Wednesday, July 1, 2020

My Dog Is Lost - What Do I Do? - Lost Pet Prevention Month

My Dog Is Lost - What Do I Do? - Lost Pet Prevention Month

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It is that time of the year again when fireworks are booming and pets can get spooked and run off. Did you know that only 17.4% of lost dogs and 2.8% of lost cats are reunited with their owners after being in a shelter? (Source) It is super important that you make sure your pet has proper identification and that it is up to date just in case they slip out of your yard or yank the leash away during a walk.

We've partnered with PetHub for Lost Pet Prevention Month to share some basics when it comes to keeping your pet safe year-round and what to do if your pet is missing.

Dog Identification Basics


First and foremost, make sure your dog is wearing a collar. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you can put two fingers in between their neck and the collar. If you can fit more fingers, you risk your dog being able to wiggle out and run off leaving you in the dust. If you don't like tags, you can always get collars that have their name and phone number on them for easy identification.

How to prevent your dog from getting lost. Make sure they are wearing a collar
Jada's collar by The French Dog


A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is typically implanted between the shoulder blades (although I have seen them migrate to other parts of the body after implanting). Microchipping is so very important just in case your dog doesn't have their collar on as this can be scanned at a vet clinic and it is connected to your phone number so you can be contacted. Be sure you keep this up to date if your number gets updated. You can get your dog microchipped at your local vet clinic or even at mobile vet clinics for an affordable price.

How to prevent your dog from getting lost. Make sure they are microchipped
Jada getting microchipped


Tags are the easiest way to attach information to your dog so that you can be reunited faster. It takes time to get a dog to a vet clinic to scan for a chip, but can take minutes for someone to look at a tag for a phone number. You want to make sure that the tag has your dog's name, your phone number, and your address. If someone finds your dog and they see that the address is nearby, they can quickly reunite them with you just in case you don't pick up on your phone right away.

How to prevent your dog from getting lost. Make sure they have ID tags

What I use:

In addition to being microchipped, I usually have three tags on my dogs, a basic name tag with our address and phone number, their rabies tag, and a PetHub tag all held together with a FreezeTag.

The PetHub tag is really awesome because you can scan the QR code on it to see more information about the dog. This is great if your dog has a medical issue or needs special care of any kind. PetHub also have QR enabled cards, keychain tags, and crate cards to added security on the go!

My dog is lost, what can I do?


Start simple. Make signs in Microsoft Word that includes a full-body image of your dog with "LOST DOG" in big bold font up top. Underneath, write the dog's name, describe the dog's fur color, their gender, if they are spayed or neutered, what they were last wearing, and any distinguishing features. Be sure to write the location where the dog was lost and put a phone number or two.

You can be fancy and laminate them with packing tape or a laminator, but be sure to put them on all stop signs or intersections in the area. Other places to hang up signs would be vet offices, gas stations, pet stores, groomers, and any other nearby businesses. 

How to find a lost dog, make a lost dog sign
An actual lost dog sign I've used

Knock on neighbors' doors/Leave a note

It is highly likely that your neighbors might have seen your dog run nearby. You can always go knocking on doors or post to neighborhood groups online like NextDoor. On the flip side, if you have found a lost dog I found this to be the best method alongside putting up signs and posting online.

How to find a lost dog, talk to your neighbors

Drive around the neighborhood

Driving around the area with the windows down calling your dog as well as squeaking their favorite toy can be a good way of finding them too. Be sure to stop sometimes to listen for any barking.

How to find a lost dog, drive or walk around the neighborhood

Facebook yard sale groups

Yard sale groups are a great place to post about your lost dog or if you found a lost dog. I would use the same sign you made in Microsoft Word and post it to city and county-based Facebook groups. Also, if local vets or groomers have a page this would be a good spot too.

How to find a lost dog, post on local facebook yard sale groups

Lost dog websites

There are a few websites out there where you can post your lost dog:

How to find a lost dog, post on lost dog websites

Call local vets, groomers, pet stores

Give your local veterinarians, groomers, and even pet stores a call. They see many pets during the day and asking them to keep an eye out could be the ticket to finding your pup.

How to find a lost dog, talk to local pet stores, groomers, and veterinarians

Leave their bed or smelly garments outside

Some say that leaving their beds or some of your own personal laundry outside can help them find their way back home. I say don't knock it til you try it! Dogs have a way better sense of smell than us so it might work.

How to find a lost dog, leave some of your clothes outside

If you found your dog be sure to remove signs and follow up on any online posts or businesses you called. Leaving them hanging isn't cool and I'm sure they will feel relieved that your pup was found.

How to find a lost dog and how to prevent a dog from getting lost

I hope these tips and tricks have been helpful whether you are looking for additional ways to keep your dog secure or if you are looking for great ways to find your lost dog. 

Got any other tips or tricks? Please post them below!

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