When one of our worst nightmares comes true, the state of shock that one is in can be detrimental to finding your lost pet. In this type of situation, time is of the essence, and acting quickly can make a world's difference!
The first 24 hours that your pet goes missing are extremely crucial to finding them. Within the first 24 hours, they will most likely stay within a small perimeter before wandering off. Below are a few suggestions on what to do if your pet goes missing.
1. Make Flyers and Posters
When making a flyer or poster make sure that you are using a recent picture of your pet. A common mistake is adding too much information, which could deter people from reading the flyer. You want to be able to simplify the flyers and posters to make them easily readable by even people in cars. The flyers should consist of:
- A large recent picture of your pup in color
- Your pup's name
- Your phone number
- If your dog takes daily meds, add that onto the poster
- If your dog runs when chased add "Do not chase!"
Living in a digital age gives us the advantage of covering a larger footprint via social media. Create a post on top social media sites for your friends and family to share. Join local neighborhood pages to see if anyone has seen your pup, or to post information about them.
2. Post a Reward
Adding a reward to your flyers or posters will give people an incentive to look. This will also set your flyers apart from the others, and make it more memorable to people.
3. Gather Important Documents
Grab important documents such as their microchip number, their adoption paperwork, and pet licensing documents in case you need them. These can come handy when it comes to showing ownership of your pet. It's best to keep these together in a safe place for emergencies like these.
4. Leave The Gate Open
If your home has a gate to the back and it is safe to do so, leave it open in case your pup returns on their own. You can leave some of their personal items like their favorite toy and a blanket like to help them track a scent and get back home.
5. Search By Foot
When a dog strays off, they tend to keep local. Searching by foot will give you the advantage of looking in places your car can't get to. You can also carry some of your flyers with you and post them up or hand them to people.
6. Contact Local Rescues & Shelters
Contact your local rescue or shelter. It's easiest to pay them a visit because it is hard to describe your dog over the phone. Bring flyers with you just in case they have a bulletin board for lost pets.
7. Notify Your Neighbors
Notifying your neighbors is a great way to get more eyes looking! This is especially important in case your pup shows up back home while you are out looking for them.
If your pet is lost, remember to keep calm and follow these important steps to help you reunite with your fur baby as quickly as possible!