Lost dogs: how to find your four-legged friend

It's hard to manage the disappearance of your dog:  you can't think clearly because of emotion, but you have to act quickly and firmly.
In this article, you will find a guide with the instructions to follow step by step to look for your dog in case of loss.
Losing your pet is an unpleasant experience and you hope it will never happen, but if by chance you find yourself in this situation, you will have to know how to deal with it at best without wasting time uselessly.
1.  Gather your thoughts
At first, try to remember date, place, time and how you lost him. You must try to remember all the details before starting his search: anything could be essential.
2. Search in the neighborhood
As soon as you have all the details good in mind, start your search. Check the place where you last saw him as best as you can. Remember to call him often by his name; if he's near, he could hear you and appear.
If your search in the neighborhood has no positive outcome, keep on searching elsewhere.
Look for him in a place where he usually tends to go with you (gardens, park, pet shop ...).
Finally, try to go home. Dogs often memorize the place where they live and the way to reach it, they are also able to walk long distances. You could find him there waiting for you!
3. Submit your report to the competent authorities
In case the previous steps prove to be not very fruitful, your next step will be to submit your report to the competent authorities.
Report the loss of your dog with a written document to the police and to the competent authorities where he was registered during the application of the microchip. If the area of loss is close to a forest, to a park or to a mountain, you may also warn forest ranger.
4. Share the disappearance of the dog on social media
Do not underestimate the power of social media, you live in an age dominated by technology, take advantage of it! Write a message to find your 4-legged friend without forgetting to include the ways to contact you and the pictures to simplify his identification.  Many owners found their dogs this way!
5. Contact the shelter
Do not forget to contact the shelters in your area, because your dog may have been found and brought there. This way, you don't only check if he is there, but you can also spread the news about his loss. They could call you in case they find him.
6. Print leaflets
Leaflets are very useful, especially if hang up in the area where the dog has disappeared. By printing them you can not only spread them into your town, but you can also show them to the various shops or institutions you will encounter during your search.
7. Contact veterinarians
In addition to the area kennel, try also to contact veterinarians. Often those who find a dog take him to the nearest vet to check for the presence of the microchip and make sure that he is well.
8. Arrange group researches
If you have the opportunity, you can arrange big research groups in the area where he might have got lost: you can cover more ground, thus increasing the possibility of finding him.
9. Check every day announcements about dogs found, lost or taken for adoption 
Someone may have found your dog and, not knowing what to do, he could put an announcement of finding or loss, hoping that the owner, in this case you, can see the post and answer promptly. Sometimes they could publish directly the announcement of adoption of the dog found, so pay attention  also to them.
Once you have found your faithful friend:
  • take him as soon as possible to a veterinarian for a visit. An ordinary check is compulsory in these cases. You don't know where he was, what he ate and who he was in contact with, so it's better not to risk and make all the necessary checks.
  • Remember to remove the leaflets  you had spread in your town and communicate the discovery of the dog on the social media where you posted the announcement.
Finally, you should make sure to be more experienced for the next time, should it happen (let's hope not!), for this reason:
  • provide the microchip, if you haven't already done.
  • Make sure he wears a collar with an ID tag that shows at least your phone number, so you can be tracked quickly.
  • Check that your pet is registered at the Dog Registry Office.
Do not forget that in cases like this, promptness is very important and crucial for a positive outcome.

Have you ever had a similar situation? Share your experience in the comments below :)


Eleonora Bosoni 

Dr. in Veterinary Medicine


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