Here's What To Do If You Ever Lose Your Dog

Tips for reuniting with your BFF 💕

missing dog

Your dog getting lost is probably one of your worst fears as a pet parent. You hope it never happens to your pup, but what should you do if it does?

There are actually several things you can do to find your BFF, like getting him microchipped. While these won’t guarantee that you and your lost pup will be reunited, they can definitely help increase your chances (and are way better than sitting around and waiting).

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and veterinary consultant for Five Barks, to learn about all the steps to take to find your lost dog.

Look in your home first

If you noticed your dog’s missing, he might not have even gone outside.

So before you panic, be sure to check every corner of your home — including under furniture and in closets — to make sure your pup isn’t actually missing at all.

Know where to search

Always start off looking for your lost dog in your own neighborhood in case he didn’t wander off too far.

“Encourage friends, family and neighbors to form a search party — the sooner the better — in the hopes your dog is still nearby,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo. “Ask everyone to check their sheds, garages and other outhouses in case your dog is locked inside.”

But if your dog got spooked and ran off on a walk, you’ll want to search the area where you saw him last.

Wherever you decide to look, consider how far your pup could have feasibly gone and make that your search radius.

Reach out to people

Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so if you recently lost a pet, the best thing to do is reach out to people you know and even strangers.

The more you spread the word, the more people you’ll have looking for your pup. So don’t be shy about posting to social media, especially to Facebook groups dedicated to finding lost dogs in your area.

“You should put up posters in your area and post in any local Facebook groups,” Dr. Simon said.

People who work at rescues, shelters and animal hospitals can be helpful, too.

“Call or email your local vets and shelters with a description and photo of your dog so they are on the lookout,” Dr. Simon said.

How to find a lost dog with a microchip

Getting your dog microchipped will be an immensely huge help if he gets lost.

The chip’s embedded under your pup’s skin and can be scanned at a vet’s office, shelter or rescue. Whoever scans his microchip will be able to find out your contact information that’s associated with your dog’s unique microchip number by getting in touch with the chip manufacturer, who can look up your info in an online database.

That way, they’ll be able to give you a call if they scan your dog’s chip.

“Microchipping is always advised to ensure your dog can be reunited with you if they go missing or get stolen,” Dr. Simon said. “While a collar with an identity tag performs a similar function, it may fall off or be removed by a dog thief.”

If you notice your pup’s missing, contact the microchip company to make sure your contact information is up to date in case someone finds and scans him.

“Do not forget to update details when moving house or changing phone number,” Dr. Simon said. “All too often, a dog is microchipped, but the details are out of date, and they cannot be reunited with their family.”

How having a GPS dog collar can help

In addition to getting your dog microchipped, you should also consider investing in a GPS dog collar. Certain products will be able to track your dog’s location and even send you a notification if he wanders outside of an area he should stay in.

We tried out the Fi dog collar on our own dogs and loved it so much that we awarded it our official Paw of Approval.

Get it from Fi for $149

So, if you’ve lost your dog, there are plenty of things you can do to find him. And if he’s not missing, you can also take precautions and invest in products that will increase your chances of reuniting with him if he does end up running off.

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