friends and family do the same. You can also post on our Facebook page and we can share with local groups as well!
Stay in touch with local animal control and animal shelters. Don’t just rely on over the phone contact. Go to the shelters and take a look for yourself! Continue to canvas your neighborhood! Keep the word out.
Most importantly, stay calm. Be patient. Think positive!!
Was this article helpful? We wish for your pets safe return home.