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As I’m watching Lost and Found, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post on what to do if your dog goes missing, as I have learnt loads of tips whilst watching it. And, needless to say, if your dog does go missing, you tend to go into panic mode and forget everything.
So I thought maybe a checklist would help:
Post on Dog Lost https://bit.ly/2VFjZ8s – they have a wonderful link where you can print off Lost posters. Put these up everywhere you can in your local area, including your corner shop, pet shops etc. It is believed that dogs will stick to their local area if they go missing.
It is actually a great idea to create a profile now, as you won’t be in the right frame of mind to do it if your dog does go missing
Speak to all your neighbours
Contact all local vets
Contact all local rescue centres
Contact all local kennels
Contact the police
Contact the Dog Warden – contact details can be found on your local council website
Contact all local dog walkers and doggy day care centres
Log onto the chip website, as they have a Lost section
If you don’t know where your chip is registered, you can check it here https://bit.ly/2VFjZ8s
If you don’t know your chip number, your vet should have it
When searching, look in places that offer good coverage, as they will look for somewhere safe to hole up
Search by bins where there made be a lot of food (such as behind shops), as this is a great place for them to scavenge
Obviously this is prior to them going missing – but make sure that your dog chip details are up to date
Post on all Social media
If there are any building sites or workmen in your area, ask around in case your dog has become trapped somewhere on site
Don’t forget that a dog may go into survival mode (the point in time where a dog enters Survival Mode is different for every dog. For some – it is instantaneous. For others – it can take days or a week or more to kick in). This is when you have to remember that you are not looking for your dog, you are looking for A dog.
A dog that has entered Survival Mode priorities things in the following order: Survival, Food, Water, Shelter. When a dog has entered survival mode, very often EVERY human is viewed as a predator – even the one that has fed, loved, walked, bathed and pampered them.
Do not run after your dog, calling its name. People yelling (calling a pets name), shaking a food container (loud noises), cars, other dogs barking and pursuing, squeaking toys, a door slamming – these will all invite a fight or flight response. In most (95%+) this will result in a flight response rather than fight. With survival (safety) being the first concern, oftentimes, when a dog in survival mode sees, hears or smells something familiar to them, they will do the exact opposite of what you would expect. They will leave the area and avoid it in the future, as there will now be a negative connotation to that particular spot.
Here is a really helpful post that I found:
“On day 12 of searching for my dog in a heavily wooded area, distraught and hopeless, I ran into a couple of hunters. They said they lost the occasional dog on a hunt but always got them back. What they told me has helped many dogs and families be reunited. I’ve given their advice out a few times in the last couple days, so I thought if Reddit has any lost dogs out there, this could help:
The dog owner(s) should take an article of clothing that has been worn at least all day, the longer the better, so the lost dog can pick up the scent.
Bring the article of clothing to the location where the dog was last seen and leave it there. Also, if the dog has a crate & familiar toy, you can bring those too (unless location undesirable for crate). You might also want to leave a note requesting item(s) not to be moved.
Leave a bowl of water there too, as the dog probably hasn’t had access to any. Do not bring food as this could attract other animals that the dog might avoid.
Come back the next day, or check intermittently if possible. Hopefully the dog will be waiting there.
I was skeptical and doubted my dog would be able to detect an article of clothing if he didn’t hear me calling his name as loud as possible all day for 12 days. But I returned the next day and sure enough found him sitting there!