What To Do If Your Dog Gets Lost

A hole in the fence, a door left ajar, an open window, a terrific jump over the fence.  There are so many ways your dog can get loose.  And, once your dog gets out, his nose leads him on rabbit trails and into unknown territory.  We love our pets and hope that them running away is never possible, but it can happen to the best of us.  What does one do when his or her dog gets lost?


Comb your neighborhood as well as surrounding ones.  Also, carry your dog’s favorite treats and toys to lure him to you if you should spot him.  If your dog is accustomed to and likes it, you could bring a dog whistle or even a squeaker to attract his attention if he’s farther away.

Get Out Posters

Make out lost posters and post them all over – at the vet’s, library, local shops, telephone poles, etc.  Put a current, clear picture of your in color along with any needed description and your phone number.  Also, put that there is a reward being offered.  People are nice and often pick up strays, but an unspecified reward will make them very eager to keep their eyes open.  Also, run ads in various newspapers about your lost dog.

Set Traps

Set traps for your lost dog in places he would likely go to sleep (shy dogs will most likely seek out areas where they could easily hide like woods, under cars, and in bushes).  Pick out some old T-shirts you don’t care about and wear them for a day.  Then, put them into the live trap along with your dog’s favorite smelly food and toy.  The scent of you on your shirt will attract your dog if he is near.

Get the Word Out

Knock on your neighbor’s doors and tell them about your lost dog, asking them to tell their friends also.  Put posters about your lost dog in mailboxes and give them to your friends to pass out.  Also, give a poster to the UPS and mailman; their routes may go right by your lost dog.  The more people you tell, the more likely it is that someone will spot and save your dog.

Get Online

Get on your social media and get the word out.  Post about it on lost and found sites.  Ask your Facebook friends to like the post about your lost dog in order to reach more people.

Notify Shelters and Rescue Groups

Definitely tell your local animal shelter about your lost dog, but also tell shelters that are even in different counties.  Your dog could surprise you by his traveling, or someone could have picked him up in your county and then dropped him off at a shelter in his county.  Also, check animal shelters often in case your dog is picked up, and notify different veterinarian clinics of your lost pet in case someone brings him in.

Pay for a Phone Alert to Spread the Word

PetAmberAlert.com allows you to submit your lost dog’s appearance and your contact information, and then they alert the surrounding people via phone of your lost dog.  The phone alert, which will tell hundreds of neighbors about your lost dog, costs $50.

Prepare for and Prevent an Escape

It is always better to prevent an escape before it happens, but even a very cautious owner can lose his or her dog, so preparation is necessary.  Here are a few tips:

  • Keep current ID tags on your dog at all times.  In addition, a microchip could help your dog if he ends up in a shelter or someone takes him to the vet.  Many shelters and vets now scan found animals to see if the animals has a little chip in his skin which will give them the owner’s information.
  • Plug up holes in the fence, keep doors and windows closed, and put a lock on your outside gate.
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car with the windows rolled down or in the back of a pickup truck.  Not only is it dangerous to leave your dog unsupervised in a car, he could escape from a door left ajar or an open window.  Also, a dog in the back of your pickup is dangerous in many ways.  Even a tethered dog could get loose and jump out of a (possibly moving) car, and smoke and debris could get into his eyes, mouth, and nose.
Posted in Dog care permalink

About Sissy

Hi! I'm Sissy, a Toy Poodle. On Doggy Times I share articles about dog training, socialization, care, and health. Check out the Trick and Dog Breed Pages to learn more about your furry friend and how to train him/her.

Comments are closed.