If your dog has been lost for awhile-stay positive and stay active. Keep your Craig’s list posting current. Update your intersection signs and posters with “Still Missing-Still Searching”. Replace any signs or posters that have faded or look shabby. These actions alert people that your pet has not yet been found, and will keep them looking.
Dogs are survivors. There is a good chance your lost dog is out there somewhere. He might be hiding or simply wandering. He could have been taken in by an individual or rescue/shelter organization. Keep getting the word out, and you will increase the odds of finding your lost companion. There are plenty of stories about lost pets being found several months or even years after they went missing.
Use a martingale collar to prevent your dog from slipping out of his/her collar. For added security (shy/timid dogs), use the martingale with a front ring harness. You can also use carabineer, coupler or two leashes if the harness and coupler cannot be attached together with the leash alone. Make sure both the harness and collar have ID tags.
One of the most important things you can do to keep a lost dog esp. a shy dog in an area is to put out food. This is very simple. No bowl required. Stock up at the grocery store on the little pull top plastic containers of wet dog or cat food. They are inexpensive and easy to carry in your pocket. It doesn’t matter what brand (buy what’s on sale) but beef is usually best. Chicken or fish will attract more cats and raccoons. Don’t use dry dog or cat food. It doesn’t have enough odor to attract the dog.
When there is a sighting of your dog – immediately go to the location and put down one container of food. Don’t call the dog or approach it (if you see it). Put the container down and leave. Check the container in a few hours or the next day. If the food is gone, this is a good location for a trail camera and a trap. If you don’t have a trail camera, sprinkle sand, fireplace ash or cornstarch around the food source; check the prints in the substance to see if it is a dog who is eating the food.
Using a friendly (wiggly & gives off play signals to other dogs) dog to help lure a shy lost dog is a great technique. But like anything – there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Here’s what we do. Put the friendly “magnet” dog on a 25 – 50 foot long line. Sit or walk slowly and quietly at the area of the last sighting. It is best to do this with no other people nearby. Let the magnet dog out to the end of the line. This allows the lost dog to focus on the magnet dog not you. If the lost dog approaches – be patient. Give them time to greet one another, then slowly “reel” the magnet dog in towards you. The lost dog may follow! Have a collar and leash ready for the lost dog and stay below his eye level. You may have to try this several times on different days.
Graduation parties, Memorial Day picnics, Father’s Day, July 4th…warm weather brings lots of opportunities for friends and family to gather. If your pet is not one who goes with the flow, be sure to provide them with a nice quiet place away from the crowds to relax and feel secure. If your dog is a party animal and wants to be in the midst of the party – great!! …. Just be sure that someone keeps an eye on them and no escape routes like doors or gates are accidentally left open.
Now that the weather is warming up, it is time to “Think Spring” and make sure you take care of these little things that will keep your dog safe and home where he/she belongs!
- Check collar & leash for wear & tear – replace worn and weak
- Examine your pets ID/license/rabies tags and ensure they are readable and the information is still current
- At your pet’s spring checkup have the microchip scanned to make sure it is working properly
- If you’ve moved make sure to update contact information with the microchip company. (may be a nominal fee)
- Check your fence and repair for any winter damage
- Check your window screens – If weak, replace w/pet screening
- Check screening and latches on screen doors
Prepare a Lost Pet Packet and keep it handy:
Photos and detailed description of your dog.
Nearest animal control facility address and phone number.
Rabies vaccination certificate, license number, microchip number and the company’s contact information.
Be Aware & Be Prepared – Don’t Allow your Dog to become a Lost Dog Statistic!